The Spread Eagle is an historic property in the middle of a picturesque Sussex market town. The hotel has all the traditional touches – from oak-beams to leaded-lined windows and an inglenook fireplace. The spa is a modern addition, offering Temple Spa treatments and a bright pool area, with a beamed ceiling and doors opening onto a pretty spa garden. Indoors, there’s a secluded whirlpool and small steam room and sauna. Enjoy lunch in robes in the bright and airy conservatory.
Spread Eagle Spa is in a traditional hotel in the picturesque West Sussex town of Midhurst. The fourteenth-century coaching house has bundles of charm with original features, old-fashioned furniture, and historic art. The spa itself is much more modern, with Scandinavian-style wood and a light-filled pool area.
Park at the side of the white hotel and enter via a patio filled with potted plants. This is where you can have your spa lunch in your robe. There are plush comfortable sofas, chairs and tables with cushions, plants, and blinds rippling over the roof to stop it getting too overheated. One end of the conservatory leads to the hotel, the other to the spa.
What's on offer?
The tiny spa reception area has a front desk and a small sofa, with glass doors to the bright pool area. Spread Eagle Spa is compact but lots of glass and high ceilings give it a bright serenity. It feels intimate and exclusive and wasn't busy while we visited.
The changing rooms are narrow but attractive and clean with flagstone floors and pale cream walls. There is a wooden garden bench and chairs, lockers, three showers stocked with Temple Spa shampoo, conditioner and body wash, and one bathroom. Next to the showers is a vanity area with three hairdryers and cotton pads to remove make-up.
The main spa has the feel of a church with high beamed ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows letting daylight pour in. The 14-metre pool is tiled with deep rich blue mosaics outlining an eagle. There are rows of reclining cushioned loungers with towels, and two coffee tables with magazines. In one corner is a circular hot tub; it's plastic but is clean, works well and could seat no more than four people. The space is pleasant with a circular skylight, and looks out over the garden. Sit bubbling away and gaze at the apple tree or sky. Glass doors lead out to a sweet courtyard garden.
Behind the loungers is the sauna -- very small but clean with a pleasant pine smell -- and the steam room, which has green and white speckled stone slabs and is infused with eucalyptus. Both rooms have glass doors overlooking the pool and would seat four comfortably. In between the sauna and steam room is a shower to cool off, and a water fountain to keep you hydrated.
Spread Eagle Spa has a small but well-equipped gym. Regular yoga, Pilates and exercise classes are held in the rather stunning Jacobean hall in the main hotel.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Work it Out massage (85 minutes, £98).
My therapist, Steph, led me to one of three therapy rooms, each named after a bird. Steph discussed my allergies and adjusted my treatment accordingly.
Steph left the room while I lay face down on the wide treatment bed. When she returned, she checked the temperature and music were okay, then asked me to take three deep breaths. She pressed along my spine, then rolled back the towel and cleansed my feet with warm cloths. She massaged my feet and calves with a cooling gel, pressing into my soles and along the sides of my feet. She brushed each side of my body with a soft but invigorating body brush to get my circulation moving.
Suitably invigorated, we moved on to the back massage. Steph used a mixture of Swedish, deep tissue, and some Thai movements to improve circulation and stimulate lymph flow. Steph followed long sweeping strokes with slow circular movements, then used her forearms to stretch my back. The pressure was perfect; deep but not painful. Eventually, she moved to my legs, using circular and long strokes, bending up at the knee and massaging my calves.
I turned over and Steph massaged the front of my legs, focusing on the tension in my thighs. She moved down to my feet, pulling the toes, pressing into my soles and pressure points.
Steph asked if I wanted my stomach massaged and I said yes. She made deep circular motions along each side, rippling strokes around the centre, carefully placed so as not to overstimulate my digestion, followed by kneading and circular stroking. She then massaged my arms with long strokes moving down to my hands.
To finish, Steph moved up to my shoulders and décolletage, and ended with a lovely head massage. I felt all my knots had faded, my limbs felt heavy and blissful. My skin looked lovely, plump and smooth.
You can eat lunch in your robe in the conservatory. The menu offers sandwiches, burgers, light bites such as breaded halloumi, as well as salads and fish croquettes. My tuna sandwich on granary was perfectly pleasant. There are vegetarian options and an allergy-free menu, too.
In the evening, try the main restaurant in the hotel; it's a pretty cream-painted room with one end overlooking the high street and the other with a big open brick fireplace. Our grilled fillet of sea bass and roast partridge dishes were both delicious.
We loved / we didn't love
The friendly atmosphere in the spa: Spread Eagle Spa is small but you feel cocooned and well looked after. The staff were helpful without being overly attentive.
The pool: It looks lovely with its mosaic eagle and deep blue tiles, and is great for swimming lengths. Thanks to the windows and sweet little garden, the area feels light and bigger than it is.
Our treatment: Steph has a great manner and is very skilled, the room was comfortable, and our skin loved the Temple Spa products.
We didn't love
The lack of a relaxation room: The poolside loungers are extremely comfortable, but the pool is a hot and intense space, especially during aqua-aerobics classes.
Who do you think would like it?
Locals who are lucky enough to live in such a pretty place and have such an attractive, well run spa on their doorstep.
Walkers: Having a Temple Spa treatment after rambling around the beautiful market town and local countryside would be a lovely addition to your stay.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We gave Spread Eagle Spa a Good Spa Guide rating of 4 bubbles. It is a small but perfectly formed spa. It's very well run, the staff are friendly, the pool is a delight, and the spa offers some very decadent treatments.
visited in September 2016 and awarded it .
South Street ,
The 2 AA rosette restaurant serves modern British cuisine.
39 rooms and six room types available, from Standard Rooms to the Queen’s Suite.