This winter, we enjoyed a stay at the luxury South Lodge Hotel in Sussex.
Nestled in the picturesque, rolling South Downs, a drive to this majestic hotel is a joyous romp down country lanes and across chalky hills. The hotel itself sits in a huge 93 acres of woodlands, azalea fields and ornamental gardens. The building peers out over swathes of lawns to the fields beyond.
It is also surprisingly easy to get to with Gatwick Airport just 20 minutes away by car, and London just an hour and a half away.
Style & Character
South Lodge Hotel clearly used to be a grand old 19th-century neo-Jacobean manor house. The central part of the hotel is still housed in the original house, which showcases original features such as old fireplaces and traditional multi-paned windows. The building has been extended on both sides and the bedrooms seemed to be mainly located in the newer parts of the building.
Service & Facilities
We had a wonderful evening in the bar and The Camellia restaurant at South Lodge. The bar was lively and set to the back of the house. The staff were excellent, offering a great selection of drinks with nibbles.
The Camellia restaurant was set in the original front rooms of the manor. There were 2 character-filled rooms which made up the restaurant. The rooms were ever-so-pretty with rose wallpaper and views across the gardens. In the summer, I imagine you could eat and drink on the terrace too. Once again the staff were excellent and the food was fresh tasty and had been awarded 2-Rosettes.
Breakfast was also served in The Camellia. This room was bathed in sunshine and breakfast was a generous buffet, with eggs served to the table. It was most enjoyable.
While we stayed, an impressive spa and pool facility was being built. It looked like this was going to be a pretty incredible feature of the hotel, making it well worth a return visit to investigate.
Our room was located in a sympathetic extension, so wasn’t overflowing with personality, but it had glorious views out over the gardens and the Downs. It was also very large with two double beds and a generous bathroom with two sinks, a bath with a TV in the wall so you could watch while you bathe, and a shower room large enough for a party.
South Lodge Hotel has the reputation of being one of the best hotels in Sussex. With the addition of the new spa and pool, there is little in the area that could match this hotel in terms of views and facilities. It is, however, the warmth and dedication of the staff in the bar and restaurant, the liveliness of the communal areas, even on a Monday night, and the gorgeous intimate setting of the restaurant, that will stay in my memory.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.