From the thick brick walls to the diamond-shaped window frames and chunky historic doors, the luxury Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa appears to be the a perfect example of a medieval property, set within immaculate lawns and with rural views over misty fields. However, this picturesque outpost was built as early as 1927. It was designed for Lord Moyne, then Walter Guinness of the brewing family, by the antiquarian and architect, Amyas Phillips. His brief was to recreate a house in the medieval style, which was favoured by Lord Moyne’s wife Evelyn. Phillips searched the country for original stone, woodwork, doors, windows and fireplaces, bringing them all together at Climping to create an exquisite country house and park. In 1933 he went on to landscape the gardens to complement the buildings. Throughout the 1930’s, Bailiffscourt played host to the high society of the day until the death of Lady Moyne in 1939. Then in 1948 it became a beautiful hotel.
The Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa is the country retreat you dream of. If you arrive from the west, your sat nav will direct you right past the entrance of Butlins Holiday park in Bognor. Fear not! As you pull away from the circus pinnacles that crown this holiday camp, you travel into another world. Drive through fields, past picturesque villages and down tiny country lanes before you pull into the expansive grounds of the Bailiffscourt.
I was initially struck by the beautifully kept grounds around the Bailiffscourt. The driveway winds across 30 acres of well manicured lawns. A number of historic buildings also nestle in various corners of the plot. It’s all so pretty and historic that you feel like you are travelling into a postcard from the past. Cutesy signposts direct you to the guest car park and in front of the car park stands the main medieval style building.
The ground floor of the Bailiffscourt hotel is a series of rooms that wind through to the main stairs. These intimate lounges, some with inviting fireplaces, others with tapestries adorning the brick walls, are a delightful place to take your afternoon tea or sip an evening drink by the fire. Corridors with flagstone floors lead you through to wooden and stone staircases. Above, historic bedrooms sit behind thick church like doors and peep out of ornate windows to the fields below.
Just like the rest of the hotel, our room at the Bailiffscourt seemed to be genuinely historic with thick walls, heavy, historic doors, medieval detailing and super views. The furnishing a mix of solid wood chests, drawer sets and a huge four-poster bed. Each piece felt hand-made or lovingly restored and fitted perfectly with the medieval ambiance. Deep red rugs and a comfy sofa finished this cosy retreat. The bathroom, reached through a tiny beam door, was modern with slate flooring and a roll top bath.
Across from the main building is a wonderful feature of this hotel. A beautifully designed spa and pool in a large wooden barn style building. Inside, high, beamed ceilings hung above the main pool and jacuzzi. Outside there was jet another pool and jacuzzi looking over the fields. The entire spa was immaculate, the pool was warm and as evening approached, what seemed like a thousand candles were lit and flickered upon every surface. Just magic!
Bar and Restaurant
Bar food and drinks are delivered in the many lounges which span the ground floor of the main building. Each room was cosy and inviting with roaring fires and comfy sofas. Beyond these, a medieval style dining room offered an extremely tasty a la carte menu, well deserving of its 2 AA-rosettes. During the summer months the rose-clad courtyard outside also provides an alfresco setting for light lunches and afternoon teas.
I will return to the Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa to take stroll out to the beach, just over the fields from the hotel, to sip a drink by the roaring fire and to enjoy a swim in their fabulous spa pool or just to enjoy the intimate medieval feel of the hotel and its surroundings. This luxury hotel is simply gorgeous and I will be back.
Stays at Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa are from £229 per night, based on two sharing a Classic Double Room, mid-week, on a B&B basis.
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