South Lodge, based in West Sussex and part of the Exclusive Group has recently opened its’ doors to its’ brand new Spa. We went along to get a behind the scenes tour for you…
Visiting the spa at South Lodge is one of those totally surreal experiences where you kind of forget that you’re actually in Sussex. A place that has been so highly anticipated in the South East, that it was a dream come true to finally be able to see what they have been up to..
As to be expected there are a few finishing touches to be done to the entrance part of the spa but as soon as you turn that corner and face the spa it’s like you have been transported to a Scandinavian style wellness retreat. When you enter the spa it honestly feels like you could be in a trendy European country up in the mountains, immersed in nature and in a totally secluded setting.
The entrance area and reception boats comfortable modern seating, and access to the Ridgeview Beauty Bar, the 14 nature-themed treatment rooms, the retail area, ‘Grizzly’s’ barbers and of course the much talked about ‘Botanica’ restaurant.
You can instantly tell when you enter this building just how much attention to detail has been applied and how every part of your experience here is designed with the client in mind.
The restaurant has stunning views across to the South Downs and over the vast gardens of the South Lodge Hotel. It features a large terrace that draws the outside in and all of that stunning natural light. Inside the restaurant, there is a bar and an extensive menu of contemporary, but classic and elegant dishes, cooked by Head chef Jonathan Spiers. He has created a ‘Mediterranean influenced menu’ with ‘the South Downs as his larder for fresh and seasonal ingredients’. The Botanica restaurant is open for Brunch / Lunch and afternoon treats every day, and for Dinner it is open Friday – Sunday.
Exploring downstairs for members and spa users you find the modern but retro style 200m² gym, complete with state of the art equipment, TRX rig, and a terrace for ‘alfresco’ training.
An inspiring place for any fitness guru to go to work out and definitely a refreshing take on the gym decor we are used to these days. The spa building also boasts a holistic studio and a dedicated spin studio that can rival those we see gracing the streets of London’. Something that many gyms from this area do not currently offer.
The changing rooms at the spa, again have had every attention to detail put into them. Dyson hairdyers/ straighteners and comfortable leather seating. The changing rooms have stunning showers and lead you straight into the spa area.
Something that I found evident throughout my whole time at the spa was that comfort, and a relaxing atmosphere was paramount at all times. Often when you go to ‘Spa Days’ you will find that it can actually be a bit of a fight in the changing rooms, with everyone rushing about to make the most of their day. At South Lodge I genuinely felt at ease, relaxed and totally zen.
The first part of the spa facilities that you access from the ladies changing room is the ‘Infused’ sauna, the marble-lined salt steam and the Jasmine herbal steam room and shower area. From here you get the first glimpse of the outdoor jacuzzi which spans the length of the whole decking and outside area. It has been tastefully designed to flow in an infinity pool style so you get uninterrupted views when you are lounging in the warm water.
The 22m x10m ‘ozone treated’ swimming pool at the spa is a truly breathtaking spectacle. Surrounded by comfortable loungers, it is the epitome of relaxation.
Outside you have the ‘vitality hydrotherapy pool’, complete with decking loungers, which then leads down to an 18m long natural heated outdoor swimming pond, somewhere where you can relax in the warmer months, surrounded by uninterrupted nature.
In summary, the spa at South Lodge is a wonderful experience from start to finish. The perfect place to enjoy some downtime with a loved one, you can have a couples massage and soak up the relaxed nature of the spa. Or take your girlfriends for a real treat of a getaway, get your nails done, enjoy a glass of Ridgeview and relax outside by the hydrotherapy pool. The Spa at South Lodge really does cater for your every desire and I have no doubt that it will rival some of the best in the country, but for now, it is most definitely the best spa that I have been to in the South of England.