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The new luxury spa at South Lodge Hotel in Lower Beeding

PUBLISHED: 09:41 09 July 2019

The infinity pool looks out onto the grounds

The infinity pool looks out onto the grounds

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A new luxury spa has opened at South Lodge Hotel in Lower Beeding, Simone Hellyer samples what's on offer

Floating in a pristine infinity pool with views that extend out across the South Downs is not a bad way to spend a Thursday morning, especially with the promise of a delicious smelling lunch and a relaxing facial also on the horizon.

That was the rather fortunate position I found myself in when I paid a visit to the newly opened spa at South Lodge Hotel near Horsham. The spa, which opened in March, is located a short walk from the hotel in a new £14m building and boasts three swimming pools, including the UK's first heated natural swim pond; an infused sauna and two steam rooms (one salt and one herbal); 50 innovative treatments available in 14 treatment rooms; a 2,000 sq ft gym; a beauty bar and barbers and plant-based dining at Botanica restaurant.

The building has been designed to bring the outside in, drawing inspiration from the surrounding South Downs. And it definitely achieves it with floor-to-ceiling windows that make the most of the stunning views, a grass and sedum roof, green oak cladding and interiors and clever design touches that give a nod to nature. Botanica, the on-site restaurant, continues the natural theme with its largely plant-based menu. I took my mum along on my visit and we were both hugely impressed with the view from our window seat.

Head chef Jonathan Spiers' menu at Botanica draws on the South Downs as a larder for fresh and seasonal ingredients, including a plethora of plant-based plates. There are lots of brunch and tapas-size dishes on offer, but I opted for the Wasted Burger which is made entirely from leftover ingredients from the morning's juices. Mum went for a griddled chicken ceasar salad, which came with plenty of crispy kale. After a hard morning of splashing and steaming our way around the spa's pools and saunas, we felt justified in treating ourselves to some sweet options from the menu too.

South Lodge has a range of spa day packages available, which offer use of the facilities, food at Bonanica and a treatment from the spa's large offering. I opted for a pore refining facial that uses products from Hungarian skincare brand Omorovicza. South Lodge is the only spa in the UK that uses these products. The facial lasted a blissful 60 minutes and involved cleansing and exfoliation to draw out impurities, followed by a mineral-rich Hungarian Moor mud mask to treat sensitive skin and reduce pore size. Added touches like neck and arm exfoliation and massage as well as a heated table all added to the sense of luxury.

The spa at South Lodge aims to do things differently by flipping the massage offering on its head to provide hot stone and bamboo massages as standard, rather than as an added extra. My mum went for a de-stressing hot stone massage that uses warm stones to deliver a deep tension releasing massage. Her therapist explained that the stones not only help your body and mind feeling completely calm and relaxed, but also help relive the tension in the therapist's hands too.

After my treatment I found my happily reclining on a colour changing and vibrating lounger and sipping a cup of jasmine tea. Which is where I spent a good while relaxing too.

The Spa Distress Hot Stone Massage starts at £105 for 60 minutes; the Omorovicza pore defining facial starts at £105 for 60 minutes; Spa day packages start at £175. www.exclusive.co.uk/the-spa-at-south-lodge/the-spa

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