Returning to a hotel you’ve visited (and loved) many years previously can be a little nerve-wracking. Will it live up to expectations and will it really be quite as wonderful as you’d remembered? Stepping into the beautiful conservatory style entrance of The Spread Eagle Hotel in Midhurst, West Sussex I realised I needn’t have worried.
Basing ourselves here for a wedding at the immensely impressive Cowdray Park (which also has one of the most sensational farm shops we’ve ever visited) our stay at the hotel was brief, yet exceptional.
We were a hotel’s worst nightmare – turning up at 11am and wondering if our room was ready, just as the fully booked hotel were emptying the previous night’s guests – none of whom had checked out early. Yet the staff welcomed us with open arms, smiling faces, offers of coffee and freshly made biscuits in the conservatory – and perhaps a quick swim if we’d like?
Even better, we got to catch a glimpse of their monthly Forest Bathing sessions – which are run by Swedish Helena Skoog who has spent six years living off grid in ancient forestry nearby.
The two-hour sessions (taking place on these dates) encourage guests to totally immerse themselves in the forest atmosphere in order to connect with themselves and the present moment – before returning to the hotel for a delicious two course lunch and “forest inspired softail.”
Where better to return to after a night of dining, drinking and dancing than one of this magical hotel’s suite rooms. We were staying in The White Suite which had one of the comfiest beds imaginable. The room was packed with home comforts; from a fully stocked writing desk to a well provisioned coffee machine that was truly welcomed by us as we awoke fuzzy-headed the next morning.
Despite being endlessly busy and regularly fully booked, the enthusiastic and interested staff seem to always have time for you. Whilst we sat and savoured our Full English breakfast (the dining room is heaven – think silver teapots, white linen napkins and the kind of civilised start to the day we always dream of) we chatted to them about the night before and laughed about the raucous guests who’d rolled in just a few hours earlier.
Our stay here was over far too quickly – we didn’t even have time to make full use of the tranquil spa which offers the most luxurious and indulging treatments. Yet as before, we’ll be returning – and hope not to leave it as long next time.
For more information and to book a room at The Spread Eagle, click here