Spa Spy: Brighton Harbour Hotel & Spa, East Sussex

Brighton Harbour Hotel and Spa
Brighton Harbour Hotel & Spa, East Sussex

Our sleuth investigates the curative claims of wellbeing retreats worldwide. This week: Brighton Harbour Hotel and Spa, East Sussex.

The spa:

Located in the heart of the bustling Brighton seafront, overlooking the beach and the pier, this fabulous new addition to the Harbour Hotels collection boasts 79 bedrooms, the HaBar, Jetty Restaurant and a luxury two-storey underground spa with a raised indoor pool, separate hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, two Scandinavian hot tubs, comfortable relaxation areas and a gym, as well as six spacious treatment rooms. For those requiring ultimate relaxation and pampering there is also a private hideaway for two, featuring a hot tub, double day-bed, champagne mini-bar and your own butler on standby.

The sauna and steam room Credit: Katariina Jarvinen

The symptoms:

Spy’s skin is dry, dull and desperately in need of some TLC to be ready for summer exposure.  

The prescription:

A one night stay at the Brighton Harbour Hotel and Spa (from £202 for a Sea View Corner Suite), and The Ocean Spa Ritual treatment (£185 for 160 minutes), which is exclusive to the Harbour Spa - 160 minutes providing a total sense of relaxation and wellbeing. Plus cocktails in the HaBar, dinner in the Jetty restaurant and a stroll along the seafront to blast the winter cobwebs away.

The raised pool with submerged seating

The procedure:

From entering the roomy hotel reception area, flooded with natural light and quirky art on the walls, Spy started to feel relaxed. The staff were all smiling, there was an aroma of something fresh and tangy in the air and despite being only metres away from the hustle and bustle of busy central Brighton, all the common areas were astonishingly peaceful and laid back.

Cozy day beds

Spy’s home for the night was a Sea View Corner Suite on the 5th floor, providing impressive views over the sea, a sunken bed, fluffy white bathrobes, and free decanters of gin and sherry.

A lift takes Spy from her bedroom directly down to the basement spa, cleverly avoiding making guests parade around reception in their robes and slippers. After being allocated a locker and shown the way to the changing rooms, Spy is free to explore, sampling the impressive raised pool complete with submerged seating, the delightfully warm hydrotherapy pool with powerful underwater jets (and a giant yellow rubber duck bobbing about), and the fun Scandinavian hot tubs located on the lower floor in the Grotto. The whole spa is well planned, with a little corner to please everybody. Spy’s planned 15 minute rest and read on one of the snug daybeds turned into a 30 minute snooze. Thankfully, other guests seemed to be doing exactly the same.

Dual Scandinavian hot tubs Credit: Katariina Jarvinen

The gym was small but contained all the apparatus one would expect, and was pleasantly cool.  

Spy’s treatment room was quite large, decorated in soothing neutral colours and flickering candles. The therapist was friendly, polite and extremely knowledgeable about the treatment and the EPSA range of products used throughout.

Beautiful views over the sea from one of the bedrooms at the Brighton Harbour Hotel

The treatment started with a relaxing warm foot bath and a chat about which oils and scents Spy preferred. After transferring to the bed, Spy had her skin brushed, buffed and scrubbed with delicious smelling potions and lotions. A full body Swedish massage made Spy feel like she was floating, and the following personalised facial, detoxifying face mask and head massage made Spy feel like she was ready to face Spring and Summer head on. 160 minutes has never gone so fast. Soon, it was time to face the real world again, with a brisk walk along the seafront.

A pre-dinner Mojito in the comfortable yet classy HaBar, and an abundance of fresh seafood in the Jetty restaurant (topped off with a pudding so delicious Spy seriously considered ordering another to ‘take-away’) meant that Spy had a satisfyingly sound sleep before a quick pre-breakfast dip in the pool.

The Jetty Restaurant with brilliant views over Brighton beach

Feeling fully restored with fresh, sparkling skin, Spy skipped home.

The verdict:

The Ocean Spa Ritual treatment was pure luxury, pampering Spy top-to-toe and was good value considering all it encompassed. The spa staff are knowledgeable and friendly and each area is kept immaculately clean and tidy.

The rest of the hotel follows suit. A fresh and welcome addition to Brighton.

The HaBar

The details:

Various Spa breaks from £270 for 2 people for the Message In A Bottle spa break package, including overnight accommodation, a 40 minute treatment each, breakfast and lunch.