I admit that I struggled to contain my glee when I received an invite from the lovely Sara to review The Spa at South Lodge Hotel. I then had to remind myself to temper my expectations as these things rarely live up to the purported hype but I am pleased to report that this hype is well deserved! South Lodge Hotel can rightly be proud of their award-winning, state-of-the-art spa which opened its doors last year.
Set into the natural contours of the breathtaking Sussex Downs, the oak clad premises meld seamlessly with their surroundings, with floor to ceiling windows throughout the thermal suite, a gym and an indoor infinity pool. Never have I had such a breathtaking view whilst enjoying a sauna!
Amongst others, The Spa features a steaming outdoor hydrotherapy pool. Yes, an outdoor pool hot enough to comfortably laze in during even the coldest of winter days. Oh, and did I mention the spectacular, ever-present views? With these facilities, one gains the benefits of spending time in nature whilst indulging in the lap of luxury. But just in case you might feel the desire to plunge further, there is a beautiful 18m wild swimming pond on the grounds.
My morning flew by in a jasmine-scented haze of decadence and I reluctantly made my way to Botanika for a spot of lunch. My reluctance quickly disappeared as I sat in the beautiful restaurant, spoilt for choice. Head chef Jonathan Spiers has created a Mediterranean influenced menu using the South Downs as a larder for fresh and seasonal ingredients. Although not vegetarian, the menu features a plethora of plant-based plates with something special for all dietary preferences.
I was served a perfect dish of seabass with Jerusalem artichoke, samphire and a black garlic dressing only to be topped off by the lightest, creamiest of cheesecakes. Aaah, all in a day’s work...
Next, I was led to the calming treatment rooms. The Spa at South Lodge offers a wide range of body, face, nail and hair treatments in their treatment rooms, mud room and Ridgeview Beauty Bar. All their treatments use luxurious brand products, carefully selected for their company philosophies and results-driven properties. I opted for the Bamboo massage and my therapist, Dawn, clearly knows her stuff! She found areas of deeply seated tension I hadn’t realised I had and she deftly massaged me into utter bliss.
After a refreshing drink of juice blended with herbal elixirs, it was time for my treatment at the luxury clinic, Aesthetic Collective. The clinic offers the latest in non-surgical cosmetic and aesthetic treatments performed by skilled medical practitioners and therapists. I was curious to try the relatively new, no downtime Byonik pulse-triggered laser treatment as it seemed the ideal accompaniment to my luxury spa day. I have not often come across a technologically advanced treatment after which I can pop straight back to the steam room. Still, I expected discomfort during treatment, as it is more often than not with laser, but I can attest that it felt like any other relaxing facial but with super-charged results.
All in all The Spa at South Lodge Hotel is superb and I walked away from the beautiful premises feeling radiant and revitalised.