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Opened in 1903, the Midland Hotel in Manchester is one of the most distinctive buildings in the city. The hotel includes 312 en-suite bedrooms and 14 suites, a health club and two restaurants. The Hotel recently featured in its own documentary, 'Inside Manchester's Midland Hotel' on Channel 5.

The challenge

Curveline Design, who specialise in delivering bespoke spa and hotel design concepts, were appointed by Q Hotels, who own the Midland Hotel, to undertake a £1.5 million refurbishment of the hotel's existing leisure facilities.

Mark Green, Curveline director and owner, said: "It was a particularly challenging refurbishment because the leisure facilities are located in the hotel's basement and the venue is an English Heritage listed building.

"Bearing this in mind, it was important that our design concepts were sympathetic to the existing, elaborate Victorian architecture whilst incorporating some contemporary elements such as a three metre high stacked glass corridor feature."

The brief for the refurbishment was to create a feeling of relaxation in the city centre, so Curveline planned to introduce a number of different relaxing experiences for customers, including hanging cocoon chairs, sleep pods and egg chairs. Mark added:

"The relaxation zones were a key feature of our brief and to achieve this we knew that the right lighting would be key."

The solution

Mark and the team at Curveline contacted Chantelle Lighting to assist them in creating a theatrical centrepiece to illuminate the focal sleep pod. He said:

"We wanted the feature of the relaxation room to be an area in the middle containing four hanging egg chairs. Surrounded by sheer curtains, we wanted a feature light to hang from the centre of this pod, creating a relaxing light for those using the chairs but which would also be visible to other guests outside the pod.

"Chantelle's interpretation of this brief was spot on; they came back to us with designs for a staggered spiral feature light which complemented the hanging chairs perfectly. With almost 20 bulbs hanging at different levels from subtle copper cables, the light level in the pod is perfect  for relaxing and the hanging cables mirror the hanging motion of the chairs. 

"Chantelle have helped us create lighting which is calming and soothing and gives the feeling of being detatched from the city life outside."

The result

12 months after the refurbishment project began, the spa was officially opened by digital entrepreneur Lawrence Jones MBE, hotel manager Michael Magrane and spa director Helen Grzesk. The Midland Hotel has received excellent feedback from customers since it unveiled its new and improved spa facilities with the relaxation areas proving very popular with guests who want to unwind.  

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