A Stay At The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa
One of the oldest coaching inns in England, The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa, is steeped in history. At first glance, an observer may innocently expect the hotel to be unremarkable. It is located in the quaint town of Midhurst, its entrance is understated, and it is situated on an unassuming country road.
However, The Spread Eagle is anything but inconspicuous. Since 1430, the old coaching inn’s venerable walls have housed a rich tapestry of history. Reputedly, both Queen Elizabeth I and Guy Fawkes called the hotel home for the briefest of periods and in 1533, Sir William Fitzwilliam, Henry VIII's Lord High Admiral, purchased the property.
Today, the hotel is privately owned and seamlessly weaves its history in with the new architectural additions to the property, reflecting the contemporary feel of the hotel today.
Discover more about The Spread Eagle with us as we travel through time and discover the hotel’s journey from its humble beginnings as basic lodgings for the transient traveller to the modern marvel for the well-heeled explorer that it is today.
Hotel & Grounds
Retracing the footsteps of some of Britain’s most famous and infamous historical figures, meandering around the grounds of The Spread Eagle is an adventure in its own right. There seems to be old tales about so many of the past guests who have stayed within the walls of the hotel woven into every nook and cranny.
The exterior is a fusion of both the old and the new, with the latest addition to the property being an airy, bright conservatory. The original medieval lattice windows, exposed oak beams and elegant period detail, offer a glimpse into what was, creating an authentic historical experience for every guest.
Surrounded by acres of charming countryside, there are lovely walks to be had on the South Downs. You are also a stone's throw away from the exclusive polo club, Cowdray Park, and the renowned Goodwood Racecourse, which hosts affluent guests from all around the world each year.
The atmospheric restaurant at The Spread Eagle is warm and inviting and is among one of the many places in the hotel with a history.
It hosted medieval lords and, infamously in July 1939, Hitler’s Foreign Minister, Joachim Von Ribbentrop, dined at The Spread Eagle with Hermann Goering and four other officers after attending the Goodwood Races.
The newly-created autumnal menu is well worth sampling when visiting the hotel. Starters include palatial options such as whole grilled south coast scallops and grapefruit gin-cured salmon, while main courses include exquisite grilled breast of South Downs pheasant and Jack Smallman's South Downs venison steak cooked to perfection.
A wide array of desserts serve to end the evening on a sweet note, with indulgent warm plum pudding, apple and almond galette and rich dark chocolate mousse all available to be savoured.
Christmastime at The Spread Eagle is a magical one. As you make your way through the hotel’s dining area, the bar welcomes guests with a fully stocked bar, twinkling fairy lights in the window and plenty of snug armchairs all centred around a sizable, rustic inglenook fireplace.
Guests, staying the night or not, flock to this firelit part of the hotel and, come rain or snow, there will always be people found jovially conversing over big glasses of whatever takes their fancy.
Among the many historical aspects to the hotel, the rooms tell perhaps the most tantalising of tales. Guests staying at the hotel have the opportunity to sleep in the very same rooms as Queen Elizabeth I, HG Wells, and, in more recent years, HRH Prince Charles.
Among the 39 bedrooms on offer, the four-poster suites feature some of the more contemporary touches that The Spread Eagle has carefully introduced to the old property. Big, flat screen TVs mount the walls, vintage-style radios sit atop bedside tables, and comfy armchairs invite guests to kick back, relax and read one of the collection of luxury magazines and books available.
The bathrooms are modern with a vintage twist, featuring cornflower blue hues on the walls, floral accessories and a gilded silver faucet in the ornate bathtub.
The spacious bed is most certainly made for royalty: crisp clean sheets and fluffy pillows are what awaits guests after their nightcap in the bar.
Rest & Relaxation
The award-winning spa nestled within the hotel at The Spread Eagle is thoroughly deserving of its 4 Bubble Rating with ‘The Good Spa Guide’. Among the wide array of facilities the spa has to offer is an air-conditioned gym, six cosy treatment rooms and a beautiful indoor heated swimming pool.
The spa is also well-known for the palatial treatments that they offer. The exquisite ‘Champagne & Truffles’ facial contains luxuriant ingredients such as champagne, silk, diamonds, gold and rare black truffles, and aids in strengthening and toning the skin. ‘A Brush with Heaven’ body treatment uses an assortment of brushes in varying sizes and textures to relax, stimulate and smooth the skin.
Among our most-coveted treatments at the spa is the intensive deep tissue ‘Work It Out’ massage, which sculpts the body while giving tired muscles a workout. The masseuse has a brief chat with guests to gain further insight into their pain points and, based on her findings, works out any knots that inevitably tie up the back.
Post-treatment, guests are guided to The Nest which is a private space where they are provided with a helpful note from the masseuse detailing areas of their body which need attention and suggestions on how to maintain a healthy mind, body and soul. Within the relaxation room, hues of Oxford blue adorn the walls, snug sheepskin throws lie across broad loungers and warm apricot tea steams away in oriental cast iron teapots.
The indoor swimming pool and adjacent jacuzzi, sauna and steam room are the standout features of the spa. Set beneath a Scandinavian-style vaulted ceiling, guests can recline on one of the many loungers dotted around the poolside, socialise with friends or unwind in the outside garden.
Stays at The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa are from £289 per night, based on two sharing a Feature Four Poster Room, mid-week on a B&B basis.