Checking out The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa

The background

The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa is one of the oldest coaching inns in England. It is one of three Historic Sussex Hotels, along with Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa and Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa.

It is located in the centre of the market town of Midhurst, on the edge of the South Downs National Park, close to Goodwood and larger towns and cities including Chichester and Guildford.

The check-in

The main car park is directly in front of the hotel and there were plenty of spaces. After a quick and easy check-in, we were escorted to our room and were soon enjoying the facilities.

spreadeagle 1
The Queen’s Suite, Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa, Sussex

The room

We entered ‘The Queen’s Suite’ – named after Queen Elizabeth I who once stayed here – through its own lounge, with a sofa bed, coffee table and TV. The antique oak furniture, giant beams and four-poster bed perfectly suited the room. Original timber doors lead to a wardrobe area/dressing room with shelves and spaces to hang clothes, and a safe too.

A ‘Wig Powder Closet’ dating back to AD 1430 (the only surviving one in England) now houses a dressing table.

There’s an original fireplace, a dining table with four chairs and windows on two sides looking out over the Market House (the old school where HG Wells studied and taught), which is now part of the hotel and has four rooms. The bathroom has a claw-foot roll-top bath, separate shower, dressing gowns and slippers, Temple Spa toiletries and a massive wooden (padded) beam over the loo.

There’s also a Nespresso Coffee machine, kettle, a selection from Camellia’s tea house and home-made biscuits and colourful mis-matched Pip Studio china, used throughout the hotels. The adjacent Edward VII room can be connected to give additional living space.

Restaurants and bars

The restaurant serves modern British cuisine, and where possible fresh local Sussex seasonal produce (the wine list includes 13 different Sussex wines). The inglenook fireplace, copper pans and exposed beams add to the atmosphere.

In the Cromwell room Christmas puddings hang from the beams, waiting for returning guests.

Morning coffee, lunch, supper and afternoon tea can be served in a variety of locations. Outside there’s the choice of terrace, or inner courtyard. The conservatory near the entrance has a light, bright and airy feel, while the cosy Historic Lounge Bar dates back to 1430.

Spa at The Spread Eagle Hotel Spa
The spa features a 14 metre pool, steam room, sauna spa bath, gym and more.

The facilities

A wander around the hotel is an experience in itself with its heavy timber beams, undulating floors and creaking floorboards, original lattice windows, wooden doorways, tapestries and unusual artifacts around every corner.

‘The Cowdray Wander’ is a 5km walk which takes in the River Rother, Cowdray Ruins and The Lawns polo fields. An electric bike tour taking in the three properties can also be arranged. After all this activity there’s nothing better than relaxing in the spa with its 14 metre pool, steam room, sauna, spa bath, gym and six treatment rooms.

The verdict

Perfect for a relaxing stay in a totally original hotel, steeped in history and character, with ample opportunities to get outside and enjoy the surroundings.

The details

The ‘Step into Sussex‘ walking package includes a one night stay with breakfast, three course dinner, use of the spa facilities and swimming pool, maps, a Finding Footpaths: Circular walks around Midhurst book and Temple Spa ‘Aaahhh!’ cooling gel to take home. T: 01730 816911; spreadeagle@hshotels.co.uk; hshotels.co.uk