Relaxing at its most regal – editor Sophie Ritchie heads to the rolling hills of West Sussex for a stay at the South Lodge hotel and its incredible new £15m spa
It’s no secret that spas are good for the soul. The Romans loved them – in fact, they used them for socialising just as much as bathing. And the South Lodge, a five-star hotel nestled in the tranquil Sussex countryside, has created an emperor-worthy experience with its incredible new 15million pound spa.
A world of polished calm with sustainability at its core, the 44,000 square foot space features everything needed for a day (or decade) of pampering decadence.
This, combined with the hotel’s quaint country charm, 93 acres of Sussex scenery and multiple fine dining experiences, creates a suave getaway filled with luxury rejuvenation.
If you’re in need of an escape from a city’s ceaseless energy, there are few places that offer a more tranquil hideaway than South Lodge.
A magnificent Victorian
Fusing the past with the present, 89 vast bedrooms and suites offer sprawling views across South Lodge’s manicured grounds – as well as large, slumber-inducing mattresses, elegant furnishings and welcoming treats in the form of handmade chocolates.
But whilst the rooms are inviting, it’s the newly opened spa that’s truly alluring – providing guests with an incredible wellness experience that showcases both the surrounding South Downs and the impeccable awaiting amenities.
Forget what you know about pampering. The Spa at South Lodge, with its impressive design, state-of-the-art facilities and gourmet edge makes the days of a simple sauna and steam room look rather dull in comparison.
Taking inspiration from its majestic Sussex location, floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the beautiful surroundings – whilst outside, the UK’s first natural heated swim pond offers guests the chance to get even closer to nature. But fear not, there’s two other swimming pools if you prefer a more traditional dip.
A design courtesy of architects Felce & Guy Partnership, the unique structure aims to merge the outside with the in – creating a serenely stunning space.
Ideal for spending a day drifting from room to room, make the most of an infused sauna and two steam rooms (one with salt and one herbal).
Unlike mass market spa experiences, The Spa at South Lodge retains a clear exclusive feel – this is a private, undeniably individual space. The gym offers a mere handful of ultramodern machines, whilst the secluded facilities themselves are clearly for smaller groups rather than giggling gaggles.
And, as always, the devil’s in the detail. Enveloping robes, Dyson hairdryers and lavish toiletries leave guests floating out through the glass double doors once they’ve had their wellness fix.
Complete the experience and spoil yourself by booking a treat in one of the fourteen uniquely-designed treatment rooms, where over 50 different body, hair, face and nail treatments await to be tried (including some from award-winning Hungarian skincare Omorovicza).
With facials, wraps, scrubs and even LED light therapy, there’s plenty to enjoy – but we recommend ditching the tension with a De-Stress Hot Stone massage – the perfect cure for a stressed out body with up to 80 minutes of tension-busting heaven.
All that relaxing will work up an appetite, but luckily, there’s plenty to try at this exquisite country pile. As well as its brand new wellness facilities, The Spa at South Lodge comes complete with a chic and airy restaurant, Botanica.
Here, head chef Jonathan Spiers uses local produce as inspiration for a menu filled with plant-based dishes, healthy bites and seasonal snacks. From a Matcha green tea shake to Truffle and artichoke tortellini, there’s something for every tastebud – especially when it comes to Botanica’s flavour-packed brunches.
For something more classical, South Lodge’s duo of fine dining establishments provide a gorgeously gourmet fix that impresses locals and residents alike.
Head to Tom Kemble at The Pass for a memorable chef’s table experience at the petite 28-cover restaurant or enjoy a more relaxed but equally delicious feast at the AA Rosette winning Camellia restaurant. With wooden panelling and cozy armchair seating, book a table here if you feel like dining in the middle of a Jane Austen novel.
The Wordrobe verdict
With swoon-worthy spa facilities, character-rich abodes and an array of impressive foodie experiences, there’s no better spot for a gourmet spa getaway this summer than the South Lodge hotel.
Grab your suitcase, it’s time to do as the Romans do and head to West Sussex for a deluxe dose of wellness – no toga required.
Make it happen
Where: Long Hill, Lower Beeding, Horsham RH13 6PS, UK
Wallet: Rooms from £265 per night.
How: Phone 01403 891711 or visit exclusive.co.uk/south-lodge/ to make a booking.
Words by Sophie Ritchie, editor