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PH2O at Park House
Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 0JB
Has a pool
Has thermal facilities
0 treatment rooms
Park House is a smart country house with restored barn cottages, surrounded by ten acres of peaceful countryside. An impressive, small but opulent spa in a beautifully rural location; the PH₂O spa combines great treatments and luxurious facilities with the hotel’s good customer service, peaceful accommodation, and fresh, seasonal cuisine.
Part of the charm of Park House Hotel is that it is beautifully secluded and rural in an area of outstanding natural beauty; as a-get-away-from-it-all location, it's hard to beat. Down a winding, single-track country lane, this small country-house hotel promises and delivers relaxation in abundance: from the croquet lawn to the conservatory. Some of the 21 bedrooms are in the main hotel, others in cottages in the grounds, and most have views across the green gardens or to the distant South Downs.
The PH₂O spa is completely modern under its wooden-beamed roof, in a separate building from the hotel, and this works well as it helps keep the spa peaceful. (There are umbrellas at hand if you need shelter on your short journey of a few steps.)
Throughout the hotel and spa is a warm, welcoming atmosphere which helps you to relax, to feel at home, and to unwind.
The heart of the PH₂O spa is the indoor shimmering mosaic-tiled 15-metre pool, with its snail-shaped, curved, white marble entry shower. It is a hotel pool, so there are children's swim times, but you can choose to avoid these if you're after a peaceful few laps. A nicely hot and bubbly mother-of-pearl Jacuzzi sits to one side of the pool.
On a glass-walled balcony above the pool, a few relaxation beds invite you to linger, with cold water and hot herbal teas freely available for you to choose, alongside that day's newspapers and recent magazines.
Glass doors lead to a heated outdoor pool, which is open during the summer months. Loungers round the pool beckoned invitingly on our visit, but the spring sunshine sadly turned to rain.
The changing rooms are small but well maintained, with 16 wooden lockers, three showers, a footbath, a small sauna and steam room. The changing rooms are down some steps but there is a lift for those with limited mobility. Each locker contains a robe and towel, with plenty of spare towels on offer throughout. No spinner, but there are plastic bags for wet bathing suits.
The four treatment rooms are in a separate area -- thus keeping noise to a minimum -- and are soothing in their neutral tones. After your treatment, come back to your senses on one of the three day beds in the Quiet Room, where you can snuggle under a duvet, indulge in a small fruit snack, and sip your herbal tea.
A small gym offers opportunities for a workout although you could also stroll through the gardens, give the golf a go, or take up tennis in the ten acres of hotel grounds.
I had the Kerstin Florian Correcting Advanced Repair facial (85 minutes, £95) and those 85 minutes flew by in a twinkling.
Leah, my therapist, asked about my skin before we began to make sure she used the right products for what I wanted to achieve (we went for the brightening range). She also carefully explained the stages of the treatment, so that nothing would come as too much of a surprise. The heated treatment bed was warm and soft, and I could feel myself relaxing before we had even started the first cleanse...
The facial had such a variety of scents and textures, however, that I was too interested in what was going to happen next to fall asleep completely. A cold alginate mask that gradually set Leah so could peel it off, warm towels, tingly exfoliation, icy globes rolled over gauze over my skin to promote blood flow, gentle lymphatic drainage massage movements on my face, a fingertip scalp massage while various products worked their magic, a hand and arm massage... Leah had a gentle touch and I felt myself in expert hands. In all, this facial was both good for the skin and good for the soul. My skin looked much cleaner and brighter afterwards, so this is a good treatment to choose if you need to combat the inevitable signs of ageing.
You could also try a variety of wraps, scrubs or reflexology. Massages range from traditional Swedish via aromatherapy and hot lava shells to Indian head massage. Finish with manicures, pedicures (including gel nails) and beauty treatments including spray-tan and waxing.
The PH₂O spa offers a range of day packages, starting with the classic spa day -- massage, facial and two-course lunch -- and venturing to a sunset spa evening and a decadent champagne experience.
The food is fresh, local and seasonal.
You can go over to the main hotel for lunch or afternoon tea, where you can choose soups, salads and sandwiches, or something more substantial, such as bream with samphire. The local Sussex lamb was particularly good on our visit, although there were some imaginative vegetarian options, too, such as fennel and lemon risotto and a twice-baked Stilton soufflé.
In the summer, the outside poolside bar serves drinks and you can eat your lunch al fresco on the terrace.
We loved just relaxing in the peaceful pool area, and enjoying the respite from the world.
We also loved our warm and comfortable room for our overnight stay, in one of the cottages with a terrace and a garden where the evening sunshine illuminated the spring flowers.
We didn't love missing out on the outside swim with a view. (So we'll have to go back.)
Locals, obviously, who are lucky enough to make a PH₂O visit a regular occurrence.
Those who live a little further afield: the spa is worth some travel for a destination spa day.
Anyone who wants a bit of peace and quiet; the staff are there when you need them but they don't interfere in your precious me-time.
Romantics: Park House is perfect for a weekend with just the two of you. Although if you have to pop out, it might be to nearby Cowdray Park for the polo or the racing at Glorious Goodwood.
Once again, we awarded PH₂O Spa at Park House Hotel a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubbles.
The spa offers results-driven treatments in a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, with friendly staff, fresh food, and fine facilities, all in a little, luxurious, rural escape-pod.
Single Spy visited PH2O at Park House in May 2014
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Bepton, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 0JB
Light refreshments are available in the PH₂O Spa; afternoon tea is served in the Drawing Room; three-course lunches and dinners can be enjoyed in the Dining Room or conservatory.
Seven room styles available from Small Standard rooms to the Polo Cottage Suite. Room rates start at £135 per room per night.
7am – 9pm daily
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