10 of the best Sussex spas and retreats where you can unwind and reboot

PUBLISHED: 14:19 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:24 11 March 2019

Alexander House sauna (Photo by Dave Green)

Alexander House sauna (Photo by Dave Green)


At this time of year it is all to easy to slip into bad habits and elasticated waistbands. So the idea of rebooting one’s system at one of Sussex’s spa and detox retreats has appeal

Alexander House and Utopia Spa

This award-winning Grecian-inspired subterranean spa is part of a large country house hotel set in woodland near East Grinstead. Rooms are extremely comfortable and well-equipped with options including the Cedar Lodge suites with views of the gardens and countryside. Spa facilities are open to all guests over the age of 18. The spa has a wonderful indoor hydrotherapy pool and hot tubs, along with 25 treatment rooms including three couple’s treatment rooms.


Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa

Bailiffscourt Hotel is wonderfully eccentric; a medieval manor house built in 1927 for Lord Moyne, then Walter Guinness of the brewing family. The spa is beautifully constructed in the style of a traditional Sussex barn, all exposed timber and polished limestone. Full-length windows allow spa users to enjoy the well-manicured gardens whatever the weather. There are both indoor and outdoor swimming pools along with relaxation rooms and a lounge in which to relax after your treatment. The spa uses Temple Spa, the prestige beauty brand based just a stone’s throw away.


The Spread Eagle Spa

This Scandinavian-style spa (in one of England’s oldest coaching inns) is a contemporary foil to the historic hotel with facilities including an indoor pool and a charming garden in which to relax between treatments. Also using products from Temple Spa, the spa offers many of the same experiences as its sister establishment Bailiffscourt. There’s also a locally sourced menu to tantalise your taste buds.


Wickwoods Country Club, Hotel and Spa

Primarily a country club and spa, this hidden gem near Albourne has a small number of hotel rooms. The therapists impressed the 2018 Spa of the Year judge at the Celebration of Sussex Life Awards, who awarded Wickwoods the trophy. A wide variety of treatments are available, from Guinot facials to tanning, and massages to manicures and pedicures. Facilities include an indoor pool, sauna, steam room, eight tennis courts and a sprung floor studio for exercise classes.


Ockenden Manor

This hotel is set in nine acres of garden just off the High Street of the charming village of Cuckfield. The spa is a striking contemporary edifice that complements its surroundings, providing a real ‘out of time’ sanctuary. There’s an indoor pool with full-length windows allowing view of the grounds – and there’s the option to swim through to the heated outdoor pool too. A rainforest shower is fed by the hotel’s own natural underground spring.


Park House Hotel and Spa

This delightful country house has played host to Princess Diana and the polo crowd attracted by nearby Cowdray Park. Both hotel and spa have won multiple awards including Conde Nast Johansens’ Best Luxury Value Award 2018. The spa has facilities including an indoor mother-of-pearl swimming pool with marble entry shower and jacuzzi, relaxation areas, steam room and sauna. For more active guests, there are grass tennis courts, a bowls lawn and croquet lawn.


Spa at The Grand, Brighton

This luxury subterranean spa could be on a different planet from Brighton’s busy seafront. Perhaps the jewel in its crown is the sumptuous relaxation room with its sofas and day beds. Elsewhere there is a sauna and steam room. Product and treatment ranges used include the vegan and organic Natural Spa Factory, Heaven Skincare and Carita.


Brooklands Barn

This lovely venue in countryside near Arundel is partly responsible for the town’s number one spot in Travel Supermarket’s 2017 Mindful Getaway Guide. It plays hosts to various retreats throughout the year, including Platinum Healing and Sally Parkes Yoga, who offers teacher training as well as retreats for relaxation and healing. The luxury barn accommodation includes an indoor swimming pool and there is a profusion of lovely walks and countryside nearby – along with panoramic views of the famous castle.


Detox destination - Slimmeria

Weight loss is the object at this retreat near Battle. The redoubtable owner Galia Grainger has made various television appearances and she has the charisma and warmth to help her clients through what is quite an arduous programme of long walks and minimal food (the daily menu might include juices, broths and raw food). Russian-born Galia says she first observed the benefits of fasting through her grandmother who lived to 103, and she herself lost four stone on her raw vegan diet. Accommodation is in a lovely old manor house with some rooms enjoying wood panelling and four-poster beds. Weekend retreats start from £525.


Detox destination - Simply Healing

At the heart of this detox retreat’s philosophy is the juice cleanse pioneered by owner Vivien Kay. As well as the programmes aimed at those seeking to lose weight or reboot their system, the centre offers residential plans targeting specific issues, such as fertility or menopause. Five and seven-day retreats are on offer at this lovely country house. The Long Weekend Detox Plan is £650.



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