She was the first British woman on ESPN in America, and as a sports journalist has interviewed everyone from David Beckham to Kobe Bryant. With a schedule like that, a spa break at Alexander House Hotel was just what Georgie Bingham needed!
Set just 35 miles from my base in Central London, Alexander House Hotel is a tranquil, beautiful fusion of old meets new in the Sussex countryside.
The rooms are spacious and luxurious, and as any good getaway spa should, the place instantly makes you feel in the lap of luxury with the decor and the setting largely made by the little touches – the friendly staff, beautiful views, the contents of biscuit tin on the tea station.
The spa itself is an underground cavern, a blue cave, dotted with a series of loungers around a central system of pools and spa tubs. I was there for three days and on one of the days (a Friday) we found the amount of people there a little bit overwhelming, lots of chattering women in dressing gowns looking for a place to down their water glasses and copy of Hello! magazine for a good gossip. For those few hours, it was a little too hectic for my liking – not quite the peace and quiet I craved.
In terms of their extensive spa treatments menu, I’m a little on the hypo allergenic side so I plumped for two massage treatments and a sensitive skin facial to avoid any skin disasters. The staff were friendly, confident (can’t stand nervous therapists so this was a plus) and appointments were plentiful despite the huge number of therapists and guests. Neither massages changed my life but I would certainly say both were relaxing and worth every penny as part of the whole process of three days of wind down after a hectic work period. Alexander House Hotel has an extensive range of beauty products used during treatments which I thought were lovely and all available for sale in their lobby which is always a great idea (particularly for gifts!)
There is also an excellent gym, which I used twice a day during my stay, and unbelievably was always empty! I always do lots of exercise on spa breaks, and due to the weather didn’t do any walking, running or mountain biking (Alexander House Hotel has bikes for use in their extensive grounds). Indeed, on the Saturday I did a spinning class on my own with their fabulous instructor Holly, who said few people who come to Alexander House Hotel actually use the gym or their extensive classes schedule, which I was amazed by. On the plus side, if you like to work out, there’s no problem with it being overcrowded.
There were only two drawbacks to this fantastic place as far as I could find. It was the food and drink. Everything was excellent and delicious as expected in a five star resort, but it was also expensive and without enough variation. There are two restaurants at Alexander House Hotel, a brasserie set up called Reflections (casual, fluffy gown friendly) and AG’s Grill, which is more formal. Beautifully presented, excellent food but NOTHING really healthy. Just the one salad on the menu in Reflections, a chicken Caesar which doesn’t exactly inspire. There didn’t seem to be any catering for those who wanted a healthy spa break. I wanted to have healthy soups, grilled fish or meat with a salad, I expected a Spa Menu of healthy wraps, maybe even some sushi and sashimi, because if, like me, you go to a spa to shed a few pounds AND relax then eating one’s bodyweight in rich food is not my idea of fun. The wine list was also very expensive, which is great if you are having a romantic meal, but not so ideal if you are on any type of budget at all.
With the exception of the spa feeling a little too busy one of the days, this spa has it all in terms of facilities and luxuries. There was always room in the sauna, hot tubs and steam rooms, never a shortage of staff, fluffy therapy gowns and clean towels. This resort is a five star facility with wonderful staff and an excellent spa. A few little tweaks to their food offerings and they have got the market sewn up!
– Grab a lounger by the pool, as they are a little of a premium at busy times
– The hair and nail salon is also excellent (I am relying on my friend Claudia for this information as she used them extensively).
– If the weather warrants it, borrow one of the mountain bikes available and head out to explore the extensive grounds.