A good hotel should feel like a hug. As soon as you walk into it, it should make you feel better about everything, all the stresses of everyday life should instantly melt away as you slowly relax. Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa in West Sussex does just that, while taking you back a few hundred years in the process.
Anyone tall in your party will need to stoop their head so as not to bump into the top of the Medieval doorways, which children will delight in as they will make them feel tall. A warren of passageways link a series of little rooms now transformed into lounges, bar areas and board game rooms to the main restaurant, which is set out in the Medieval-style great hall, complete with authentic mullioned windows and stone walls dressed with vast ancient tapestries.
But happily, whilst Bailiffscourt might look like a well preserved ancient lady, underneath the surface lies a very well-oiled 21st century hotel. The rooms — some in the main building, some spread around the grounds — are spacious and well appointed, with bathrooms where you’ll want to spend time. Some of the rooms are classic contemporary in design, if you want period features such as four-poster beds and open fires, request a traditional room.
The airy spa is relatively new and has been beautifully designed in sympathy with the original buildings. It has lovely indoor and outdoor pools, both heated, with generous swimming times for children and if you manage to grab some ‘me’ time the spa treatment menu is worth ordering from. I had a lovely Media Drift Away massage.
There is no kids’ club here, but the grounds have been designed with children in mind and there are little things to delight around every corner. Perhaps it’s a peacock spreading its wings or a swing suspended from a branch, a football goal to be aimed at or a tree to be climbed. Oh, and the pebble beach is just over a hop, skip and a jump away.
Then there is Sussex itself just waiting for you to explore it. Nearby you’ll find the buzzy typically English seaside town of Brighton and the Medieval Arundel Castle, which truly is Medieval. And then you’re not far from what is known as 1066 country. To find out about all that goes on there to bring one of the most significant periods of British history to life click here
Once back at base, Bailiffscourt’s Tapestry Restaurant will delight you with a series of tasty courses and they have even been thoughtful enough to create two children’s menus: one for really little-ones featuring basic healthy dishes such as grilled salmon and spaghetti bolognese and one for older children with slightly more adult choices, such as cocktail of prawns and slow-cooked fried duck leg.
Oh, and they will feed your dog too, who is also welcome to stay over. What a beautifully British break!
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