Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa sits in a rural part of the Sussex countryside. The spa is built in the style of a Sussex barn, but with huge windows that allow you to gaze out from the indoor pool to the heated outdoor pool and gardens. The spa offers well-priced and excellent treatments from Temple Spa, and a raised spa lounge with a terrace over the pool. The 30 acres of grounds not only have a coastal view (give or take the odd hedge), but an ostentation of peacocks – which you might catch a glimpse of while bubbling away in the outdoor hot tub.
- Family swim times
- 6 treatment rooms
- Relaxation area
- Indoor swimming pool
- Steam room
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Outdoor hot tub
- Temple Spa
Our Spa Spy review
Bailiffscourt is an incredibly restful faux-medieval hotel just a few metres from the pebble beach at Climping. Built in the 1920s, the main hall was painstakingly created to resemble a medieval building, so much so that we could barely tell the difference. The hotel buildings are spread out over the grounds (the estates tallies 30 acres) with a thatched cottage, church and a very modern spa.
What's on offer?
Bailiffscourt Spa is in a Sussex-barn-style building with soaring ceilings, heavy wooden beams and glass walls which flood the space with light. It's a few steps away from the main hotel; if you're visiting for the day, you can park in the spa's own car park.
The double-height reception shows off the architecture of the spa; it's bright even on a cloudy day. There are comfortable sofas, flickering candles, hanging seats, shelves with Temple Spa products and a large reception desk. A member of the spa team welcomed us, showed us to a sofa and asked us to fill in a consultation form.
The changing rooms are very small, but have everything you'll need during your spa day. A U-shape of honey-coloured lockers has bench seating along one edge, with a curtain you can draw at the far end if you wish to change in private. Three clean showers have shampoo, conditioner and body wash. The well-lit vanity bar has hairdryers, body lotion and tissues. There's a small WC, too. Just outside the changing rooms are shelves stocked with towels; help yourself pre- and post-swim.
The pools are the star of the show at Bailiffscourt Spa. Indoors, the 16-metre swimming pool sits under the full height of the building with flagstone floors and two glass walls looking over the spa garden; a hot tub at one end of the pool has enough space for four people to bubble away. There are plenty of loungers with comfortable cushions and, to one side of the wet space, is the traditional wooden sauna and tiled steam room; both would seat four or five. The sauna was super-hot during our visit, but sadly the steam room was out of order. Try the metal, free-standing shower outside the heat rooms to cool off.
Glass doors take you outside to a very sheltered spa garden with another 16-metre, green-tiled swimming pool; this is heated to 30 degrees so you can swim even in winter. A large hydro- pool, which would comfortably take six to eight, is tucked under a balcony on the edge of the barn. If you visit in the summer, the sheltered garden is perfect to stretch out on a lounger and soak up the sun.
On a mezzanine level above reception is a spa lounge which feels very homey. Sofas, seats, a large piece of landscape art and a coffee-maker make this feel like a very smart living room -- though we weren't quite sure what to make of the wide-screen TV. Seating outside on the high balcony looks out over the garden. If you order a spa lunch, you can eat here.
The small post-treatment relaxation room is only available to spa guests so is very quiet. Four purple cushioned loungers have pillows and blankets. Help yourself to water, tea and magazines.
There's a gym, too.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Champagne and Truffles facial (90 minutes; £128).
My therapist, Danielle, met me in reception and took me to our treatment room which had soft-taupe walls and flickering lights. We discussed my skin (combination and difficult) and any aches and pains (lower back and jaw). Danielle explained that the treatment would include much more than a traditional facial.
The treatment bed was covered in a warm hydro-therm water mattress, which immediately took the pressure off my back. Danielle started by massaging my feet, encouraging me to relax and let go. She cleansed my face twice so she could take a look at my skin, declaring it "oily" and "dehydrated". She used a light oil to massage my skin using lots of different strokes: short sharp pinches on my hairline, hypnotic figure-of-eight movements around my eyes, and soft coaxing strokes on my jaw.
Danielle applied a glycolic mask which she allowed to dry, rubbed in, then cleansed again with hot cloths. Next up was the hydrating, golden Trufflesque mask; as my skin soaked up the moisture, Danielle massaged my scalp. She cleansed again for the third mask, this time a thick alginate mask, and exfoliated and massaged my hands and arms while it set.
Danielle finished the treatment by applying a serum, moisturiser, and eye and lip creams. She asked me to take three deep breaths and gave me a few minutes to come round from the treatment and get back into my robe. Danielle took me to the relaxation room and brought a selection of truffles and a pear juice (I was sadly a sober Spa Spy that day). My skin was exfoliated, hydrated and deeply clean; my body was so relaxed, I didn't want my day to end.
You can eat in your robe in the upstairs spa lounge; choose from a menu of salads, sandwiches and sweet treats. Allergens are highlighted on the menu so you can see what's gluten-free, vegetarian or dairy-free. We tried the Rojak salad, a tropical, spicy salad with grilled tofu and pineapple: fresh and delicious.
If you're looking for something more filling, you can dress and head to the Tapestry restaurant in the main hotel. The fine-dining restaurant offers fresh, locally-sourced food; there's even a map showing you exactly where they buy their ingredients. We tried the restaurant in the evening (dinner is included in many spa-break packages) and enjoyed three courses of gravlax, cod and an apple galette. The dishes were pretty, generous and left us very happy Spa Spies.
We loved / we didn't love
The spa design: The bright and modern spa feel is as architecturally striking as a medieval hotel built in the 1920s.
The indulgent treatments: Full of flair, we loved our facial and our very skilled therapist.
The garden: Visit in the summer to make the most of the coastal air.
We didn't love
The small changing rooms and heat facilities: They're both well-kept but limited space means they can feel quite intimate.
Who do you think would like it?
Bailiffscourt is so peaceful, it lends itself to quieter spa time; a romantic break, mother and daughter day or even a solo visit.
Foodies will enjoy the locally sourced, beautifully prepared food.
Dog lovers: Four-legged friends are welcome at Bailiffscourt, try the Sandy Paws package for happy pups.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded Bailiffscourt Spa a Good Spa Guide Bubble Rating of 5 Bubbles. The restful atmosphere, indulgent treatments and lovely pools make Bailiffscourt a great place for a spa time; grab a best friend or partner and make your spa escape to the coast.
Spa lunches can be served in the relaxation area, or in the main restaurant; the Tapestry Restaurant serves a modern English menu at lunch and dinner.
See the hotels entry on Pride of Britain Hotels.
39 rooms and suites available and six room types. Rates start at £220 for a Classic Cosy Room. .
Weekdays: 7am - 9pm; Weekends: 8am - 9pm