The drive into Ockenden Manor & Spa sets the tone for a stay in this tranquil corner of Sussex.
Nestled within the quiet hamlet of Cuckfield with the southern slopes of the Weald in the background the winding roads are perfumed with a luscious bouquet of country smells. There is a notable peacefulness away from the humdrum of London, even though it is only just over an hour away.
Built in the 16th century the old manor house-turned hotel features many Elizabethan characteristics you might associate with a grand country residence of that era. Cosy corridors guide you around large dining spaces, comfortable lounges and an elegant drawing room with a sun drenched terrace and croquet lawn outside.
Today the hotel is joined by an award winning spa that boasts an in-and-outdoor swimming pool along with a natural spring and all the calming amenities you could wish for to complete a restful stay. The contemporary airy structure contrasts and complements the hotel and shares its nine acres of parklands and gardens which add to the serenity of the stay.
With Haywards Heath and Gatwick Airport in touching distance and both Brighton and London just a short drive away this is an idyllic spot for a short getaway. It is also an ideal place to discover the unique beauty of the Sussex countryside and coastline, with seaside resorts and historic towns within touching distance as well as the bountiful scenery on offer in The Weald.
Rooms & interior 4/5
Ockenden Manor is home to 28 bedrooms which offer a deeply luxurious night’s sleep. Each room is dressed differently with a unique style but the central features never skimp on the extravagances. Fluffy dressing gowns await guests with Temple Spa products in all bathrooms. There is also satellite TV, complementary WiFi and a tea and coffee tray with home-made biscuits which are best enjoyed admiring the view of the surrounding landscape.
Food & drink 4/5
Headed up by award-winning Head Chef, Stephen Crane the food offering at Ockenden Manor is exemplary. Whether you’re looking to enjoy afternoon tea overlooking the gardens or indulge in a lunch or dinner service in the restaurant you can be assured of the best flavours of Sussex enjoyed in opulent surroundings. And be sure not to sleep through breakfast. Delightful scents of fresh coffee, toast and locally sourced sausage and bacon will welcome you into the dining room for the first meal of the day overlooking Cuckfield Park.
The highly-rated spa at Ockenden Manor is built inside a peaceful 19th century walled garden and is by far the highlight of the trip. Featuring a connected in-and-outdoor swimming pool as well as eight treatment rooms, an Isopod, walk-through rainforest shower and relaxation spaces it is a wonder to behold. The spa was recently awarded the Good Spa Guide’s 5 Bubble Rating, and it’s easy to see why. You feel rested as soon as you walk through the door and can happily pass away the hours of the day as you detox and relax.
Rooms at Ockenden Manor & Spa start from £189 per night and can be booked here.