The Spa at South Lodge – review by Kris Thomas

The Spa at South Lodge

That wonderful spa smell, a mix of swimming pool and fragrant oils. Inhaling deeply I can feel myself start to relax.

South Lodge in Lower Beeding is just ten minutes drive south of Horsham. The spa is located in a modern, oak-clad building, separated from the hotel making it ideal for a pampering spa day where visitors are happy to float around in robes.

After an energising juice shot we don swimwear and, whilst the sun is shining, head outside to the hydrotherapy pool. Heated to a very agreeable 37 degrees and with a range of jets to soothe tense mSpauscles, we bubble away contentedly enjoying the restful countryside views. With fingers beginning to prune we go back inside to try out the range of thermal experiences. Starting in the gently warm aromatic infusion room which smells deliciously of Jasmine, we progress to the salt steam room before a cold bucket shower and then the fierce heat of the sauna. This spacious hot room has full-height windows offering the same lovely views. Once I am sufficiently heated I feel ready for the wild swimming pool. This 18m outdoor pool is heated to just 15 degrees to prevent it freezing but is otherwise natural and surrounded by reeds and other water plants. Once over the cold shock, the cool, clear water feels wonderful and for me this wild swim is a highlight of the day.

Botanica

Lunch in the bright Botanica restaurant starts with a refreshing mocktail and soft, warm rosemary focaccia, olive oil and balsamic. The chef is generous with the lobster in my risotto and similarly liberal with the smoked salmon in Jeff’s bagel. The restaurant – also open to the public – enjoys scenic views and, for warmer days, there’s an extensive alfresco dining terrace. We can’t resist dessert of spiced apple cake (picture above left), I did swim at least 4 lengths…

What could be better than a lie-down after lunch? Well, a massage. We were enjoying the signature South Lodge spa day called ‘Di-Vine’ which includes a 60-minute Grapevine Face and Body Glow treatment showcasing their Pelegrims products containing grape leaf extract from South Lodge’s very own Vineyard. We were told the grape leaf extract contains natural antioxidants with anti-ageing benefits. A relaxing back massage with warm honey-like oils was followed by a wonderful facial and head massage. My skin was glowing afterwards. “Divine” indeed!

Cosy in our soft, heavy robes and relaxed to the point of stupor, we enjoy grapes and a herbal tea in the relaxation room and promise that we must ‘do this more often’. Our day isn’t over and there’s just time for a little doze on the ergonomic colour changing beds which take you on a sensory journey through the seasons.

South Lodge Di-Vine Spa Day: £265 pp Mon – Fri (excl. bank holidays).

All spa days include access to all facilities, gym sessions and fitness classes (must book in advance) robes, towels and flip flops.

For full details call 01403 891711 or visit: exclusive.co.uk/the-spa-at-south-lodge/spa-days

 

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