Opened in February 2019 the Spa at South Lodge is a 44,000 sq. ft. exclusive luxury spa with a state-of-the-art gym and spin studio, indoor pool, outdoor hydrotherapy pool and swim pond, a thermal suite, treatment rooms for members, hotel residents and spa day guests.
Set into the natural contours of the land, The Spa complements the landscape with a grass and sedum roof and green oak cladding. Designed with sustainability in mind, bringing the outside in and extending the spa out into the grounds.
Outside are terraced sun decks, an outside natural swimming pond, hydrotherapy pool and a dining terrace. Inside features floor to ceiling windows in the gym, thermal suite and indoor infinity pool.
In addition, and open to everyone to enjoy, is the Ridgeview Beauty Bar and Botanica, a Mediterranean inspired restaurant.
- XXL robes available
- Family swim times
- Child care facilities
- 22m x 10m indoor infinty ozone treated pool
- 18m natural reed filtered heated pool
- 10m x 4m outdoor vitality hydrotherapy pool
- Chamomile infused sauna
- Aromatic herbal steam room infused with jasmine
- Rasul mud therapy suite
- Ridgeway beauty bar with 4 manicure stations and 2 pedicure stations
- The Spa Range
Our Spa Spy review
South Lodge is a grand Victorian manor house set in 93 acres of gardens and parkland. By contrast the spa is ultra-modern with huge glass walls and a wave-form grass and sedum roof. Follow the path from the car park through the gardens to the spa reception. Once inside, glance to your left and you have an amazing view of the South Downs. The spa has been built to take advantage of these views, with the pools and outdoor terrace all facing south and catching the sun.
What's on offer?
The spa is set over two floors. On the ground floor is the reception, the large lounge and restaurant, the Ridgeview beauty room, a retail area and the treatment rooms. The changing rooms, the gym, a holistic studio, a spinning room and the heat experiences and pools are one floor down.
We were warmly greeted, shown round the spa and given a wristband to operate the locker and access the outdoor area.
The changing rooms have Dyson hairdryers and well-lit mirrors: these are well spaced, so you can style your hair without bumping elbows. Central in the changing rooms is a large TV screen and bright orange sofas, so if you must have your news fix, you can catch up here.
The 22-metre infinity-edge, ozone-treated swimming pool is the centrepiece of the spa, there’s plenty of seating around it where you can chill out between dips. Outside is a large hydrotherapy pool with massage jets, and down a few steps is the 18-metre outdoor natural swimming pond.
The heat experiences include a sauna with curved wave pattern ceiling and a glass wall, so you can roast gently while enjoying the views across the Downs. The jasmine herbal steam room, which has a semicircle of blue-tiled seats, provides a warm spot to sit, ponder and watch people enjoying the hydrotherapy pool outside. The marble-lined salt steam room is invigorating. All the rooms feel large and can take 10-12 people.
There are two relaxation areas. The spa lounge is next to the restaurant and has soft chairs and sofas. You can order drinks here and this is where you wait before treatments. It’s quite buzzy and bright. The deep relaxation area near the treatment rooms is calm and quiet. It has soft seats and colour changing beds with built-in headphones.
The theme of the spa is ‘bringing the outside in’ which it does with glass walls and outdoor terraces. Glass screens use a golden tree branch motif and coffee tables in the lounge area look like huge slices of tree trunk.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Omorovicza Botanical Treatment (80 minutes, from £140) which uses products developed by the Hungarian Laboratory of Dermatology.
Jenna, my therapist, began with a back exfoliation which she removed with warm mitts. She then applied a rich oil for the massage. Jenna worked hard on my neck and shoulder area and then used her forearms and elbows to stretch my spine. It’s only once your spine is loosened like this that you realise how tense you usually are.
I was nicely relaxed for the facial which used impressively named products; a cleansing balm of Hungarian Moor Mud, a neroli and rose scented toner called Queen of Hungary Mist, and a serum called Omeressence. This was followed by the Copper Peel - a copper paste with a lactic acid activator which brightens the skin. I half expected to find that this tingled or hurt but I didn’t notice anything, maybe because Jenna was distracting me with a lovely hand and arm exfoliation and massage. She finished the treatment with a plumping mask.
