The Spa at South Lodge A Review
The award winning South Lodge hotel in West Sussex is set to launch one of the most innovative and luxurious spas in the UK this autumn. As a self proclaimed spa connoisseur I was keen to take a sneak peak amid the final building work.
This £15 million project started five years ago and has been a labour of love in order to stay true to the historic building and picturesque landscape. Designed by highly regarded architects Felce & Guy Partnership, the key objective was to create a calm and relaxing space that flows as effortlessly as the surrounding Sussex Downs, whilst balancing innovation and sustainability.
The quintessentially British Jacobean South Lodge has had a rich history since the original development began in 1883 by keen plantsman Frederick Ducane Godman. Set on 93 acres of Beech and Oak woodland, this spectacular property was once frequented by Winston Churchill and enchanted many more with its surrounding chalky hills, scented orchids and a warm décor inside, with carved oak panelling and oversized fireplaces. Frederick one of the country’s leading naturalists of his time, who specialised in fauna and flora. HIs love of plant life was demonstrated across the rolling hills and to this day many of the species live on and have since been of great inspiration for The Spa at South Lodge.
The Spa is 44,000 square foot of luxurious five star relaxation and incorporates 14 treatment rooms, 3 swimming pools, an ultra modern gym with dedicated fitness studios and all in a state of the art facility, with floor to ceiling windows that allow guests to engage with mother nature and truly relax and rejuvenate. However it was not until I was invited by Sara Young the vivacious Spa operations manager that I truly understood the extent of this phenomenal project.
Donning my hard hat and high visibility jacket, I was all set for my one on one tour of the nearly completed Spa. Sara led me from the main building to the unique rolling building that evidently was inspired by the Sussex Downs. Once completed, guests can choose to be transported from the main hotel by the UK’s first electric tuk-tuks, unless of course you would rather stroll across on a sunny day.
Once inside and despite the builders working away, it was clear that no expense was spared to ensure this glorious spa will live up to the five star reputation of the country hotel. The 14 treatment rooms each has its own unique design from Sun Flower to Camellia, with imported Italian marble and floor to ceiling windows, allowing you to relax into the surrounding countryside and truly escape
the hustle and bustle of our daily stresses.
Sara described a few of the treatments which will incorporate The Spa range, which has been specifically designed for this hotel group. However, the award winning Hungarian Skincare range Omorovicza will also be on offer, with its pioneering skincare range that incorporates the thermal waters and healing springs of Budpest and a fantastic history including the enlisting of a noble prize-winning laboratory to harness the water’s healing powers.
The three pools are spectacular, but the iCrème de la Crème is most certainly the first heated natural swimming pool in this country. Even on a rainy January afternoon, this natural beauty looked so inviting with the surrounding sun terrace and unspoiled views.
As we continued to wonder through this spectacular creation, I was overwhelmed by the sense of calm. A true state of zen has been created with a tranquil colour palette of natural, organic shades and attention to detail refining the spa experience with advanced techniques and incomparable designs. The journey through the spa is smooth and allows guests to experience nature on a new level and there are endless surprises including the pod relaxation room. This is a room dedicated to pure relaxation, with individual pods that have sound and gentle vibration to transport the body, mind and soul to a tranquil state of relaxation using vibration to resonate through the body and impart restful harmony.
The blend of traditional relaxation and contemporary demands is perfectly balanced. As I continued my tour, we headed towards the state-of-the-art gym for those that want to keep fit as well as indulge in total relaxation. Technogym equipment is available as well as dedicated fitness rooms offering HIIT classes, yoga and a specifically designed Spin room available for all levels. The gym has its own private terrace allowing you to take your work out outside into the fresh air and the holistic studio inside is also strategically placed with large floor to ceiling windows which gives the sensation of bringing the outdoors inside.
Grizzly’s Barbers of Horsham and Ridgeview beauty spa offer a range of treatments from pedicures to beard trimming and the very first Enoflute wine dispenser offering Sussex’s very own English sparkling wine on tap or Beer with every full hair cut or wet shave.
Refuelling at The Spa is just as sensational with the bright and airy Botanica restaurant. This delightful dining experience offers a wide array of delicious healthy dishes to boost and invigorate.
Head Chef Jonathan Spiers will be creating a selection of plant based dishes using locally sourced ingredients and adding a Mediterranean flare. There will also be tasty meat dishes available providing perfectly balanced options that cater for all. The aim is to continue the holistic and healthy experience and naturally boost your immunity with undeniably delicious, notorious dishes and all in the beautiful surroundings. The huge dining terrace has been perfectly positioned to take full advantage and enjoy both the Sun rise and the divine Sunsets of Sussex.
The ‘Watershed’ is a poolside more relaxed dining option for those that would prefer a less formal experience or little snack throughout the day or whilst outside.
Sara’s passion for this project is evident and it is clear to see that she is excited to share this incredible spa concept. I believe this spa will take 5 star luxury to another level. The attention to detail is phenomenal and the quality of not only the spa itself, but also the staff, products and services is undeniably sensational.
The Spa at South Lodge is as limitless as the stars with its relaxed five star luxury. I thoroughly enjoyed my hard hat tour and since I have not been able to stop myself raving about all of the ultra modern facilities that are set to take wellness, fitness and mindfulness to the next level.
Membership for The Spa at South Lodge is currently open, but spaces are limited as the team are keen to keep this little gem exclusive. Guests of the hotel are also permitted to enjoy the facilities, but I can only imagine that once the word is out about this Spa, it’s going to be in high demand.
First impressions do count and I have been blown away with this unique, well planned out, dynamic development. I am so excited to visit ‘The Spa’ in all its glory this Spring, so watch this space!!!