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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 a social spa. 1 person says this spa is romantic.
Alexander House Hotel is an attractive red-brick Georgian manor set in 120 acres of gardens, woodland and parkland in the Sussex countryside. High ceilings and oak-wood cladding set the countryside tone; the use of cool, fresh colours creates a perfect example of traditional meets contemporary. The Grecian-inspired Utopia spa -- a few steps away from hotel reception -- has temple-like pillars and Mediterranean-inspired treatments. It spans an impressive three floors, too.
Staff warmly greeted us, handed us a map (a godsend given the size of Utopia Spa) and led us through to reception; this has a small boutique selling beauty products and a manicure and pedicure area. The main reception, relaxation room and restaurant occupy the ground floor; the wet facilities and changing rooms the lower floor, the 25 treatment rooms are on the first floor.
The spacious and well-equipped changing rooms have a good amount of seating, soft towels on shelves around the room, ample lockers and five generous-sized showers that allow for changing in comfort. You'll find a fluffy white robe; slippers; and L'Occitane shampoo, conditioner and body wash in your locker. A vanity island sits in the centre with hairdryers, straighteners (a nice touch), Temple Spa moisturiser, cotton wool pads and make-up remover.
The range of thermal facilities on offer at Utopia Spa is top-notch. We particularly loved the 15-metre swimming pool with imposing Grecian columns, contemporary black mosaic tiles, and glinting lights. We even managed several lengths with the pool to ourselves. A circular hydrotherapy pool at one end of the pool has bubble jets and swan-neck fountains that worked wonders on our tense shoulders. A separate hot tub would comfortably seat four. Several loungers are positioned around the pool, while spa butlers are on hand to take your drinks orders.
Step outside to the beautifully manicured Zen garden which has a second Jacuzzi -- this one raised. A quirky barrel sauna in the garden, seating four to six people, is a real treat for sauna-lovers.
In the relaxation room, smart reclining beds have plenty of snuggly blankets. Draw the heavy curtains and fall asleep, or fling them open and marvel at the breathtaking views of the Sussex countryside. Help yourself to glossy magazines and a selection of hot or cold drinks.
If you like a little fitness with your spa, try the spacious, modern gym.
We had an Ila Chakra Wellbeing treatment (115 minutes, £175), designed to balance body and mind using seven blended essential oils.
My therapist, Emily, collected me from the reception area and led me up a staircase to a gently lit treatment room which was well-presented in earthy, neutral colours. After an explanation of ila's holistic roots and the treatment stages, Emily left the room so that I could get comfortable on the heated bed.
The treatment began with a deep pressure-point massage to ease tension and open the chakra points. Emily rubbed a Himalayan salt scrub over my body, using gentler pressure on more sensitive areas.
While I showered off the scrub, Emily put fresh sheets and towels on the bed in preparation for the massage. She used long, sweeping movements on my back and shoulders, then picked up heated compresses and massaged again to ease areas of tension.
For the facial, Emily cleaned my skin using a light cleanser and toner on soft cotton pads, then applied a nourishing facial oil. She massaged my face with a firm pressure, boosting my skin's circulation and making my cheeks flush. Emily finished the treatment with a drop of gently warmed St John's Wort Oil on my hair and my "third eye". While the smell was a little unusual, I was lured into a light sleep -- and my hair remained soft for days afterwards.
After the treatment, my skin felt soft, my limbs felt lighter, and my mind felt clearer and more alert than it had in years.
Utopia Spa at Alexander House also offers ayurvedic-inspired massages, facials, wraps and scrubs. There are options for men and mums-to-be, and beauty finishing touches such as manicures, pedicures and even haircuts.
If you visit for a spa day, you'll eat at Reflections, a bright, contemporary restaurant just next to the spa; we were comfortable eating in our robes. Choose from a two-course lunch, with hot and cold options including salads, soups, paninis and fish pie, or afternoon tea. We went for the savoury option and had a delicious smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel with a garden salad. The food was well presented and very tasty.
In the evening, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Alexander House's sophisticated 3AA Rosette restaurant, AG's, where dishes are inspired by the surrounding countryside and presented in an imaginative way.
The outdoor hot tub and sauna barrel: The perfect spot to breathe in the surrounding countryside.
The overnight accommodation: Our Treetop Suite was both quirky and fabulous and Andrew, our in-room butler, expertly attended to our whims.
We didn't love
Insufficient robe hooks: There aren't enough hooks to hang robes on in the wet facilities; we misplaced ours at one point.
Couples: The setting makes Utopia Spa a great place for a romantic getaway.
Groups of friends: The outdoor hot tub is large enough to cater for a group of friends; indulge in a glass of bubbly if you're celebrating a special occasion.
Londoners: Alexander House is just a 40-minute drive from central London, yet a world away from the big city.
We awarded Utopia Spa a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 Bubbles. Alexander House is a charming sanctuary in the Sussex countryside, while the larger-than-average Utopia Spa is a great place to relax and rejuvenate.
Super Spy visited in April 2017 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.