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. Plus, The Watershed offering drinks, gelatos and light bites to enjoy poolside during the summer months. 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
- 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
- Two all-weather astroturf tennis courts
- All treatments must be booked in advance
- Towels, robes and flipflops will be available
- During all treatments you have the option to wear a facemask if you would like
- We have the highest standard of cleanliness through the spa to keep it a safe and relaxing environment for you and our team. Screens are in place at spa reception and we have sanitising stations available throughout.
- In line with government guidelines, it is no long mandatory to wear a face mask in the spa, it is a personal choice. Our therapists however will remain wearing masks and/or visors during your treatment.
- Comfort Zone
Our Spa Spy review
South Lodge is a grand Victorian, honey-hued, manor house set in 93 acres of gardens and parkland. The grounds were created by 18th century botanist, Frederick Ducane Godman, hence the botany-themed spa. 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 for amazing view of the South Downs. The spa has been built to take advantage of its surrounds, with the pools and outdoor terrace all facing south to catch the sun.
What's on offer?
The spa is set over two floors with the reception, large lounge, restaurant, Ridgeview beauty room, boutique shop area and treatment rooms on the ground floor; head down for the changing rooms, gym, holistic studio, spinning room, heat experiences and pools.
We were warmly greeted, shown around the spa, and handed a wristband to operate the locker and access the outdoor area.
Changing rooms are stylish in dark blue with gold pendant lights, bright orange sofas and lots of good size lockers with names like ‘yew’, ‘fig’ and ‘elderberry’. Eight large showers are stocked with The Spa fig and vanilla shampoo, conditioner and body wash; vanity areas equipped with Dyson hairdryers, straighteners and well-lit mirrors - all well-spaced, so you can style your hair without bumping elbows.
Heat experiences include a large sauna with curved wave pattern ceiling and a glass wall, so you can roast gently while enjoying views across the Downs. The floral scent of the jasmine herbal steam room - which has a semicircle of blue-tiled seats - transports you straight to a Thai island. The marble-lined, mint-scented salt steam room is hot and invigorating; cool off beneath the icy-cold bucket shower. All thermal rooms are large and comfortably seat 10-12. Sit on the long, mermaid-tail tiled bench in the centre of the thermal area and hydrate between heat sessions while watching people bubbling away in the hydrotherapy pool outside.
If time allows, swim leisurely lengths in the spectacular 22-metre infinity-edge, ozone-treated indoor swimming pool before relaxing on a grey rattan lounger, of which there are plenty. Early birds can swim with the sunrise from 6am.
Don’t miss a wallow in the large hydrotherapy pool with its massage jets and incredible views of the Sussex countryside; head down a few steps from here to brave the 18-metre natural swimming pond.
After a quick pep talk, we nipped straight from the sauna to the naturally-filtered pool and gentle lowered ourselves into pond. Don’t be put off by the cooler winter temperature (now 17.C) as it usually guarantees you’ll have the whole pool to yourself.
You’ll find two areas in which to relax: a buzzy spa lounge with soft chairs and sofas on which to order, and sip, drinks and a deep relaxation area near the treatment rooms, which is calm and quiet, and equipped with beds.
The Ridgeview Beauty Bar is light, airy and nods to its namesake with a huge picture of the local Ridgeview vineyard gracing the wall. Jessica manis/pedis are on the menu, along with make-up and brows by Mii. Want to exercise as part of your spa day? Head to the 200sq metre gym on the lower floor for new equipment, a spin studio and an alfresco gym. Two brand new all-weather tennis courts will open in April.
The theme of the spa is ‘bringing the outside in’ which it does via 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 tried the Omorovicza Botanical Treatment (80 minutes, from £160), designed for South Lodge on the concept of bringing the outside in.
My therapist, Lauren, collected me from the relaxation room and led me to a low-lit, beautifully scented treatment room. Lauren talked me through the treatment, asked about any concerns and left the room so I could de-robe and lay face-down on the heated treatment bed.
The treatment commenced with a relaxing back treatment: a deep cleansing exfoliation with moor mud and sea salt, followed by a back massage using heated quartz crystals combined with an oil infused with sage, chamomile, rosemary and rose geranium.
The facial began with a double cleanse using Thermal Cleansing Balm with uplifting orange blossom and Cleansing Foam White with Lupin extract to energise the skin. Cult product Queen of Hungary Mist was then spritzed liberally to purify and tone the skin.
Lauren then applied a rose-scented Omorovicza Gold Hydralifting Mask containing colloidal gold and hyaluronic acid to renew and hydrate the skin. While the mask worked its magic, Lauren performed a heavenly scalp massage. She then applied Miracle Face Oil, a natural, gentler alternative to retinol made with Bakuchi oil.
Lauren finished the treatment with cold derma-globes to around my eyes, which felt incredibly refreshing, some Illumineye C eye serum and a dollop of Daily Vitamin C serum.
After a cup of jasmine tea and a quick doze on a bed in the deep relaxation room, I examined my previously dehydrated skin: now beautifully plump and radiant.
The Spa at South Lodge offers a range of massages, wraps and facials, a rasul mud room, bamboo massage and reflexology. 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 where you can eat in your robe. On the menu: plant-based dishes using sourced-locally ingredients prepared with a Mediterranean touch. There is also a huge selection of free-from options.
The all-day menu offers tapas-style dishes with small plates ideal for a day of spa-ing; a large plate should replenish your energy if you have been busy in the gym or pool. We opted for the South Lodge Caesar salad with chicken and crispy kale – a light but filling pre-spa feast. Try the ‘Wasted’ veggie-burger made fresh each day with the pulp from the juice bar.
Outside, The Watershed offers drinks, gelatos and light bites to enjoy poolside during the summer months.
If you are staying overnight, book into the Camellia Restaurant. We enjoyed a perfectly-balanced starter of tartare of beef with smoked egg yolk and summer truffle, accompanied by crisp melba sourdough toast. We followed this with beautifully-cooked south coast Brill with zingy crab ravioli and lime. We even squeezed in the rich and decadent chocolate and coffee delice with coffee ice cream.
We loved / we didn't love
The outdoor area: the shape of the spa building and the natural dip in the landscape means that the outdoors area is sheltered and gets plenty of sun.
The natural swimming pond: while everyone adores the bubbly hydropool (and rightly so), the natural swimming pond has its own kind of magic.
The Spa at South Lodge has been designed with sustainability firmly in mind. A bio-mass boiler, water that’s cleaned through a reed bed, robes and towels chosen to minimise environmental impact and a ban on single-use plastic but them ahead of the eco race.
We didn’t love:
The little walk from the spa building to the hotel post-treatment - rather chilly in a robe in the winter months.
Who do you think would like it?
Green spa-goers: with its sustainability credentials, locally-sourced plant-based food and naturally filtered outdoor pool, you can spa in luxury with a clean conscience.
Loved-up couples: there are spa treatments for couples and a mud room experience for two – plus couple-sized pool-side loungers – perfect for cosying up.
Solo spa-goers: super-friendly staff, amazing views and plenty of spaces to curl up with a good book post-treatment.
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 and surrounds that makes you feel great just by being there, and their sustainability credentials are industry leading. The staff are super-friendly, but professional; the food exciting, and the treatments are luxurious and effective. What’s not to love?
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.
Monday – Thursday 8am – 6pm with last tables seated at 5.45pm
Friday – Sunday 8am – 8.30pm with last tables seated at 8.15pm
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..