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.
- Family swim times
- Six treatment rooms
- Relaxation room
- Steam room
- 20m indoor swimming pool
- Temple Spa
Our Spa Spy review
The Spread Eagle is a historic coaching inn hotel in the quintessentially Sussex village of Midhurst. The traditional part of the hotel dates back to 1430, with uneven floors, low doorways and four-poster beds. Through a conservatory walkway, the spa has a few nods to history with heavy wooden beams and treatment rooms under the eaves, but the recently refurbished wet facilities are light and bright.
What's on offer?
Spread Eagle Spa is small but lots of glass and high ceilings give it a bright and positive feel. The numbers of people using the spa are purposefully kept low so it feels intimate and exclusive rather than busy.
The tiny spa reception has a front desk and a small comfortable sofa, with glass doors to the bright pool area. Two happy spa assistants checked us in, handed over consultation forms and brought us glasses of fruit-infused water to sip while we filled in our information.
The changing rooms are narrow but bright with yellow walls and honey-hued lockers. There is a wooden garden bench and chairs, lockers, three showers stocked with Temple Spa shampoo, conditioner and body wash, and one WC. Next to the showers is a vanity area with three hairdryers and cotton pads to remove make-up. The changing rooms are well looked after, with everything you'll need during your spa time.
The pool area 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 turquoise 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 pretty courtyard garden with more loungers and a wooden sculpture of a woman diving into water.
The newly-renovated wooden sauna has twinkly lights in the ceiling and the steam room is white-tiled. 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.
The dark relaxation room upstairs is a new addition for 2017. Dark grey walls, long grey loungers with faux-fur blankets and cushions, and individual reading lights make the space perfect for post-treatment Zen. Switch off the light and snooze or curl up with a magazine. Help yourself at the sideboard to tea and fruit-infused water.
Spread Eagle Spa has a small but well-equipped gym.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the New Beginnings pre-natal massage (60 minutes; £81).
My therapist, Laura, met me at the spa reception and took me upstairs to our treatment room which had high ceilings opened up in the eaves. Because of my bump, Laura explained that I should lie on a warm water-filled hydrotherm mattress, so she could massage my back with me lying on one side then the other.
The hydrotherm mattress was divine, taking the pressure off my lower back and gently cocooning me in its warmth. Laura started the treatment by asking me to take three deep breaths, then massaged my face, scalp and décolletage. Laura used lots of different movements on my face, from figure-of-eight circles round my eyes, to pinching movements on my hairline, and long lifting strokes on my jaw. Laura continued the massage down my body to the front and back of my arms, then my legs.
Laura asked me to turn onto my right-hand side so she could massage the left side of my back. She used a really good pressure to tackle the tension -- exactly as I had asked. I turned over again so she could do the same on the other side. I was blissfully happy and had just decided I could drop off to sleep when Laura asked me to take three deep breaths and finished the treatment.
Laura gave me a few moments to get up and back into my robe before taking me to the relaxation room. I was deeply relaxed and my back was much looser; the best pregnancy massage I've had.
You can eat in your robe in the conservatory between the spa and the main hotel restaurant. Choose three courses from the main restaurant menu or opt for the lighter snacking menu, which includes sandwiches, salads, soup and house burgers. We tried a tomato soup and ham and honey-mustard sandwich; both were generous, fresh and well presented.
The main restaurant comes into its own in the evening with low lighting and very traditional décor. The à la carte menu uses locally sourced ingredients to create very good brasserie-style food from steaks to twice-baked cheese soufflé.
We loved / we didn't love
The very traditional customer service: The friendly staff on reception can see through to the pool and were quick to help with extra towels and drinks. We also loved the suited and booted staff at lunch.
The pretty spa garden: The lovely, well-designed space is a nice surprise in a town-centre spa.
Our treatment: We felt our therapist really listened and adapted the massage to suit.
We didn't love
The plastic hot tub: It was well kept and clean but still felt a little at odds with the other beautiful finishes.
Who do you think would like it?
Couples: The good treatments, quiet spa and excellent food lend themselves to a romantic break. We saw several couples doing just that.
Those who look for character: Spread Eagle is one of England's oldest coaching inns, with stories including a stolen Eagle pennant from World War Two, and the meeting point between Admiral Lord Nelson and his mistress Emma.
Polo fans: Cowdray Park is just five minutes from the spa. Book in for a pedicure before you stomp divots.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded Spread Eagle Spa a Good Spa Guide rating of 4 bubbles. The changing rooms and thermal facilities are rather small but a recent renovation has given the spa a new and brighter feel. Pair a morning wandering Midhurst with lunch, an afternoon in the spa and some excellent treatments.
The 2 AA rosette restaurant serves modern British cuisine.
39 rooms and six room types available, from Classic Cosy Rooms to the Sussex Junior Suite.
Monday to Sunday: 10am - 6pm