The South of England wraps neatly beneath London, from the picturesque countryside of Kent and Sussex to the funky seaside town of Brighton and the beautiful beaches of Cornwall. We also love the New Forest and North and South Downs for rural Southern sights. Here are the Spa Spies favourite spas to visit in the South.
Picture views of golden sandy beaches adjoining clear blue waters and you have C Bay Spa at Carbis Bay hotel. Swim in a pool parallel to the ocean and you could almost be spa-ing on a far-flung, exotic beach! We love the post-treatment relaxation lounge with stunning panoramas of the bay; there’s a cosy open fire and fluffy blankets to snuggle in while smiling at the views. The hotel has 47 rooms to accommodate overnight guests, as well as beach houses and cottages for a longer stay. Children and dogs are welcome, and the hotel hires out a luxury motor yacht for those who wish to explore St Ives by boat.
Set on a clifftop overlooking the Newquay coastline, Headland hotel and Spa exudes historical grandeur with its Edwardian building that can be seen for miles around. The spa’s entrance is found beach-side and the sound of gently crashing waves accompanies you as you enter. We love the Cornish-salt steam room and wood-panelled relaxation lounge which is made beautifully ambient by a lit-up tree. Stay in one of 96 rooms and suites for an overnight spa break, or in a self-catering cottage if you’re taking a longer beach holiday.
Set back from the Cornish Sea in 43 acres of Victorian parkland, The Clearing Spa at the Cornwall Hotel has a lovely array of landscaped and wild gardens. Swim lengths with infinity pool views of the green grounds, and sit out on a terrace to sunbathe when the weather permits. We love the quality treatments and friendly atmosphere at the spa. The signature Cornish-themed treatment trilogy really brings an exclusive local touch to your spa journey. If you’re looking to stay, then choose from deluxe woodland hotel rooms or house suites.
Alexander House Hotel is a stylish red brick building with a welcoming white-beamed porch. The Utopia spa has a Grecian-style interior with a large blue swimming pool set in the middle of temple-like pillars. The three floor spa will satisfy thermal facility-lovers, and outdoors there’s a spa garden to enjoy in summer months. We love the dedicated post-treatment relaxation area: blissfully silent thanks to “silence is golden” reminder signs on the walls. Overnight spa stays will enjoy a modern spa suite but there are also standard rooms available in the hotel, which lies within 120 acres of grand Sussex countryside and even provides a helipad for those who like to arrive in style!
Oak-beamed and full of picturesque Sussex town charm, Spread Eagle Hotel has a modern spa with a beautiful pool at its centre that has a golden spread eagle etched into its blue mosaic floor. The spa is Scandinavian themed; relax in the steam room or Scandinavian Sauna after a half day exploring the history of Midhurst town, or revelling in the fresh air of surrounding countryside walks. Spread Eagle makes for a wonderful weekend escape or short family break -- we love the small-town feel and could spend hours bubbling in the gorgeous, naturally-lit spa pool.
Bailiffscourt Hotel is a classic English manor house set within 30 acres of gardens with views of the sea. The spa is a separate barn-style building with plenty of windows that let in the light. Guests can enjoy both an indoor and outdoor pool that are large enough to swim in. Bubble under a high-beamed ceiling and gaze out at the garden and outdoor area where the second pool and a traditional wooden hot tub can be enjoyed in the sunshine. We love the peaceful atmosphere and tranquil countryside setting; if you’re looking to escape from the world, Bailiffscourt is the perfect rural retreat.
Ockenden Manor has both Elizabethan historical charm and lovely outdoor surroundings. The spa is of a modern cubist design, cleverly hidden away from the main hotel, and implements a calming décor which reminds of the natural colours of the surrounding Sussex woodland. With plenty of glass walls to gaze through, you’ll almost feel you are outdoors. The pool and garden are visible from the cosy spa lounge and the indoor/outdoor pool is long enough to fit in some rejuvenating lengths. We love how well the spa brings the outdoors inside. Relax outdoors on the paved terrace or enjoy the hot tub facing the rural landscape, and if you’re staying at Ockenden, dedicated spa suites also make use of the outdoors by facing onto a roof-terraced garden.
A peaceful country house hotel with adjacent cottages, Park House has a lovely ‘family house’ atmosphere. The PH20 spa is a separate building and appears deceivingly cottage-sized; there’s actually a 15-metre indoor pool and a mother-of-pearl Jacuzzi, a heated outdoor pool, and sauna and steam rooms within the changing areas. We loved the exclusivity (only ten spa guests allowed at one time) and once you’re in ‘treatment mode’ you can forget the outside world and just relax. Quaint and English with a croquet lawn, tennis court and small golf course, you’ll find everything you might want at Park House for a country weekend break.
The perfect place for a lavish spa experience, Chewton Glen is a large country house hotel set near the sea and the New Forest. The star of the spa is a 17-metre ozone swimming pool, found glinting with blue mosaic tiles between elegant Grecian columns. There are plenty of separate-sex heat facilities linked to the two changing rooms. We loved Chewton’s outdoor surroundings – the walled garden is lovely and you can walk down a ‘secret path’ to the nearby beach; plus the hotel offers Treehouse accommodation set in the woods just a few minutes’ walk from the main building.
Carey’s Manor is set within the natural beauty of the New Forest. SenSpa is quite a destination in its own right, and stands out from the spa scene as it is completely Thai themed. Enjoy exotic and authentic Thai treatments and delicious Thai cuisine. We love the ozone-treated swimming pool and outstanding hydrotherapy suite. The large spa pool features a ‘volcano’ whirl pool, and there’s an impressive range of experience showers including healing, tropical storm, and thunder-and-lightning. The upstairs rasul, hammam and tepidarium with starry roof are a beautiful experience and the perfect way to wind down your SenSpa journey.
4th August 2015
Beautiful interiors, luxurious swimming pools, being pampered, long massages, quality food.
Noisy echoes, overlooking facilities, thin walls in treatment rooms, cramped spa layout.
Behind the scenes