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Utopia Spa at Alexander House Hotel
East Grinstead, West Sussex , RH10 4QD
Has a pool
Has thermal facilities
25 treatment rooms
Set in 120 acres of gardens, woodland and parkland, the five-star Alexander House is ideal for a tranquil spa break in the Sussex countryside. Utopia Spa has a calming, Grecian-inspired interior, with a deep-blue swimming pool surrounded by temple-like pillars. Fittingly, treatments are from Mediterranean-inspired brand Temple Spa, with therapies on offer to soothe both your mind and body. Outdoors in the peaceful spa garden, you can relax in the hot tub and enjoy the views.
1 person says this spa is romantic.
Alexander House Hotel is a red-brick Georgian manor house, set in 120 acres of Sussex countryside. The hotel has a warm and inviting feel. As we arrived, the smell of smoke from a wood-burning stove welcomed us in. High ceilings and oak-wood cladding set the countryside tone; the use of cool, fresh colours creates a perfect example of traditional meets contemporary.
A few steps away from the hotel entrance is the Utopia Spa. Follow the sound of trickling water and you will find yourself at the spa reception. Say hello to the resident Zebra Finches as you pass; they are homed in an ornate birdcage in the corridor opposite floor-to-ceiling windows. The spa assistants greeted us with a welcoming smile and a complimentary hot drink and a home-made flapjack.
Utopia Spa at Alexander House is set over three levels. Spa reception is on the ground floor, where there’s plenty of seating and tables: perfect for catching up with friends over a drink, or reading a book in the natural light.
The changing rooms have large lockers, a private changing cubicle, two toilets, five showers and heat experiences in the changing area. In the centre is a vanity island with hairdryers, straighteners and Temple Spa body lotion.
The thermal experiences include a wonderfully warm bronze mosaic steam room filled with eucalyptus-scented steam, a Scandinavian style wooden sauna with four seats, and an experience shower which has different settings, taking you from cool to hot.
The swimming pool area is low lit with Grecian-style pillars and dark-blue mosaic tiles. At 15 metres, the main pool is large enough for a few leisurely lengths, and warm enough to enjoy them. There are loungers around the pool and spa butlers on hand to take your drink orders. The jewel in the crown is the hydrotherapy pool. The round hydro-pool has lots of different air jets, and the swan-neck fountains did wonders for our shoulder tension. There’s also a separate indoor hot tub.
Head out to the spa garden, and you’ll find a perfectly hot Jacuzzi that would comfortably seat six. In mid-January, we happily bubbled in the fresh air. In summer months, the garden would be a great spot to relax and top up on your sunshine. Tucked away in one corner is the barrel sauna, a round, hot, wooden pod with a window to peek out at the garden.
There are four private hot tubs which you can book in half hour slots at an additional cost. Order some champagne, head down a pathway from the spa garden and find your own piece of spa heaven.
Utopia Spa has 25 treatment rooms and a dark relaxation room for post-treatment snoozes, where you can snuggle up on a comfortable lounger and while away the afternoon. There’s also a manicure and pedicure room, gym and class studio.
The hotel has a variety of rooms and suites to choose from; we were lucky enough to stay overnight in a suite. We loved the free-standing bath and the views over neighbouring landscapes. Alexander House is definitely a place for a special occasion. If you stay overnight, you can take the staircase straight down to the ground-floor changing rooms.
We had the ila Gold Cellular Age Restore Facial (55 minutes, £99). My warm and friendly therapist, Harriet, met me at reception and escorted me to "Breathe", our treatment room. After an explanation of ila's holistic roots, Harriet left the room while I got comfortable on the treatment bed, wrapped in linen sheets with towels on top: very cosy.
Harriet began with a foot scrub to "ground" me, which she removed with steamy hot towels. She cleansed and exfoliated my skin before applying the heavenly scented Rose Face Oil to my face, neck and shoulders. The massage used light lymphatic drainage movements and herbal poultices for pressure-point work; it was so relaxing, I missed most of the massage because I drifted off.
Harriet applied a mud mask to my face and massaged my hands while the mask worked into my skin. She removed the first mask and applied a second which was a fabric mesh soaked in ila's Gold Serum. She then placed little goggles over my eyes in preparation for a UV light. The hand-held machine has different settings for different parts of the treatment. The first used sonic wave therapy with the aim of smoothing fine lines. Harriet slowly moved the machine over my skin moving from the centre of my face outwards. The super-fast vibrations were very gentle and I could barely feel them. Harriet then used the machine to shine intense blue and green lights over my oily and sensitive skin.
Harriet applied a serum and moisturiser to finish. My skin felt nourished and plump, so the ila Gold Age Restore Facial would be a great option for someone with dry skin. The experience as a whole was deeply relaxing and I loved the jasmine scents throughout.
Utopia Spa at Alexander House offers a wide range of treatments including traditional and ayurvedic-inspired massages, facials, wraps and scrubs. You can also book manicures and pedicures and hair-salon treats. There are treatments suitable for men and mums-to-be, too.
If you visit Utopia Spa for a day, you can eat in Reflections just next to the spa. The restaurant is private enough to feel comfortable eating in your robe and slippers. Choose from a two-course lunch, with lots of hot and cold options, or afternoon tea. We went for the savoury option and had the soup of the day and a vegetable tart with salad. The food was well presented and very tasty.
The privacy of the sauna and steam room in the female changing rooms. Sometimes it can feel awkward sitting next to a strange man when you’re feeling body-conscious!
The water facilities: We could have lost ourselves in the pools for hours -- especially with the spa butler offering drinks.
The spa garden's steamy hot tub: We were lucky enough to have the area to ourselves, but you can also hire your own private hot tub in an enclosed area of the spa garden.
We didn’t love
The products in the changing rooms: With such quality streaming through the spa and hotel, we had hoped for something more luxurious than an unbranded leisure-style pump in the showers.
Couples looking for a romantic getaway: We saw lots of starry-eyed lovers enjoying the facilities.
Londoners looking for some peace: Alexander House is an easy drive from London and oh so tranquil.
Anyone celebrating: The attentive service, traditional features and cool design make for a special location to raise a glass or two.
We gave Utopia Spa at Alexander House a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 Bubbles. The spa offers generous water and thermal facilities, moreish food and excellent treatments. The staff were the right side of friendly, and the poolside butler is a wonderful touch.
Supreme Spy visited in January 2016 and awarded it 5 Bubbles
East Grinstead, West Sussex , RH10 4QD
Alexander House has a brasserie-style restaurant, Reflections. Afternoon tea is also available.
Six types of room available from Standard rooms to Suites. Rates start at £145 per room per night (single occupancy).
The spa is open Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm; Saturday and Sunday: 8am-8pm.