THE ritual starts with a soothing mud mask slathered onto your entire body in a touchy-feely scene reminiscent of the film Ghost

Cleopatra supposedly believed the black mud of Dead Sea made her 'more beautiful'. I wouldn't argue with someone with that much prestige. 

As skin begins to stiffen and grey, citrus enthused steam engulfs the honeycomb tiled room and the walls become hand-hot. It becomes so cloudy you can barely see. Everything slows; your mind, the time, even your heartbeat a little.

After 40 minutes, when you start to drift off, the heavens suddenly open and 'rain' falls hard and loudly over your head. Half-asleep, you panic and begin to flap about like beached whale as you're pelted with a heavy shower stream. Out. Of. Nowhere. It's as abrupt as an unexpected baptism but it's worth it. 

In Manchester I would be experiencing a westernised re-work of the ancient medicinal practice at The Spa At The Midland on Peter Street, a spa so big and resplendent it could rival many of the UK's luxury spa offerings.

Sleep cacoonsSleep cocoons at The Spa At The Midland

The Rasul mud bath is a treatment championed around the world. Cleopatra supposedly believed the black mud of the Dead Sea made her 'more beautiful'.  While the Greeks would use medicinal mud from the Greek Isle of Lemnos and bathe in communal saltsprings, within The Spa At The Midland the Rasul mud bath is a private experience, designed to relax and detoxify its guests from city living.

Guests can choose between 30, 40, 50 minutes for the Rasul treatment which can be experienced alone or with a partner (£28-£50). As couple's treatments go it could, potentially, reinvigorate a relationship. What better therapy than spending an hour melting slowly together in a small enclosed space? Two people forced to talk and encouraged to rub an algae mud over difficult to reach spots... it should be prescribed. 

For me, alone in the spa, it would be a chance to unwind without digital interruptions. The steam, penetrates your pores and decongests your sinuses, you leave with a clear head and clearer skin - albeit a little dry (I recommend bringing some moisturiser to rehydrate afterwards).

It's a wonderful treat. Altough it's probably not one for the claustrophobic. The walls progressively close in as the steam thickens. (Not literally, mind.)

The spa experience doesn't just begin and end with the treatments, the on site café offers a delightful and carefully collected menu of spa appropriate meal platters and wonderfully flavoursome, aromatic teas. I choose their 'I can make you feel good' platter full of superfoods. Sweet potato soup, pomegranate, feta, chard and quinoa salad; Smoked mackerel  with an apple and gin consummé, chilled salmon and a pretty pistachio nut cake (£17.95). Portions are small so you don't feel over indulged after saintly treatments.

The Midland Spa caféThe  Spa  At The Midland café

Based beneath Manchester's historic hotel The Midland, the spa is a triumphant addition to the city-centre spa offering. It impresses in every corner, with the main feature piece the grand relaxation room. As part of the package you're free to use all the facillities, the pool, the salt infused steam room and sauna - after treatment, you can dangle yourself in one of their much talked about sleep cocoons.

The prices while expensive, aren't ridiculous, and daily upkeep treatments from waxing to manicures are reasonably priced for day market customers. The Spa At The Midland just may be a luxury you can experience more than once in a while. Your body will thank you. 

Try the Rasul mud treatment, shut the door behind you and allow the steam and rain to cleanse away your body sins. 

Visit the Q Hotels website for all of The Spa At The Midland treatments.

 16 Peter Street |  Manchester |  M60 2DS