Experience spa facilities like no other, stunning rooms and splendid food at the Peak District's Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel

The Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel, is a historic landmark in the Peak District. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel.The Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel, is a historic landmark in the Peak District. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel.
The Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel, is a historic landmark in the Peak District. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel. | Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel
Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel is a historic landmark in the Peak District which NationalWorld reporter Rochelle Barrand found offers a superior spa, elegant rooms and moreish food

When you’re in need of a little bit of rest and relaxation, one of the best things you can do, in my opinion, is treat yourself to a spa break.

It’s the perfect way to unwind, detach from the stresses of every day life and really focus on you; your own mind and your own body - and I’ve now found my new favourite spa break destination: Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel.

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I was lucky enough to be invited for an one night stay with my partner complete with a spa treatment for each of us. The first thing to note is that it’s an extremely impressive and beautiful building. It certainly has the wow factor. It’s a unique and simply stunning grade II listed building, nestled in the heart of Buxton, itself a tourist destination in the picture perfect Peak District in Derbyshire, Yorkshire.

The building dates back to the 18th century and was originally built by the Fifth Duke of Devonshire to position Buxton as England's leading spa destination. It’s safe to say that, even three centuries later, the Duke’s goal remains in tact. The architecure of the curved building is something to be marvelled - and what the building houses is just as special.

We arrived one Saturday afternoon and, after being shown to our room - more on that later - we were keen to go and make use of the spa facilities; excited by what it would hold on the basis of it’s history. We were thrilled by what we found - in fact this is the best spa I have ever been to (and I’ve been to quite a few, owing to the fact that having a pamper is my favourite ways to treat myself).

The Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel, in Buxton, Derbyshire, Peak District. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel.The Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel, in Buxton, Derbyshire, Peak District. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel.
The Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel, in Buxton, Derbyshire, Peak District. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel. | Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel

The facilities are unrivalled by any other spa I have visited. There’s a thermal pool, a bio-thermal sauna, an infra-red sauna, a Finnish sauna, a C02 mineral bath, an indoor to outside roof top pool, an aroma steam room, a steam room, a relaxation pool, an ice fountain, and a salt cave. We were completely spoiled for choice and happily spent the afternoon moving from one facility to the next.

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I loved every facility, but if I had to choose I would say my favourites were the steam room and the relaxation pool. I’ve always preferred the steam room over the dry heat of a sauna - but this one was particularly powerful. It’s intended to release toxins from the body and help ease muscle tension and I could feel myself start to detox the minute I stepped in the room as the temperature and steam level were just right.

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The relaxation pool was simply beautiful and unlike anything I had seen before. The lighting was subdued and created a peaceful ambience and there was a starry ceiling effect created by the lights. It made for a cosy and tranquil atmosphere where you could just feel any worries slip away.

The thermal pool at the Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel in Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel.The thermal pool at the Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel in Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel.
The thermal pool at the Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel in Buxton, Derbyshire. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel. | Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel

I also particularly enjoyed the thermal pool was this also offered a nod to the hotel’s history and location. It is filled with Buxton mineral rich water that is heated, so again you can simply sit back and relax. It’s also surrounded by original wall tiles dating back to 1924, which is when the Victorian baths were last refurbished, so it provides the ideal setting to not only relax but also reflect on the people who have graced this beautiful place over the last 100 years. It’s covered by a gorgeous blue and green stained glass canopy which, although new, is still an incredible piece of art which is also unique to the spa and deserves attention.

Overall, the spa is outstanding. Not only are the facilities second to none, but the overall appearance of the spa is perfection too. Everything is very elegant and opulent and each area offers an immaculate setting which looks and smells divine. We were able to make use of the spa for the entire duration of our stay and we were sure to spend every moment there that we could as it provided such a wonderful experience.

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On the Sunday morning, we returned to the spa area to enjoy a 50 minute treatment each; I chose the swedish full body bespoke massage while my partner opted for the therapeutic thermal mud pack.

The thermal mud pack is a specialised treatment at the spa and offers a unique mud pack derived from Lake Heviz in Hungary. The mud has concentrated levels of minerals, which, once heated to 40 degrees and applied to the joints, helps to warm and relieve aching joints and aids in relaxation. It was the perfect treatment choice for my other half who works in a physical job and often has aches and pains. He said he found the treatment soothing, and indeed very relaxing, and he’d have it again. He also enjoyed talking to his therapist, who was very knowledgeable in how the mud works its magic.

