South Lodge Hotel
Taking luxury to the next level, a magnificent brand new £14m, 44,000 sq. ft. spa has just opened at the award-winning South Lodge Hotel in Horsham, Sussex.
Guests, members and spa seekers alike can now enjoy a whole host of facilities including a 2,000 square foot gym with Technogym equipment; yoga, HIIT, circuits and spin classes in dedicated studios; a beauty bar and barbers; the Botanica Restaurant and The Watershed poolside dining option.
Drawing inspiration from the surrounding South Downs, the new stand-alone two storey spa building takes on the sweeping landscape, with brick and timber cladding elements a curved glazed roof and floor to ceiling windows making the most of the stunning views.
The project to create the new spa was carried out for Exclusive Hotels & Venues.
Designed by Felce & Guy Partnership with sustainability in mind, the unique architecture brings the outside in and extends the spa out into the grounds, where terraced sun decks surround the UK’s first heated natural swim pond.
The spa’s stunning interiors were created by Sparcstudio, with as Beard Construction as main contractors.
Much of the design concept was inspired by South Lodge’s botanical history dating back to the 1800’s. Frederick DuCane Godman, a British naturalist and plant collector built the original house and surrounding gardens with over 360 species of trees and plants sourced from the Azores, Caribbean and Central & South America.
Arrival at reception on the upper level is light and bright, with large picture window frames offering views of the historical Rhododendron gardens. From the reception area, guests can access the spa lounge and restaurant, the treatment zones or travel down to the other areas of the spa.
This level features two unique concepts, the elegant ‘Ridgeview Beauty Bar’ combining nail bar and pedicure suite, and Grizzlys Male grooming bar designed with a forest green colour scheme in the style of a traditional modern barber shop.
The Botanica Spa Restaurant incorporates a spa lounge and bar leading through to a light, airy 70 seat restaurant.
The restaurant boasts a double height space with timber lined curving roof and a ‘theatre kitchen’ for added impact. Fold back glass doors along one entire side of the restaurant lead onto a dining terrace with views onto the spa garden, natural swimming pool, cascading ornamental pools and South Downs.
Beverley Bayes of Sparcstudio said: “The overall feel of Botanica is relaxed and uplifting with the sweeping double height timber clad curved ceiling opening out via fold back doors to the terrace We have designed bespoke furniture and features throughout including large hand-selected log tables, and we have selected materials that are very textural and combine linens and velvets and leathers in greens and rust shades.”
For the Thermal Suite and pools, Sparcstudio has created luxurious dressing rooms with marble and etched glass showers and relaxing social spaces with comfy sofas, tiled rugs and bookcases, all bespoke designed to create a ‘club-like’ feel.
The Thermal Suite with candle lit relaxation zone overlooks the spa terrace, hydro-pool and features a series of iconic, bespoke experiences designed by Sparcstudio including: Panoramic Juniper infused sauna with organic profiled timber fins from wall to ceiling and full height glazing overlooking the gardens.
The ‘Jewel in the crown’ on this level is the Forest Green marble lined, candlelit pool hall, where a stunning indoor infinity edge ozone treated pool is surrounded by relaxation beds with panoramic views onto the spa gardens and external pools.
The gym and fitness area features the latest high-tech equipment with an urban retro look interior and a dedicated external fitness deck all overlooking the spa garden. Beverley Bayes said: “We have gone for an edgy contemporary urban feel for the gym with old school style dark oak parquet flooring, concrete render effect walls, and huge illuminated mirrors.”
Adjacent to this is a dedicated ‘state-of- the- art’ Spin studio and a separate, serene studio space lined with full height mirrors and ballet barre to one wall and floor to ceiling slot windows overlooking the mature rhododendron gardens to the rear.
Within the beautiful outdoor spa garden, the upper spa terrace boasts relaxation beds and a fire pit with a large infinity edge hydropool overlooking the gardens below. The lower spa terrace is an extensive decked relaxation area surrounding a reed fringed 18m long ‘Natural’ heated outdoor swimming pool.
Beverley Bayes concluded: “It is always challenging with a spa being such a highly serviced environment and it was particularly important to create the perfect mood and tone. The project was of great importance for us and has been a real passion with great attention to detail.”
Danny Pecorelli Managing Director of Exclusive Hotels & Venues says: “I chose Sparcstudio to work with because I liked their design. It boils down to a comfort in their understanding of the brief and their knowledge of the project. Exclusive Hotels are all about the attention to detail and so are Sparcstudio.”
“I am genuinely, above and beyond delighted with the end result of the project. It’s the quality and feel and the attention to detail. For example, in the sauna, you get the ‘wow’ factor that we wanted, and everybody comments on it.”
RHA Furniture offers competitively priced furniture and joinery for the Hospitality and Leisure Industry, whether standard items from Italy and Portugal or bespoke upholstery and joinery from RHA’s partner factories in Portugal.
The company was founded in 1990 by Richard Hunt and has worked on a number of historic projects, ranging from Buckingham Palace to 10 Downing Street. RHA also regularly works with high-profile clients such as Champneys, Jupiter Hotels and The Club Company.
At the South Lodge Hotel, RHA worked alongside designers Sparc Studio to turn their vision into reality through bespoke furniture and joinery pieces for the Spa reception area, public areas and treatment rooms.
Liese Brandt, Sales and Marketing Director, said:
“We have worked for Exclusive Hotels in the past and for many years with Sparc Design and it was important to work again together to bring this amazing new space to South Lodge. It is also a great showcase highlighting our bespoke capabilities in beautiful surroundings.
“We are a small friendly family run Company that are passionate about what we do and work closely with the designers, many whom have become friends over the years and we pride ourselves on our service and what we can offer to the project.”