Spa Hotel Review: Bailiffscourt Hotel, West Sussex, UK
Review: Jane Pople
Nestled next to the sea in the idyllic county of West Sussex, Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa’s remote location sets the scene for the relaxing atmosphere within. Situated within glorious gardens, the main hotel is an impressive medieval-style building, surrounded with several cottages and small out buildings with the large barn-styled Spa to the side.
As we stepped inside the building the interior struck us immediately, think low beamed ceilings and stone flanked floors, a cosy yet impressive medieval castle feel was evident straight away. We were promptly greeted and checked in effortlessly, and the shown up to our room through the many sitting rooms and long corridors, with roaring fires and low arched doorways. Up the winding stone steps our beautiful suite could be found behind a large wooden door. We stayed in one of the feature rooms, Southwode, and were stunned by the beautiful views across the gardens and out to the sea. The suite consisted of a large four poster bed and generously sized separate seating area, the decor in keeping with the medieval style of the property and featuring large tapestries that adorn the walls.
A contrasting style could be found in the bathroom, which was thoroughly modern and contained a large free-standing bath and impressive waterfall shower, complete with luxurious miniature Temple-Spa toiletries. It was one of the most spacious and luxurious bathrooms we’ve seen in a rural hotel. There were ample tea and coffee making facilities, including biscuits and complimentary mineral water.
After unpacking and settling into our new home for the next two nights I left my partner to get familiar with the room and made my way across the garden to the Bailiffscourt Spa for my Drift Away treatment. A large glass fronted barn-styled building, the Spa is beautifully presented with a large reception area. The staff followed suit from the hotel and were warm and welcoming. I was shown to the changing room where a locker complete with bathrobe and flip flops were waiting for me, and after changing I went back to the comfortable seating area in reception to await being collected for my treatment. Promptly on time, I was shown down the corridor to my treatment room and the therapist talked me through what I could expect over the next 55 minutes. The therapy room was wonderfully calm and the massage table was actually a heated water-bed, something I’d had never come across before but it really improved the whole experience. An all over massage using essential oils, the Drift Away treatment was truly wonderful and one I would fully recommend. Incorporating dry brushing, it finished with a facial and scalp massage with warm oil, leaving me truly relaxed and energised. I spent some time in one of the quiet relaxation rooms on the second floor of the spa afterwards, where I could relax on a lounger with a plethora of magazines before heading back across the gardens to the hotel.
We had a dinner reservation booked for 8pm; so we wandered down the stone steps through the winding corridors across to the Tapestry Restaurant situated at the other side of the hotel. Although there is no bar to prop up at Bailiffscourt there are plenty of seating areas to be found where an attentive staff member will quickly find you and bring you whatever you may want, from a tipple to a snack. The dining room features more medieval decor touches, tapestries, silverware etc, and despite its high ceiling and large windows looking out across the gardens it has a cosy atmosphere. We were shown our table by the hotel manager who was extremely friendly and asked us about our day, and then introduced us to our waiter for the evening. There are several different menus to choose from depending on what rate you have chosen, but as our waiter explained you can order across each menu and just add the supplement. Accompanying the menus there was an extremely extensive wine list, with several different regions available to choose from, we opted for a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. The dining choice is wide, and after some deliberation I went for the Salmon Rivolio to start and the lamb for main, and my partner opted for the Cod Brandade to start and then one of the Chef’s specials of Ox Cheek and Fois Gras. Our waiter then kindly suggested a red wine that would best accompany our main meals, which like many other details of our stay really added to the overall experience.
Throughout dinner the service was impeccable and the food arrived promptly and was beautifully presented. Each dish was delicious, and thanks to the extensive menu and quality of the food I would recommend Bailiffscourt for dinner on any occasion. The dining room could perhaps do with the small addition of some background music as thanks to its cavernous nature the ambience did appear to get a little lost despite the several diners present. We decided to end our meal with a dessert, thanks again to the extensive options it was hard to resist. I chose the Souffle and my partner opted for the Marzipan Mille-feuille, both of which were exquisite and the perfect end to a lovely meal.
After a restful night’s sleep, we headed back down to the dining room for breakfast. Once again there was a wide choice available, with a hot food menu and a large buffet-style spread available in the adjoining room. After a wonderfully fresh croissant with butter and jam, and a pot of Colombian coffee, I enjoyed a cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausages, whilst my partner enjoyed the same with poached eggs. The food was exquisite, and you could really taste the quality in of the ingredients, all of which are produced locally.
Fully satiated from our large breakfast we headed over to the Spa to spend the morning relaxing. Comprising of an indoor pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna, heated outdoor pool and heated outdoor hot tub, there is plenty to keep you occupied at the Bailiffscourt Spa. Relaxing poolside, or enjoying the view of rolling fields from the outdoor hot tub, a sense of tranquility is ever present. It was very quiet whilst we were there, with many loungers to choose from and plenty of fresh towels; and there are children friendly hours to suit visiting families. Later we retired to one of the relaxing rooms to enjoy the wide selection of complimentary tea and coffee on offer and ordered afternoon tea from the menu. A smaller selection than the hotel restaurant, the Spa menu was comprehensive enough to cover lunch or small snacks along with Champagne and other alcoholic beverages. The food followed suit and was delicious, and was enjoyed while we marveled at the views from the large windows overlooking the gardens and rolling fields.
Deciding to spend the rest of our day exploring the local area we headed to nearby Littlehampton, a quaint seaside town. Brighton and Bognor Regis are also reachable by car, along with many small villages for those looking to explore further afield. Once back at the hotel, we decided to walk through the beautiful gardens and along to the beach, which is a gentle five-minute stroll away. The views were spectacular and really added to the tranquil and relaxing atmosphere that we had experienced during our stay.
Our second night’s stay was as relaxing as the first, in our wonderful four postered bed. Feasting once again on the freshly made croissants and cooked local produce for breakfast we checked out around 11.30 am, a process which was wonderfully quick and simple. Throughout our stay at Bailiffscourt, the staff continued to make as feel at home and as though we were special, a feeling that is often missed at many, more modern, hotels. Remaining professional yet friendly was another winning trait every staff member portrayed, from the waiting staff through to the spa staff. And despite the medieval decor, large stone walls and floors the hotel was never cold, a cosy warmth was ever present and helped to create a relaxed at-home feel in every space.
The essence of this luxury hotel can be found in the details, from the turn-down service each evening to the complimentary newspapers which can be ordered on check-in; you’re fully aware that nothing is too much for the staff here and any whim can be easily catered for. From walks along the beach to board games by the roaring fire, relaxing at the spa or enjoying fine dining in the restaurant, Bailiffscourt has something for everyone.
Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a family weekend with children (dogs are also welcome), or ladies spa day, Bailiffscourt can attend to your every need and will help you truly relax. I couldn’t recommend a stay here enough, my partner and I will certainly be back!
Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa
Climping St | Climping | West Sussex | BN17 5RW
Drift Away Treatment, 55 mins £88
Feature room from £239 per night