You probably already know this, but I love charming and historic hotels. The word ‘historic’ however is often sometimes over used and unfortunately I’ve stayed in too many hotels which describe themselves as the latter, but are in fact just down right dated. But not The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa. It feels authentic, original, boutique and as if the clocks have turned back in time. The exterior of the hotel is pristine too and it really stands out from the road.
And the approach was just as pretty. The closer you get to this hotel the more interesting it becomes and it’s especially gorgeous on a bright sunny day. Trying to rely the entire history of the hotel in full would need its own blog post, but to summarise this property dates back to 1430 and in 1533 it was purchased by Sir William Fitzwilliam, Henry VIII’s Lord High Admiral. The hotel has changed many hands since and has had many additions – but as of this year, 2017 the hotel celebrates 60 years of ownership by the same family.
The entrance to the hotel reveals a magnificent terrace where the light pours through. It’s such a tranquil space and perfect for enjoying a light bite, afternoon tea or too many glasses of Champagne. During busy times the atmosphere spills out on the terrace and is very infectious atmosphere. Service was at times a little stuffy and slow – but the surroundings were too lovely to not care.
A quick browse around the hotels and its communal rooms, we climbed the creaky staircase on the first floor where the bedrooms and all things historic await. Polished silver and ornaments line the stairs and hallways, while a huge grandfather clock and old antique paintings make a lasting impression.
On the way up to our room we passed a really lovely lounge which was located directly outside our bedrooms door. The great thing about this communal lounge was that it’s so hidden and out the way we almost always had it entirely to ourselves. Whether reading a book or even watching TV and it felt like an extension on our room. You can even request to close the lounge off and actually enjoy it as part of your room I believe.
We were staying in the hotels top suite, the Queen’s Suite and what a marvellous room it was. As you walk into the room there’s yet another lounge, this one private, some bubbles waiting for us, TV & seating area – plus the usual tea & coffee-making facilities.
But by far the most impressive part of our room was that fabulous bed. A stunning carved four-poster bed which dominates the room and is surrounded by cared table-lamps and intricate tables and drawers. sitting room and a luxurious bathroom which follows through from the room. There was even an original wig closet dating back to 1430 and is believed to big the only wig closet sill in existence.
One of my favourite parts of the hotel was its spa. The Spread Eagle Spa has been awarded The Good Spa Guide’s 4 Bubble Rating and converts into an utterly relaxing stay. Adding a contemporary touch to this historic Hotel, guests can enjoy a beautiful indoor swimming underneath a Scandinavian-style vaulted ceiling – plus a sauna and steam room. For those that seeking outdoor sports, the South Downs National Park is right on the hotels doorstep.
After a few laps in the swimming pool, a good hour in the Jacuzzi was in order and I really didn’t want to leave – until it was time for my spa treatment…
In preparation for my spa treatment, a quick relaxation session in the spa garden was exactly what I needed. Japanese in style, this small space is so peaceful and a suntrap in the late afternoon and early mornings. My treatment was the Relaxing Siesta. A soft neck and shoulder massage, followed by a relaxing face and a soothing head massage – something I’m told is excellent for physical and psychological well-being. I really felt at ease and highly recommend an experience treatment. The team know exactly what they’re doing.
Relaxed and rejuvenated we popped back to our room to freshen up before heading back downstairs for dinner in the hotels restaurant. A cosy setting and an inglenook fireplace filled the room with atmosphere, as well as some very lovely and hearty dishes which satisfied our cravings. Quality steaks and cheesy soufflés may have helped a little too. There’s even a dedicated gin bar with over 80 different gins and 12 different tonics on offer. Read my full review of this historic hotels restaurant.
A cheeky waffle the next morning, drizzled in warm syrup and a few too many coffees – we took ourselves off to the local market town of Midhurst. It’s such a gorgeous little town with a real village feel to it and of course just like the hotel – steeped in history. The ruins of Cowdray House are well worth a visit too, especially on such a sunny day which we were lucky enough to have enjoyed.
The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa is such an charming place to spend a night to simply get away from it all and immense yourself in history. With good food, huge rooms and a terrace to waste away the afternoon – there is more than one reason to visit this 15th century hotel. I can’t wait to create even more experiences here in the future and I hope you can too.
NB: My stay was complimentary. All views are as always, my own. My views are not influenced by anyone other than my own palate or slightly poor eyesight.