Top chefs distinguish themselves with a signature dish - a specific meal with which their names become synonymous.
So do the very best spas.
The Spread Eagle Hotel at Midhurst has just unveiled a treatment which reflects not just what it believes is the ultimate indulgence but captures the mood of the sweeping Sussex landscape in which it is situated.
The South Downs Soother is not merely the last word in pampering. In the language of the chef, it is a sumptuous feast - a 90-minute top to toe experience aimed at deep relaxation.
It does something else too.
It raises the profile of the county on the global stage.
Sussex wines are already beginning to eclipse some of their French rivals for sheer quality and vibrancy. Unique spa experiences which mirror the national park will further attract tourists from far and wide.
The Spread Eagle, is of course, more than just a spa. It is a fragment of history. Its Queen’s Suite is named after Elizabeth the First who famously stayed at the coaching inn which dates back to 1430.
That charm, matured over many centuries, is imbued in every part of the sprawling building. It’s one of three family-owned Sussex hotels and that very personal attention to detail adds to the experience.
Some 20 years ago, the bijoux spa was added and the South Downs Soother was developed by Temple Spa to mark the opening of three new treatment rooms this year.
The Soother begins with a warming cup of the spa’s White Apricot tea and a bubbly foot bath during which guests will undergo their personal consultation.
A detoxifying body brush encourages lymphatic flow before being cocooned in a nourishing Glorious Mud full body wrap.
While the mask works its magic, a soothing head and scalp and reflex zone foot massage release tensions in the whole body.
The experience is completed with a glass of Sussex sparkling wine - well what else? - and a welcome moment of calm in the spa’s new relaxation room - The Nest. With the help of the Forty Winks Eye Mask, guests are left to relax and ease into a restful and relaxing sleep….
And our verdict when we visited?
This is a terrific way to relax and feel pampered. Steph who was my therapist was supremely professional and put me at ease straight away.
More and more men are enjoying Spas and it’s great to see that ‘treatments’ are now far more ambitious than merely seeking to offer health benefits. The whole experience is about a sense of well-being - physical, emotional and spiritual.
The finishing glass of Sussex wine epitomizes that shift.
The Spread Eagle Spa is not the biggest. But based on this experience and a two day stay there there is no doubt in terms of the quality of the treatment and customer service it is up there with the best.
Stays at The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa are from £119 per night, based on two sharing a Standard Room, mid-week, on a B&B basis. www.hshotels.co.uk; 01730 816911
Stays in the Queen’s Suite are from £329 on a B&B basis. www.hshotels.co.uk; 01730 816911. The South Downs Soother signature 90-minute treatment is priced at £102. Treatments at The Spread Eagle Spa start from £49 for facial and massage treatments. Spa days from £129 for a Mini Indulgent Spa Break. Prices correct, August 2017.
We were invited to review the treatment at the spa and although the hotel is supporting the feature with an advertisement our review is independent and the hotel had no advance proofing of it nor control over it.
The three new treatment rooms double the size of the Spa – and the new relaxation room, simply called ‘The Nest’ adds a sleepy space to relax post treatment. In keeping with The Spread Eagle’s inspiring English setting, each room takes its name from a West Sussex bird - Eider, Plover and Whimbrel. The interior design, textures and tones are inspired by the natural landscape giving the space a contemporary feel; high ceilings and original beams with soft lighting provide a gentle, warm atmosphere.
The new treatment rooms also allow The Spread Eagle Spa to introduce ‘Hydrotherm’ treatments to the menu, in partnership with John Holman Therapy Solutions. This revolutionary system uses heated floatation beds to massage the whole body while guests lie on their back. Heat from the water soothes and relaxes the muscles whilst cushioning gives the body perfect spinal alignment - a deep and profoundly relaxing massage for mind, body and spirit.
The Spread Eagle now has six treatment rooms, an indoor swimming pool, a cascade spa pool, relaxing spa garden, sauna and steam room, jacuzzi.
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