Jenna escorted me to the deep relaxation room. I was very relaxed and glad to have somewhere quiet to gradually come around from the treatment. I spent awhile dozing on the colour changing bed. Once I felt ready, I moved across to a seat in the brighter area before heading back to the pools.
The Spa at South Lodge offers a range of massages, wraps and facials. Try the rasul mud room, bamboo massage or reflexology. It also has a grooming room for a haircut, blow dry or hot towel shave. Manis, pedis and make-up are delivered in the Ridgeview beauty room accompanied by a glass of Ridgeview fizz.
Botanica is the bright and comfortable spa restaurant which includes a number of plant based dishes with many ingredients sourced locally and prepared with a Mediterranean touch . Their ‘Small Plates’ are ideal if you have had a day of spa-ing; the ‘Large Plates’ should replenish your energy if you have been busy in the gym or pool. Try the ‘Wasted’ veggie-burger made fresh each day with the pulp from the juice bar.
Botanica is open all day to everyone, not just spa-goers and serves a great brunch. I had granola with poached pineapple and home-made kefir, followed by wild mushrooms on sourdough with Botanica Pesto. The juices are freshly squeezed and served with the option of an added health tincture created specifically for the spa by a local herbalist. I had the skin beauty botanical since I was having a facial later.
If you are staying in the hotel book the Camellia Restaurant. We sat on the terrace and enjoyed the stone bass with samphire, courgettes and lobster bisque which was light but intensely flavoured, and the Citrus Pavlova – a lovely combination of sweetness and sharpness.
We loved / we didn't love
The sustainability: The Spa at South Lodge has been designed from the ground up with sustainability in mind. They use a bio-mass boiler, water is cleaned using a reed bed, they have chosen their robes and towels to minimise environmental impact -- and they don’t use single use plastics.
The outdoor spaces: The shape of the spa building and the natural dip in the landscape means that the outdoors areas are sheltered and a suntrap.
The restaurant: Food is fresh, local and unusual. Botanica is a great place to sit, read and sip an unusual drink.
What we didn’t love
Getting in and out of the natural pond was a bit of a challenge as the ladder stops before you reach the bottom!
Who do you think would like it?
Young creatives types: It has that Babington House vibe – natural and botanical products and food, amazing views so you can get your green fix, and it looks cool.
Green spa-goers: with its sustainability credentials, locally sourced food and naturally filtered outdoor pool, you can spa in luxury with a clean conscience.
Male spa goers and couples: The barbers offers a range of bespoke grooming and hairdressing. There are spa treatments for couples, and a mud room experience for two
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded The Spa at South Lodge our top rating of Five Bubble Luxury. The spa has the sort of architecture that makes you feel great just by being there and their sustainability credentials are industry-leading. The customer service is excellent, the food in the Botanica restaurant is enticing and the treatments are unusual and effective.
Open to everyone to enjoy, spa goers and non spa goers, Botanica is a brand new restaurant where head chef Jonathan Spiers draws on the South Downs as a larder for fresh and seasonal ingredients. Although not exclusively vegetarian, the menu features a plethora of plant-based plates influenced by Mediterranean dishes.
There is an array of delicious choices throughout the day for all to enjoy. Guests are welcome to take a seat for brunch, lunch or dinner overlooking the stunning views of the South Downs. Botanica evolves throughout the day to suit your needs and always provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for any occasion.
All Day Dining 8am - 8pm
Brunch (8am -12pm), lunch and light bites
Dinner 6pm - 9pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday
For our spa goers who are after something a little more casual, The Watershed serve a selection of drinks and light bites for those relaxing by our swim pond throughout the day during the summer months.
With two award-winning restaurants and alfresco dining in the hotel, The Cellar, The Billiard Bar, lounges and the terrace for coffee or afternoon tea, and private dining rooms open to residents and non-residents alike, South Lodge has a dining experience and atmosphere for every occasion.
84 bedroom beautiful South Lodge hotel is right beside The Spa.
Weekdays 6.00am - 10.00pm
Weekends 7.00am - 9.00pm
Travel and Parking
Parking in the hotel car park
South Lodge is less than a 10 minute drive from Horsham, a pretty market town which has direct train lines to London. It is 15 minutes from Gatwick Airport, very close to the M23, and trains via London Victoria are 27 minutes to Gatwick (via Gatwick Express) or 50 minutes to Horsham..