“Many blissful memories of our visit to The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa with our baby. It was a very chilled out time and I particularly remember the happiness I felt in the hot tub and treating myself to a massage at the spa. Also dessert and a cheeky drink in the bar while we listened to our son asleep in our ground floor room via the baby monitor - lovely times”
My husband Ben, our fifteen month old son Fraser, and I visited The Spread Eagle together for a fab family mini break. It’s a beautiful old hotel, the photos on its website looked utterly lovely, and we just couldn’t wait to arrive and enjoy the comforts of the place. We were not disappointed!
The Spread Eagle blends a perfect mix of old and new; a traditional bar and restaurant, and a modern beautiful spa.
The character of the place enchants you from the moment you walk in. We arrived on a sunny afternoon and had a relaxing sit down in the lovely conservatory area with tea and biscuits before checking into our room, going for a swim and then enjoying a meal in the restaurant. The next morning we had a huge filling breakfast, enjoyed another swim and spa session, and had a leisurely check-out with a cup of tea in the conservatory before leaving. We had a marvellous time, and below is a little more detail on the hotel and our visit.
Bedrooms in the Spread Eagle are of varying types, sizes and prices within the hotel building. The beautiful rooms range from The Sussex Junior Suite, The Midhurst, The Classic Room and The Classic Cosy Room. Depending on the age of your children and how big your party is, there’s something to suit everyone. I recommend booking in liaison with the hotel who really do want to welcome families, and their friendly, attentive staff will take note of your requirements and help you plan accordingly.
We were assigned a ground floor suite, the HG Wells, which was perfect for travelling with our toddler. Firstly, the practicalities of taking a pushchair in and out, means that having a limited number of steps to navigate made this easy. Secondly, being able to get to the fabulous bar area by just walking a few metres away, through two doors, so that once Fraser was asleep in the evening, we headed back to the bar to order dessert and a bottle of wine, happy in the knowledge we could hear Fraser on the baby monitor we had with us, and could get to him very quickly. For parents of young children, we really enjoyed ourselves, this is living the dream! Within our suite, there was a lounge area with television and tea and coffee facilities which is another way of giving parents the chance to enjoy an evening without disturbing the kids
The Spread Eagle restaurant is very smart, yet with a homely feel, and offers dinner from 7pm onwards. Do liaise with the helpful staff if you have preferences or special requirements. Some families may prefer to dine in a quiet corner, others happier within the hustle and bustle. We booked into the restaurant, with baby in tow, for a 7pm dinner. Although later than Fraser’s usual dinner time, Ben and I take a relaxed approach when on holiday and were completely happy to break with the usual routine. Worn out by the fun of the swimming pool in the afternoon, Fraser took a late nap and woke up in time for dinner, which worked perfectly. The hotel restaurant offers a nice children’s menu and staff are accommodating and can work around likes and dislikes. All staff were really lovely and made us feel welcome. No one batted an eyelid at toddler dining! We retired to the lovely hotel lounge for dessert (baby monitor in hand) after putting Fraser to bed - our ground floor room meaning he was in very close proximity to us should we need to get to him.
Breakfast in the morning was a treat, such a wide variety, and our little toddler enjoyed porridge, fruit and toast while we enjoyed divine pastries from the buffet, and full cooked breakfasts. One of the things Ben and I have found since having Fraser is that when we eat out we need his food to arrive as quickly as possible in order to keep him entertained. Service was well-timed, as it had been the previous evening, and there was no waiting around for the porridge for Fraser, we ordered immediately and staff prioritised it, small touches like this make all the difference to a trip away.
A snack menu is also available to order from in the lounge and hotel bar throughout the day.
The spa is a tranquil luxurious area of the hotel, so well looked-after and a pleasure to spend time in. The set family swimming times instantly put our minds at rest and made us feel at ease knowing there was an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon where it was fine for Fraser to splash about and not worry about disturbing the peace.We fitted in two swimming pool sessions during our one night stay and we really enjoyed being in the pool together. There’s a hot tub and sauna for grown ups so we took it in turn to be on childcare duty while the other one went off to make the most of that. Beauty treatments are available to book and I may or may not have treated myself to a massage… Ok, I admit it, I did and it was so wonderful. I felt all the shoulder tension from carrying around a toddler just melt away. I came out looking and feeling so much better after my pamper session! Highly recommended.
Things to do for Kids
The Spread Eagle owners are really keen to ensure the hotel stays as family friendly as possible. There's a little quiz/ticklist they’ve created to capture the interest of children. Colouring sheets and word games are available for entertaining the kids during mealtimes.
There are plenty of different places to sit and relax at the hotel, and my personal favourite was the conservatory at the front of the hotel. There are also seats outside, and the huge bar area with armchairs, sofas and attentive waiting staff who you can order drinks, snacks, desserts from. There was a wedding taking place during our stay and we loved watching all the comings and goings and Fraser was very taken with all the beautiful floral decorations. It all just added to the ambience and you get the feeling that everyone who ever visits The Spread Eagle can’t help but go back for a return visit. We had a truly lovely sunny summer visit but I’m excited by the thought of it in winter, with lots of twinkly Christmas lights and mulled wine in the lounge. Overall, such a perfect stay, we feel confident in recommending it, and we will certainly be back.
Reviewed by Frances & family