I recently returned from a weekend stay at Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa and can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who may be searching for a relaxing spa hotel break away.
As my first choice (Dormy House in the Cotswolds) only had availability for one night, I opted for Ockenden Manor as it had a room available for the entire Bank Holiday Weekend and was convenient to get to from London (only 45 minutes on the train from Victoria or an hour from Blackfriars, followed by a 10 minute cab ride from the station). I've found this to be of utmost importance lately when booking a relaxing weekend away - the stress of long train journeys or getting to a station that's in the opposite corner of London simply counteracts the stress-free, relaxing qualities of a weekend away, so I was glad to see that Ockenden Manor was easily accessible.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the hotel itself, the spa and the food. Upon our (early) arrival, we were informed that we had been upgraded to a junior spa suite and encouraged to relax in the spa and grab some lunch whilst our room was being prepared. After lunch, we had a luxurious swim in the hotel's beautiful indoor and outdoor (connected) heated pools and sat in the sauna and jacuzzi for some time (the steam room was broken, unfortunately, during our stay) before being shown to our beautiful room, which opened up onto the spa's roof terrace.
We dined in the restaurant's Michelin-starred restaurant that evening and were blown away by the quality of the ingredients as well as the innovative flavours and textures used to create the dishes. At £56 per person, it's a menu to be taken seriously, but the experience itself was well worth it.
Service was attentive and friendly throughout our stay; staff really made us feel as though any request could be accommodated (we enquired about the price of late checkout and were graciously offered a complimentary late checkout and full use of the spa for hours after we had checked out, for example). But that's not to say that our stay was without its tiny little glitches: our bin in the bathroom had not been emptied after the room was made up each day, I asked for milk to be sent to my room for tea but then had to call again when it didn't arrive for 20 minutes or so, etc.). I wish that the hotel would provide robes and slippers in the rooms as well, as that's always a wonderful touch that I've enjoyed at other spa hotels I've stayed at - not to mention a better quality hair dryer (always my complaint!).
Having read a few negative reviews here on Tripadvisor, I must admit I was slightly dreading my visit, but I couldn't have been more pleased. I'll definitely be returning in the near future for a second stay!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ockenden Manor is a charming and tranquil Elizabethan Manor House tucked away in Cuckfield, one of the prettiest Tudor villages in England. With its history and character, elegant sitting room warmed by a roaring log fire and cosy, wood panelled bar, it's a wonderful place to escape to and yet it is just an hour from London and 20 minutes drive from Gatwick. The hotel is set in nine acres of peaceful gardens and parkland with views across the West Sussex countryside to the South Downs and some of the great gardens and stately homes of Sussex and Kent are within easy reach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ockenden Manor Hotel And Spa
- Ockenden Manor Hotel Cuckfield
- Ockenden Manor Cuckfield
- Hotel Ockenden Manor
- Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa Cuckfield, West Sussex