Set in the sweeping West Sussex countryside, this mock-medieval mansion is surrounded by a smattering of cottages and old buildings. Driving up the grand driveway, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d accidentally stumbled into another era altogether.
Surrounded by 30 acres of impressive grounds and just five minutes from Climping beach, you could easily while away a whole weekend here. Inside a warren of rooms make this grand building feel cosy, if not slightly difficult to get your bearings in to start with! The extensive grounds, full of interesting buildings and wildlife, give this hotel a distinctive countryside retreat vibe.
Check in and welcome
We arrived earlier than check-in time with a plan to use the spa, but the reception was a little frosty and unclear. We were told we’d have to request robes and slippers in the spa, which the spa staff would have to arrange through reception. Arriving at the spa this wasn’t the case at all and we were given keys to lockers which came fully equipped with robes and slippers.
After a play in the spa (more on this later) we were checked in by another member of staff. Friendly and helpful she showed us to our room and explained all the necessary information.
Our room featured two very comfortable twin beds, charming antiques and a real working fireplace. Dressed in hues of deep red and pink, the decadent décor was in keeping with the rest of the hotel. The bathroom was spotless and featured Temple Spa products.
Bottled water, tea and coffee making facilities and a good selection of magazines all added a little touch of luxury to the room.Unfortunately the room was looking tired in places and little things such as clumped together wires, peeling paint and dust were a distraction.
It’s here Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa comes into its own. With dramatic exposed timber the spa has been built in the style of a traditional Sussex barn and it’s no surprise it’s won design awards – it’s a place of beauty. Spa geeks will be pleased to know it has also been awarded The Good Spa Guide’s 5 Bubble Rating.
The indoor swimming pool was big enough to do lengths and there were plenty of poolside loungers for spectators (though unfortunately on our visit most of them were ‘reserved’ with used towels sprawled over them). The sauna and steam room were both pleasant to use but the star of the show for me was the outdoor hot tub. It enjoys a view out towards the infinity pool, though I wasn’t to be lured away! It was too glorious to be outside in the fresh spring air while staying safely cocooned in the warmth of the hot tub.
I also enjoyed a Red Carpet Facial during my stay. The 60 minute treatment started with a short foot and leg massage before moving onto the facial. This involved gentle, effective cleansing, a glycolic peel and lots of invigorating facial massage. My skin definitely looked pepped up afterwards and I felt very pampered.
The mullioned windows, hung tapestry and candlelight created a cosy yet formal atmosphere at The Bailiffscourt Hotel restaurant. We booked a table for dinner at 7pm and it quickly filled, so if you plan to eat here it pays to book ahead.
I started with a blue cheese and chicory salad which was chopped very thickly, especially considering the size of the bowl it was served in.
For the main course we both enjoyed a butternut squash pie with tenderstem broccoli. It was delicious, but on the small side for a main.
If I was feeling hungry before desert arrived, it wasn’t to be for long. My apple tart arrived gleaming and the size of the plate. Likewise, my dining partner’s cheese board was incredibly generous in size.
Bailiffscourt is a proper countryside retreat, so if you’re looking for somewhere to stay for a long weekend full of sea air and spa-side relaxation, look no further. The hotel is looking a little tired in places, so if you prefer pristine over homely, this ones not for you.
Finances and Details
Stays at Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa are from £249 per night, based on two sharing a Classic Double Room, mid-week, on a B&B basis.
Address: Climping, West Sussex, BN17 5RW
Tel: 01903 723511