BEST FOR: Swimming and dining
Dragging your other half away to a spa weekend can be a hard sell if all that awaits you after your health and fitness treatments is a bowl of rabbit food and some kale juice. But no-one in their right mind would turn down a trip to Ockenden Manor, where the life-giving properties of a few lengths in a steaming outdoor pool and a Ren facial can be offset by a tasting menu and eye-boggling cheese trolley in an adjoining Michelin starred restaurant. The modern spa, (complete with indoor and outdoor pools and jacuzzis, steam and sauna, rain showers, treatment rooms and seven acres of South Downs greenery to roam) has been tucked behind the handsome Elizabethan Ockenden Manor. Its modern, glass walled architecture provides the ultimate contrast with the knobbly bricked manor it rubs shoulders with, but the sensitive position of the spa behind the hotel means its perfectly sympathetic.
You can choose to stay in a roomy contemporary suite in the spa itself (with each named after a person eg Linus, rather than a number), with its own Nespresso machine, wet room and vast bed. Or you can pitch up in the more traditional hotel rooms, and make use of the spa facilities - either way you get to dine in the manor... and you must. The restaurant serves some of the best food in Sussex, with a cracking wine list, debonair French waiters and a selection of cheeses and desserts that will take a thousand lengths of the pool to work off. Of course, if you want healthy, you have the option of lunch at the spa, and an early dinner from the spa menu - much more salady. But we recommend you fold up your fluffy bath robe, get dressed up, and hit the manor for the perfect way to round off a session of self-indulgence and relaxation - with more self-indulgence and relaxation.
Spa day packages from £102; An overnight stay at the spa from £179.