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The indoor to outside roof top pool at the Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel in the Peak District. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel.The indoor to outside roof top pool at the Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel in the Peak District. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel.
The indoor to outside roof top pool at the Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel in the Peak District. Photo by Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel. | Ensana Buxton Crescent Hotel

My swedish full body bespoke massage, meanwhile, was a fully rounded relaxing massage covering the back, legs, arms, décolleté and scalp, with various massage techniques to help with muscular aches and pains to help with circulation of the blood and lymphatic system. My therapist was a lovely lady, who quickly found all of my knots and pressure points and worked to expertly remove them, while still keeping me relaxed.

I must admit I was a little concerned when she didn’t ask me ahead of the treatment, as therapists often do, if I had any specific areas that she wished me to concentrate on - but I decided to trust her, (she was the professional after all), and I’m really glad I did. It was afterwards that she told me she prides herself on being able to find people’s areas of tension without asking them and I must say she did. I have always carried tension in my neck and shoulders, and she found that out within minutes of beginning the massage, expertly using different massage techniques to undo the knots.

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She also found knots I didn’t know I had. (They were ridges in my back, so I guess that’s down to me sitting at a desk all day). The lady also kept asking if the pressure was okay for me to ensure that I was still soothed and happy and it wasn’t too much. It was just right though. There were a couple of moments I could feel myself drifting off - a true compliment to any masseuse - and I had to make myself stay awake so I could fully enjoy every minute of the treatment. Overall, it was a fantastic massage which I didn’t want to end, and I certainly want to return for another.

Now, to return to our room. Well, I say room, it was a suite which meant it offered more than one room and was a real home-from-home. The first room you come too is the lounge area, complete with sofa, TV, dressing table and a separate table and chairs for relaxation. Moving through the suite, you then get to the bathroom complete with a shower and all the usual amenities to the right and a roll top bath overlooking the crescent on the right. Finally, you come to the bedroom which offers a king size four poster bed, a wardrobe, another TV, a mini fridge and the all-important tea and coffee making facilities.

The bedroom in a suite at The Esana Buxton Crescent Hotel. Photo by Esana Buxton Crescent Hotel.The bedroom in a suite at The Esana Buxton Crescent Hotel. Photo by Esana Buxton Crescent Hotel.
The bedroom in a suite at The Esana Buxton Crescent Hotel. Photo by Esana Buxton Crescent Hotel. | Esana Buxton Crescent Hotel.

The room, like the rest of the hotel, was amazing in every way. Every detail had been thought of, from the mirror on top of the dressing table, to the complimentary toiletries and the safe so that belongings could be left with extra security in the room while indulging in the spa. It was functional, but also designed to the highest standard. The room was classy with timeless touches like grand chandeliers. It’s obvious that a lot of time and care has gone in to the design of the rooms and, much like the spa, everything was immaculate.

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As we were only there for one night, I didn’t find the time to enjoy the roll top bath - it was a choice between that or spending more time in the spa in the end, and the spa won - but I loved this traditional feature and would have loved to have had a long soak while looking out over beautiful Buxton. (Maybe next time we’ll have to stay for two nights so I’ve got plenty of time to enjoy everything).

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The time that we did spend in the room though was very much enjoyed as it felt very cosy and all the furniture was very comfortable. I usually struggle to sleep but that night, sinking in to the soft marshmellow bed having just spent a few hours relaxing in the spa, I drifted in to the most peaceful sleep. This hotel really does offer luxury at every turn.

A final word on the food: it was absolutely delicious. We had a choice between the usual menu or a set market menu, which offered three courses for £50. My companion chose all of his dishes from the market menu, while I chose my main dish from there and my starter and dessert from the usual menu. The staff were every helpful and were happy to explain more about the dishes and let me make choices from both menus so it was nice to be able to have just what I fancied.

As a vegetarian, I was pleased that there was plenty of veggie options. There is a great range of choice for everyone, no matter what your tastes and it’s a wide and varied menu. I had a twice baked cheese souffle, followed by pumpkin and pearl barley risotto and a spiced apple and blackberry crumble. My partner meanwhile, had the truffled chicken terrine, the braised short rib of beef and the blue Monday cheese.

Every course was moreish, was beautifully presented and offered deep, fresh flavours. The standout dish for me was the risotto which was creamy and cooked to perfection. My other half said that his beef was one of the best he had every had and it melted in the mouth. Compliments to the chef as they are clearly a master of their craft. every mouthful of food was savoured and every plate was cleared.

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This hotel is very special indeed; it is exquisite in every way and extremely grand. Whether you are looking for a spa weekend, a day spa break, or a hotel stay, this is a place you must visit. You are guaranteed to leave feeling rejuvinated, well-rested and full of joy. I can’t recommened it highly enough. It is a jewel in the Peak District’s crown.

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