When a hotel has its own helipad, your expectations are pretty high so of course I thought the immaculately well-dressed porter walking towards me as I bumped my suitcase clumsily along the shingle path towards the rather grand entrance of the Alexander House Hotel was coming to help.
Instead, he walked straight passed me. WTH? My expectations nosedived.
Fortunately, that was the only blip in an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable overnight stay. After I’d dragged my own case grudgingly over the impressive threshold and into the equally impressive lobby my mood improved considerably.
Alexander House Hotel is in East Grinstead, not far from London Gatwick Airport, so it’s an ideal place to stay for clients with an early morning flight or better still, somewhere to recharge after a long flight before continuing their journey.
The main part of the hotel is a glorious Jacobean mansion surrounded by 120 acres of garden. Some of the rooms, the Cedar Lodge Suites, are in a sleek, glass and timber uber modern extension located a short walk from the main building.
All the rooms are named after trees and range in size, from cosy attic rooms to plush master suites.
Ours was the Spruce, one of the smaller and more traditional rooms. It was just big enough for two and the luxury bathroom was nice and roomy, with a bath and separate shower.
The L’Occitane products in the bathroom are in keeping with the hotel’s luxe vibe, and bathrobes are provided for your trip to the spa.
Inside there’s a Grecian-inspired swimming pool, a second therapy pool with water jets and a dreamy, low-lit relaxation area; outside in the garden there’s a hot tub and a wood sauna, which looked like fun but actually was a little draughty!
The spa currently costs £20 per person per hour, which is a bit steep, even though it is divine. It was previously a more reasonable £20 per day, but the time limit has been introduced to help the hotel restrict numbers during COVID.
Treatments are available and you’ll find a full menu online. I didn’t try any so can’t vouch for them.
Food & drink
We had pre-dinner drinks in the hotel’s plush 1608 Champagne Bar, where the décor is a blend of traditional and modern and the service is spot on.
The hotel has two restaurants, the very formal looking AG’s and more casual Reflections. We opted for the latter, which is more bistro style. There’s a lovely outdoor terrace too.
Reflections also has an extensive breakfast buffet, with oodles of choice, and since it connects the hotel to the spa, you can breakfast in your bathrobe after a dip. We decided to dress for the occasion instead.
Who to sell to?
It’s great for a romantic weekend, a spa break for a group of friends, or a pitstop on the way to or from Gatwick.
Highs: The spa is definitely a big selling point
Lows: Well, I still haven’t quite got over the indignity of lugging my own suitcase into the reception!