With a view of the rolling South Downs, Park House Hotel is a fabulous family-run Edwardian country house hotel and spa hidden in the West Sussex countryside. Despite living just a half-hour drive away all my life, I never knew it existed. Even the name of the village it is in, Bepton, was unfamiliar to me.
Staying at the Park House Hotel and Spa, West Sussex, felt as if I’d been made privy to a very special secret.
The Park House Hotel & Spa, West Sussex
My sister and I arrived in the late afternoon and were welcomed with a bottle of Prosecco. The interior of the Park House Hotel is elegant and luxurious, with beautiful artwork throughout. The bar has a fascinating collection of signed portraits of the many celebrities and polo players that have stayed here decorating the walls.
Our room at the Park House Hotel
Our room was spacious and very pretty with a view over the garden. The ensuite facilities included a bath and separate walk-in shower and I loved the complimentary VOYA bathroom products (including separate conditioner). The tea and coffee making facilities offered plenty of choices and I was pleased to see that an iron and ironing board were provided.
Things to do at the Park House Hotel & Spa, West Sussex
With a 6 hole par 3 golf course, putting green, traditional grass tennis courts, bowls lawn as well as a croquet lawn in the 10 acres of grounds, there’s plenty to do here.
Hotel guests and non-residents alike are able to use these facilities between May and September, but I was particularly looking forward to spending a morning in the spa with its spacious indoor pool. It was still a little chilly for the outdoor pool, although I did see someone using it during our stay. The hotel also boasts state of the art conference facilities.
Dining at Park House Hotel, West Sussex
Executive Chef Callum Keir and his team only work with locally-based producers, providing tasty seasonal fare. We were seated in the conservatory with a pretty view of the garden as the light began to fade. Our meal started with a very welcome amuse-bouche of mushroom with truffle cream. While not the most visually appealing dish I’ve had, it tasted superb.
It was tough deciding what to have for each course as it all sounded so good and a little different from the usual fare I come across, without being too experimental. For the starter, I opted for the special of wood pigeon, while my sister chose the lobster ravioli.
Next, Tessa went with a very tasty lamb shoulder and loin with a mini lamb pie topped with mashed potato, spring vegetables and rosemary. I settled on the plaice with saffron and brown shrimp. I noticed that there was more than one choice for both the starters and main course for vegetarians which is always good to see. And for dessert, Tessa tried the rhubarb and custard soufflé with ginger ice cream while I enjoyed the banana and peanut butter parfait with chocolate cream.
Throughout the meal, we were amused to hear soft squeals of delight and other noises of appreciation from the table next to us as they tucked into each dish. They were clearly enjoying the meal as much as we were.
Each course was exceptional. I couldn’t fault anything throughout the meal and the service was equally good if a little leisurely at times.
Breakfast at Park House Hotel
After a great night’s sleep, breakfast in the morning, again in the conservatory overlooking the gardens, was just as good as dinner had been the night before. We didn’t need to check out until 11 am so were able to take our time.
With so much to offer and such excellent service, it’s no wonder that the Park House Hotel were finalists in the Condé Nast Johansens Awards 2017 for the ‘Best Countryside Hotel’.
One of the best spas in West Sussex
Once we had checked out, our Park House Hotel escape still wasn’t over, as we headed next door to the spa. After a leisurely swim, I enjoyed a heavenly 90-minute treatment, the VOYA Deluxe Facial Experience costing £90. It started with a relaxing back massage, followed by a face massage before the facial itself and a hand and arm massage finished off with an Indian-style head massage.
At the start of my treatment, my therapist spotted that I have a particularly arched back and find lying flat on my back makes it ache quite badly. It’s something most therapists miss so when they do spot it I know it’s a good indication of the quality of their training and abilities. I loved how my therapist adjusted the massage table into a very comfortable position while having the facial, and so avoiding any backache.
Many treatments in the spa use VOYA products which harness the many beneficial properties of seaweed gathered by hand from the Atlantic coast of Ireland. Combine this with the skill of my therapist and this has to be my favourite facial I’ve ever had. And the Park House Hotel’s spa is now one of my favourite spas in West Sussex.
The Park House Hotel and Spa is a perfect choice for a well-being weekend. You’ll find further suggestions here in this guide to Detox Retreats UK.
Things to do in West Sussex
Park House Hotel is just a few miles from the historic market town of Midhurst and within easy reach of many more lovely Sussex villages and towns including Chichester, Petworth and Amberley. One of the best pubs in Sussex for both food and ale, The Fox Goes Free, is just 5 miles away. If you enjoy craft beer, nearby Langham Brewery is also a must.
Some of our favourite days out in West Sussex include a visit to an Elizabethan manor house, Parham House, a walk in Nore Wood followed by lunch at The George in Eartham or a stroll through the gardens at West Dean. You could even join me for a guided walk in the South Downs and enjoy stunning hilltop views while learning about local history and folklore.
Combine a countryside escape with a London city break
For those visiting England seeking the best of both worlds, Park House Hotel is around 50 miles (an hour and a half) south of central London. It would be perfect for a twin-centre holiday, combining a city escape with a traditional English country house hotel break in the beautiful Sussex countryside.
Non-residents are welcome to pop by for a spot of golf, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner or to use the spa, but I would recommend booking ahead. I’m already planning a return visit as I’m sure my mother would really enjoy afternoon tea here. I don’t think she knows that this gem of a hotel is tucked away so close to her.
Park House Hotel and Spa is a very well-kept secret. It would be rather nice if it stayed that way, so let’s just keep this to ourselves and a few select friends and family.
Thanks to the Park House Hotel & Spa and all their staff for this wonderful complimentary short break for myself and my sister. We both thoroughly enjoyed it and we are looking forward to returning sometime soon.
Travel Blogger ‘Travel With Kat’ and Co-founder of Sussex Bloggers