Park House is a smart country house surrounded by ten acres of peaceful grounds. PH₂0 is a small but opulent spa in the most tranquil setting. Try the 15-metre mother-of-pearl lined indoor pool, sauna and steam room before drifting outside to the pool with lots of loungers to order food from the quirky shed café, which serves drinks and light bites. A spa escape combines great treatments and luxurious facilities with the hotel’s impeccable customer service, peaceful accommodation and good food.
- Single sex facilities
- Family swim times
- 15m indoor swimming pool
- Heated outdoor pool (summer)
- Steam room
- Relaxation rooms
- Fitness studio
- Golf and separate putting green
- Seasonal tennis courts
- Croquet lawn
- Bowls lawn
- Lava Shells
- Kerstin Florian
Our Spa Spy review
Park House is an Edwardian, family-owned country-house hotel with white-painted lattice bay windows, red-tiled roofs, and beautifully trimmed tennis and croquet lawns. Walk through towering gate posts and along a path lined with ornamental grasses and shrubbery to PH20, the hotel's spa. A black timber and brick building with glass doors, it's boutique (and very chic).
What's on offer?
The reception area has grey slate floors, glass walls showing off the glamorous indoor pool, a T-shaped cream sofa, a high-backed grey leather sofa and a table with iced tea and water. Modern oil paintings of Sussex beach scenes dominate the walls. To the front is a large, well-stocked gym.
Down past a bronze statue of dancing figures are the changing rooms, which are small but perfectly formed. All wood, grey marble and chrome fittings, they have the feel of a luxury 1920s liner; beautifully laundered rolled grey towels and folded white robes are everywhere, too. Around a central column of wooden lockers are cushioned benches and two vanity areas with hairdryers, straighteners and moisturiser. The three large showers with green glass doors and marble walls are stocked with Voya products. Opposite is a small footbath in a marble walled nook with red cushioned seating and, to the rear, a female-only sauna and steam room.
If it's sunny, you may want to head straight to the heated outdoor pool. Grab a lounger while you can, or perch on bar stools and tables by the wooden pool bar. Help yourself from jugs of cold and fruit-infused water on a table, or ask a passing pool butler for a drink. The enclosed area feels like a Mediterranean villa, with geraniums, grasses, topiary in pots, and covered tables and chairs for sitting, eating, sipping coffee, and reading the paper. From a raised patio, you can also enjoy bucolic views of the rolling Sussex downs.
Indoors, the 15-metre pool is set in a barn-style building with a high wooden gabled ceiling, grey slate floors and marble tiled walls. Compared to the rustic charm of outdoors, this area feels very sleek and quite masculine. Both the pool and raised, circular Jacuzzi are tiled with grey and mother-of-pearl mosaic squares that glint in the sunlight. The water is cool and clean, with a lane roped off for serious swimmers. Underwater lighting adds a magical, cave-like feel to the otherwise dark pool, as well as helpful lighting on the steps at either end. There are two loungers, and a bench with a basket of freshly rolled towels on hand.
A glass-balconied mezzanine overlooking the pool has loungers, chairs and tables with magazines, and a small kitchenette where you can make teas, coffees or help yourself to water. Windows look out over the countryside.
The treatment area has a circular Deco-style reception desk, mirrors and lamps, cream sofa and wooden floor. To the rear is a manicure and beauty area, with a patterned upholstered armchair. Each of the four treatment rooms has a dash of country-house charm to it, with patterned blinds and chairs. The small, dark relaxation room has a cream chaise longue and two easy chairs with foot stools.
Tell us about the treatments
I filled out my consultation form on arrival, so headed straight to the treatment area at the allotted time. My therapist, Megan, led me to a room with soft lighting and chill-out music.
The treatment was a VOYA Voyager Total Massage Journey (85 minutes, £95), and before it began, Megan let me choose between four oils. I chose lavender, then stripped off and slipped between the towels.
Megan washed my feet and gave each side of me a pleasantly tingling body brush. She then drizzled on the warmed oil and gently smoothed it into my skin. Covering my lower half, she gave my back a long and intense massage, with flowing, firm movements that mimicked the rhythm of the sea. She used her hands, forearms, elbows and knuckles, working up into the back of my neck. It was gorgeous, and I wanted it to last forever.
Megan stretched and massaged my legs simultaneously, then worked the soles of my feet. I turned over, and again she brushed each side of my front, then massaged in the warm lavender oil. I had to wake myself up a couple of times as she massaged my arms and hands, and either side of my neck. It ended with the most blissful head massage, which sent me into a-dream-like state. At the end, Megan left me to get up in my own time, which was lucky as my limbs -- and mind -- were like syrup. All I wanted to do was snooze.
It was one of the best massages I'd had for a long time: I loved every moment (even when I briefly lost consciousness). Afterwards, my skin felt richly oiled and smelled of lavender fields.
You can order food at the pool bar, or from the indoor pool mezzanine whilst still wearing your robe. The menu offers a tempting selection of healthy salads, hot and cold meals, sandwiches, snacks, less healthy options and puddings. I sat on the raised terrace overlooking undulating fields, and went for a delicious stilton, walnut and apple salad with a cheeky side order of French fries -- both perfect, although a little slow on delivery. Later, I lived the dream and ordered a Prosecco by the pool.
In the evening, I ate at the hotel restaurant, a pretty, light conservatory overlooking the croquet lawn and gardens. The food is locally-sourced, and popular with locals who aren't staying overnight. My beetroot risotto served with goat's cheese samosas was mouth-wateringly tasty.
We loved / we didn't love
Our massage: It was just heavenly.
The exclusive yet homely atmosphere: We felt like guests at a posh aunt's weekend retreat and didn't want to leave.
Sipping a G&T in the honesty bar: Simply write down your room number and help yourself!
We didn't love
Having to fetch our own flip-flops from the car or the lateness of our lunch, although staff were incredibly apologetic.
Who do you think would like it?
Alan Ayckbourn, Tom Conti and Cleo Laine, apparently ... along with all the other celebrities I struggled to recognise from their signed photos in the bar.
There were some truly gorgeous creatures draped around the pool, too, but I also spotted older friends, couples, regular members exchanging gossip, and families with well-behaved small children.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
PH2O at Park house definitely retains its rating of 5 bubbles this year. It's a small, delightful spa that combines boutique chic with quintessential countryside charm. Treatments felt luxurious and indulgent, the outdoor pool has a lively Mediterranean-holiday feel, and the indoor pool area is peaceful and stylish.
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