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Spa of the Month: The Spa at South Lodge, Horsham

If I could design a spa, it would probably look a lot like The Spa at South Lodge. As you walk towards the silver-weathered timber building, its curvy roof and sliding glass doors feel like they’re ready to welcome you into a new age of spa-ing.

Bordering the chalky hills and grasslands of the South Downs, this new spa is housed in a standalone, architecturally ‘wow’ building that’s been designed to follow the natural contours of the estate’s rolling hills.

Opening in spring 2019, it may be less than a year old, but The Spa at South Lodge has already scooped the winner of The Good Spa Award’s ‘Best New Spa’ and me and my rejuvenated soul can confirm that the accolade is 100% justified.

Here’s the lowdown on February’s Spa of the Month, The Spa at South Lodge.

From spa rejuvenation to countryside strolls, get a wardrobe that works for your Spa at South Lodge weekender.

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The Lowdown

Contemporary, but without looking spaceship-like, this huge 44,000 sq.ft. spa invites the dramatic Sussex landscape in at every corner. Outside, curved loungers lead the way to a vitality hydrotherapy pool where you can watch the sun set in heated bubbling water (dreamy), or take to the wooden bathing deck, which has a wild swimming pool where you can take an invigorating dip in cold water (if you dare).

If you’re more indoorsy than outdoorsy, the 22m x 10m indoor infinity swimming pool is the place to swim against the dramatic Sussex landscape, thanks to its floor-to-ceiling windows. And then there’s the thermal experiences, which include private mud room, infused sauna, marble-lined salt steam and a more subtle jasmine herbal steam room. For treatments, you’ll find 14 nature-themed rooms and a relaxation lounge that features heat, light and sound mood pods for the ultimate chillout.

THE VIBE

The sympathetic design that celebrates the glorious South Downs landscape instantly makes you feel calm and relaxed. It’s like the ultimate escape for city dwellers. Perched above the rolling hills of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, gargantuan panes of glass fill the wide, open spa spaces with natural daylight and allow you to absorb the countryside as you’re spa-ing indoors.

Watching the world go by from the sauna window is a major highlight. From the spa exclusive Botanica restaurant, right through to the flora and fauna-inspired names of every single locker in the changing room, a botanical theme runs throughout the spa that feels like the perfect fit. Even the calming colour palette of beige, white, pale blues and greens inside the spa reflects the natural landscape outside.

THE SIGNATURE

There are five signature treatments on South Lodge’s luxe spa menu, but the standout is the Omorovicza Botanical Treatment. Exclusive to South Lodge, the 80-minute back and facial treatment was inspired by South Lodge’s botanical history. Known for their skin soothing and anti-ageing properties, botanicals used within the treatment include sage, chamomile, calendula, edelweiss and jojoba. Taking place in the Rose Room (each of the 14 treatment rooms are also nature-themed), my treatment begins with a back exfoliation with Gold Sugar Scrub and warming back massage using rose quartz stones to relax you ahead of what can only be described as facial heaven… The bespoke mix of products starts with the Thermal Cleansing Balm and then no less than six Omorovicza products from the Hydro Mineral Collection, plus a Copper Peel that instantly makes my skin feel smoother and more hydrated.

Omorovicza Botanical Treatment, £140 (Mon – Thurs) | £150 (Fri – Sun) for 80 minutes.

THE EXTRAS

The Spa at South Lodge has pretty much everything you could ever want from a spa weekender – and then some. There’s the thermal suite, indoor pool, outdoor therapy pool and wild swimming pool that make for a full afternoon spa circuit of dip, chill, and repeat.

If you’re more of an indoorsy type, check out the Ridgeview Beauty Bar and Botanica, the spa’s incredible Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that’s serves brunch, all-day dining and early dinners (pre-9pm) in its light-filled space overlooking the South Downs countryside estate. You can even pad around the restaurant in your spa robe until 6pm. Fitness aficionados will also be in their element, thanks to the spin studio and wellbeing studio offering a programme of yoga, Pilates and barre sessions. Don’t miss a morning workout in the New York loft-style gym that’s hands down the biggest and coolest hotel gym I’ve ever been in and comes complete with a personal trainer for timetabled HIIT and TRX sessions. You’ll find everything from beaten-leather punch bags and retro-inspired boxing gloves to high-tech Technogym equipment.

CF SPA TIP

Unsurprisingly for a spa that’s just scooped an award for ‘Best New Spa’, the spa can get pretty busy at weekends. If you want a more tranquil experience, try visiting Monday to Thursday, when you’re more likely to get the sauna to yourself. Plus, it’s worth noting that the treatments are a fraction cheaper than the peak Friday to Sunday.

THE BEAUTY KIT

This isn’t a spa that’s led by mainstream brands. It uses its own collection of bespoke products created with the Natural Spa Factory that are inspired by nature and produced exclusively for The Spa at South Lodge and its sister property, The Spa at Pennyhill Park – impressive. The exception is Omorovicza – South Lodge is the only UK spa outside of London to offer the Hungarian brand on its spa menu, which uses moor mud and healing thermal waters in its luxury products that feels like a dream fit with the spa’s natural vibe. You’ll find eight Omorovicza treatments on the menu, with everything from a 20-minute Cooling Eye add-on (£20) to a 60-minute Classic Hungarian Mud Wrap (from £105). For nails and make-up, the Ridgeview Beauty Bar uses Jessica (nails) and Mii (make-up and brows).

NEED TO KNOW

Spa days at The Spa at South Lodge start from £145 per person.

Overnight stays, including full access of the spa and breakfast/brunch are from £285 in a Cosy Room or £395 in a Junior Suite (based on two sharing).

Address: Brighton Road, Lower Beeding, Horsham, RH13 6PS
Tel: 01403 892235
Instagram: @southlodge_spa

To book The Spa at South Lodge, visit www.exclusive.co.uk/the-spa-at-south-lodge/the-spa/

See more of our CF spa favourites here

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