The newly opened Spa at South Lodge at the 5-star South Lodge Hotel in Horsham down in West Sussex, looked fantastic from its marketing material. Needless to say, I was very keen to go and visit, so when the opportunity arose in the spa’s opening week, I jumped at it. On a previous visit to South Lodge Hotel I’d also seen the initial building works and it looked impressive then.
Managing Director Danny Pecorelli and the Exclusive Hotels team have been working tirelessly to create something very special, so it was a great pleasure to see what they’d achieved.
After a 50-minute train journey I arrived at Horsham station on the sunniest and warmest day in February on record. I then travelled a short distance by taxi to the South Lodge Hotel and wandered down to the impressive spa.
It was important for the Exclusive team to build a spa that complemented its surrounding landscape and so the building has a grass roof, has an outer skin of green oak cladding and a curvy shape to match the hills surrounding it.
I headed through new restaurant Botanica with its dreamy interiors and out onto the expansive decking with views onto the outdoor swimming pool and breath-taking south downs.
It was the perfect setting, so whilst soaking up the sun I ordered a freshly pressed health juice with a concoction of beetroot and apple.
An hour later I sat down to lunch at Botanica and being the foodie that I am, I was very excited to peruse the menu designed by Head Chef Jonathan Spiers. Every dish sounded fantastic, so I asked my waitress to kindly recommend her best choices. Her favourites were the Cornish Hake with Broccoli root purée and Botanical Sunflower salsa verde as well as the Spiced Roasted Cauliflower, mung beans, golden sultanas, seed with the creamiest tarragon tzatziki along with a side of the Bloody Mary salted chips.
A delicious feast and I was very impressed with the amount of effort that had gone into all the vegetarian and vegan options.
After lunch had been digested, I went to explore the spa, beginning with in the outdoor hydrotherapy pool. I breathed deeply and took in the views.
I relaxed on the deck chairs before heading inside to the infinity pool. I loved how much seating there was everywhere, beautiful and comfortable furniture with calming colours. The sauna was very special, airy, light and built so you could maximise the views.
At every turn you could see the deep thought that had gone into the design, specific decorative details and colour schemes.
From the luxurious changing rooms to the inviting treatment areas and ultra-modern gym, the spaces in the Spa at South Lodge were a feast for the senses.
It was time for my treatment and as I am currently pregnant, I opted for the full body pregnancy massage. There was a pregnancy pillow on the massage table and my therapist went to great lengths to ensure I was comfortable and relaxed.
With all the ups and downs of pregnancy, this massage could not have been any more perfect. I left the room feeling relaxed, calm and extremely pampered.
Whilst getting showered and ready to head home I tried not to think about my journey into busy, crowded London. A far cry from the incredible day I’d experienced in such an idyllic setting. If you are able to, then I would most definitely suggest prolonging your wonderful relaxation and booking into the South Lodge Hotel so you can go and climb into bed just a few metres away!
I would highly recommend a visit to the Spa at South Lodge. The facilities, setting and restaurant are all you could wish for and more. I genuinely cannot wait to return, and the trip has definitely been the best highlight of my year so far.
The Spa at South Lodge, South Lodge Hotel, Long Hill, Lower Beeding, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 6PS, England.
Tel: +44 (0)1403 89171
The spa is located inside The South Lodge Hotel in Horsham, West Sussex and has ample parking available. Horsham is just a 50-minute train journey from central London.
Insider Tip: The Pass Restaurant serves excellent food with an open kitchen.
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Paula Gibson is a London-based personal assistant by day and a freelance travel writer by night.
Photographs courtesy of Exclusive Hotels Group