THE SPREAD EAGLE HOTEL & SPA:
Set in the heart of the historic Sussex market town of Midhurst, the Spread Eagle Hotel is one of the oldest coaching inns still in existence in the UK, dating back to 1430. The Spread Eagle is proper “olde worlde”, charming and cosy, it is exactly what you would expect from a traditional old inn. Quirky, a bit crooked in places, which adds to the charm it’s built with low ceilings, exposed beams, in Tudor style – it is old England at its very best. It has a great little spa – arguably the best spa in Sussex.
For all of its history it doesn’t lack creature comforts and modern spaces. The terrace area between the hotel and spa is perfect to enjoy tea or a snack. The Wifi was easy to log onto, a little slow to download really big files, but fine for general, browsing. And the staff were all welcoming and friendly creating a relaxed informal feel, ensuring I felt right at home. The rooms are very traditional, with beamed ceilings and the hotel is a great place to rest your head. My room was a large suite and had the biggest, comfiest four poster bed I’ve ever slept in. I loved that the rooms have tea from Camellias Tea House, a very impressive addition.
THE BEST SPA IN SUSSEX?
Recently refurbished, the compact spa really packs a punch. Three treatment rooms and small reception make way to male and female changing rooms, that lead onto the indoor pool area. Light and airy with a high, beamed ceiling, even on a grey, wet day it was flooded with light and a great space to relax. Chill out by the pool on a comfy relaxation lounger between treatments mixing your time between the pool and the heat rooms. The pool which is long enough to get 10 or so strokes in, the steam room, sauna and jacuzzi all lead off the pool area. Looking out to the Japanese spa garden, which, in more appropriate weather, is a great place to relax in your robes. Where now spa gardens are de rigour, the Spread Eagle was ahead of its time introducing it a number of years ago. You wouldn’t want too many people in the spa at any one time otherwise it might feel crowded. The gym is a decent size with all the right pieces of equipment for a decent workout. I was impressed to see two male staff on reception.
Using local Sussex spa brand Temple Spa, I had a Matins Massage of 55 minutes. The treatment room was quite small, but on the treatment bed you don’t notice it. My therapist, Vanessa began a succinct but thorough consultation and told me exactly what she would do with the pressure and technique. She was excellent, firm pressure working on my lower back, hips and neck and shoulders, really working the knots. 55 minutes of blessed relief. Using the professional only Matins Oil, she recommended the new Work it Out oil for home care plus Aaahhh which is a cooling gel based on mint and menthol.
ROOM TO IMPROVE:
Towels could be provided in the pool area as I forgot to collect on from the reception hallway and had to run back into the hall whilst dripping wet.
A basket for the used towels and robes would be better in the change room.
I waited for a while at reception because the receptionist was taking phone booking, which took an age, but when a colleague noticed I was attended to.
THE BEST BITS:
Sleeping in a grand four poster bed
Swimming with natural daylight pouring through the windows
Enjoying a Temple Spa treatment
Sipping Camellias Tea House tea
Matins Massage – 55 mins – £72
Rates at The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa start from £119 per night, based on a mid-week stay for two people in a Standard room, including breakfast, VAT and full use of The Spread Eagle Spa facilities. To book visit www.hshotels.co.uk or call 01730 816911.