I love working in London, and the hustle and bustle that comes with it, but equally it’s great to escape to the country and have some much needed down time every once in a while. This is something to consider when organising an overnight stay for your executive too.
The Spread Eagle hotel in Midhurst, West Sussex, is an hour’s drive from London’s Gatwick Airport, and one of England’s oldest coaching inns. I love a bit of history, so when asked to visit for this review, I was happy to oblige.
On arrival after my journey, which in fact was a beautiful drive through the South Downs National Park, I probably felt like many of the guests it had received over the 500 or so years before me, a little tired and weary. But that was soon to fade. The hotel gave me and my husband a warm welcome, a short tour of the main parts of the hotel we’d need – spa, restaurant, bar – and were shown to our room. Walking through the hotel it really felt like we had been transported back in time. The oak panelled walls, low beams, and the odd uneven step was an interesting change to the modern clean lines of the London hotels we are used to.
The Spread Eagle has a really interesting mix of old and new. The coaching inn, now hotel, has evolved over many years, to ensure it provides its guests with all the modern conveniences to make their stay comfortable. The hotel and grounds are beautifully kept, whilst retaining the country rustic charm that so many likely visit for.
Each of the 39 rooms comes with its own quirks, and as noted by the hotel there are ‘fascinating stories associated with many of them: a secret passage reputedly used by fleeing smugglers, a wig closet that may be the last one left in a hotel in England and a suite said to have welcomed the Queen.’ We stayed in the Queen’s suite, one of the larger rooms, which very conveniently has a separate sitting room attached. Rooms range from £119 upwards, and are suitable to accommodate families too. The facilities were excellent; a beautiful bathroom with roll top bath, large walk in shower, white fluffy robes, and top of the range toiletries. And in the bedroom complementary bottled water, tea and coffee. The spa was excellent, offering a wide range of treatments, heated indoor pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. It really is the perfect place to relax.
Eight Executive Essentials
This was complementary, and available throughout the hotel. However, I was advised there may be connectivity issues when I checked in, and indeed there was. I was unable to connect any of my apple devices, which was a bit of an issue. Great for a relaxing visit to switch off, but not so good for your Executive.
The Queen’s suite had a lovely large round table, and suitable chair for working. A peaceful space for your executive to have some thinking time, or for a conference call.
Informal meeting space
There are a number of suitable spaces at the Spread Eagle hotel for informal meetings, be it the cosy bar area, the airy conservatory, or for a warm sunny day the terrace.
I was unable to fault the service at the Spread Eagle. From reception staff, to waiting staff, me and my husband were made to feel most welcome, and nothing was too much trouble. On arrival we were asked if we’d visited before, and having not, we were shown to the key areas of the hotel – the bar, dining room, and spa. This was extremely helpful. Service during dinner was excellent. My husband is Vegan, and although we are used to having to call ahead to ensure that the chef is aware of dietary requirement, we are so often let down which can put a real dampener on an evening. However, without prompt, a suitable menu was presented at dinner, and a delicious range of options available which put us both at ease.
If your executive is an outdoor type, the location is absolutely ideal. Set amongst the South Downs, you are in easy reach of footpaths and cycle paths in one of the most beautiful parts of the country; it really is breathtaking. There is also access to the hotel’s modern air conditioned gym for those who want to get a workout in during their stay. Families are very welcome at the hotel, and we noticed a number of them dining for breakfast, who appeared to be very well catered for. Dogs are also welcome!
It’s hard not to relax in a hotel that is surrounded by beautiful countryside, but if you need help to unwind, you can book into the award winning spa for a massage, use the on-site sauna and steam room, or have a swim in the indoor heated pool. Our visit was in late May, but I’d love to return on a chilly winter’s day to sink into one of their comfortable sofas or armchairs by one of their open fires and read a good book. Top marks for relaxation.
The Spread Eagle serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with the dining room open until 11pm. Your executive can dine formally in the main restaurant, or choose to eat in the more informal conservatory or on the terrace. We enjoyed both a three course meal, and breakfast the following morning, and the quality of the food and the produce used was excellent. There’s a lovely range of options, and all dietary requirements catered for. If your executive is a fan of gin, the hotel has one of the most impressive ranges I’ve seen locally. With 55 varieties to sample, 12 different tonics and a menu of fresh garnishes, you really can customise your drink. This was a lovely added bit of theatre for the evening.