Words Alex Fisher
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? This is one of the best coastal spa hotels with easy access from London, and so is perfect for a weekend break. Sitting in 30 acres of grounds that are teeming with wildlife, it’s a quiet sanctuary where you can truly relax and recharge. Hidden away down a narrow, winding lane, there is no sound of passing traffic to destroy the natural ambience. The collection of unique buildings, follies, chapel and spa are spread out through the gardens and there is always somewhere secluded where you can contemplate the beauty of the world around you. As well as an indoor and an outdoor pool, hot tub, steam room and sauna, you can take a five-minute stroll down the secluded beach for a refreshing dip in the sea. If you enjoy a hotel that is truly unique, this is the perfect place for you. Make sure you read up on the fascinating history while you are here, as despite appearing to be an authentic medieval village, it was actually largely built in the 1920s with historic building materials collected from around the world, as was highly fashionable at the time.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? You can choose from the medieval-inspired traditional rooms, where you will find four-poster beds, open fireplaces and roll-top baths or go for the more recently created, spacious, contemporary rooms, with slick and simple styling. Large cottages can be rented by room, or as a whole, offering plenty of great options for a multi-generational stay.
BEST SEA VIEW? The sea is largely hidden by the small woodland that sits between the spa and hotel, so the best way to see it is to take a little walk through the woods onto the part-shingle, part-sand beach at Climping. The tucked-away location ensures that the beach is never busy.
HOW ABOUT THE FOOD As well as offering afternoon tea in the Rose Garden, or breakfast in the gorgeous courtyard, the hotel has an excellent fine-dining restaurant. For dinner, I enjoyed a delicious Burrata with spiced aubergine, cherry tomato, sultana and toasted pine nut salad, aged balsamic and herb oil, followed by the most tender chicken I have ever eaten, served with morel mushroom cream sauce, potato purée and kale with a red wine jus. The desserts were a delight, my choice being the raspberry Mille-Feuille, with lemon cream and raspberry sorbet.
ANY LUXURIOUS TOUCHES? The entire hotel exudes luxury. Do book a massage in advance of your stay, to make the most of the excellent therapists. I had a fantastic Drift Away massage, which although only lasting 25 minutes, felt like hours of deep relaxation. Make sure you leave plenty of time to use the beautiful pools and spa too though.
WHAT WILL IT COST? A one-night stay in a Climping Room costs from £370 per room per night (a double room; two people sharing) including breakfast and spa and health suite access.
HOW DO I BOOK? Bailiffscourt is a member of Pride of Britain Hotels, a collection of fine hotels dotted all around the British Isles, each one unique and characterful. A one-night stay in a Climping Room at The Bailiffscourt costs from £370 per room per night (a double room, two people sharing) including breakfast, as well as spa and health suite access. To book, visit prideofbritainhotels.com.