Contemporary, colourful interiors combine with indulgent spa facilities to rejuvenate and awaken at this countryside hotel. Dog-friendly rooms include handmade, deep sprung super-king beds, Bluetooth audio systems, mood lighting, a Nespresso machine, WiFi, air conditioning and L’Occitane toiletries.
Dogs can enjoy two Garden Suites in the hotel’s Cedar Lodge, which is just a stroll from the main house. At over 50 square meters, these suites have more than enough room to spread one’s paws and sniff the great outdoors, as they also enjoy south facing balconies or terraces. Individually and boldly decorated, the suites incorporate dining areas, perfect should you wish to have dinner in with fido. The deluxe bathrooms include an oversized bathtub, designed to share and a rain shower.
Dogs will find a bowl and treats awaiting them on arrival.
The hotels extensive country grounds mean there’s plenty to explore with fido right on your doorstep. In colder months, keep an eye out for passing deer while walking. The hotel has also developed their own Woof Guide with handy information for your pets stay.
Rest and relaxation is a serious business at the hotel’s expansive Utopia Spa. The spa encompasses 25 treatment rooms, relaxation lounges, a sunken indoor pool, outdoor barrel sauna and hot tub. Now just to pick from the range of Ayurvedic inspired treatments on offer from ila, or, if you’re dreaming of summer holidays, plump for a Mediterranean infused Temple Spa therapy. Bliss.
Want to burn off that cream tea? The hotel also has a gym and tennis court.
Spa facilities are for over 18’s, and along with the gym are open daily from 8am to 8pm.
Dogs are not allowed in the spa or main house, with the exception of the 1608 Champagne Bar.
Take your pick from fine dining at AG’s Restaurant or the more relaxed fare and ambience at Reflections Restaurant. Both have vegan and vegetarian options available.
AG’s Restaurant springs into life in the evening. The kitchen focuses on harnessing the tastes of the surrounding countryside to produce vibrant, flavoursome dishes delivered with a little pizzazz. The 3 AA Rosette winning restaurant offers both à la carte and tasting menus.
At Reflections Restaurant you’ll find feel-good favourites with a twist, such as the Scottish cured smoked salmon & Cornish crab, green apple, pickled mooli, Bloody Mary sorbet and coriander. Hunker down inside, or, should the sun shine, partake of the terrace.
The hotel prides itself on its quintessential afternoon tea, so why not indulge in this very British of meals. When the weather allows this can be served on the terrace, where your dog is able to join you.
Both restaurants do not accept dogs. See below for dog-friendly dining options.
The hotel’s dog-friendly 1608 Champagne Bar offers over 140 wines and 30 Champagnes – now just to decide! You can dine in this bar with your pooch. Tasty treats from homemade Wagyu burgers to grazing boards, salads for the virtuous, and a good dose of naughty but nice desserts are served.
There are lounges dotted throughout the main house where you can relax and have a drink or two. Fido can not join you in these so head to the 1608 Champagne Bar to be together, or partake of them while your dog has a snooze post play.
You can enjoy the bar and lounge menu in your chambers from noon to 9.30pm.
If you’d like to dine outside with fido, as well as you’re own private outdoor space, you can also enjoy a meal on the South Drawing Room Terrace together.
There’s an abundance of countryside on your doorstep in the grounds alone, from manicured gardens to the trekking trails. You and your dog will love being able to simply stroll outside to explore. Maps are available at reception. Deer are found in the grounds, particularly in colder months so keep an eye out for them while walking so you and fido can admire from afar and avoid any close encounters.
Outside of the estate, you’re within a leap and a bound of the High Weald Area of Outstanding National Beauty. This medieval landscape boasts rolling hills and ancient routeways, as well as being one of the most wooded areas in the country and a real treat for human and hound. When exploring, it may be helpful to keep a long lead at hand so you can both relax and enjoy, as the woodlands are a deer stronghold.
Alternatively, head to the historic town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Just a 30 minute drive away and steeped in history, don’t forget to walk the famous collonade walkway – The Pantiles, together. Or, should it be time to wet one’s paws, don’t miss our guide to dog-friendly Brighton, which is just a 40 minute drive away.
For other dog-friendly venues in the area, check out our ‘Also in the Neighbourhood’ recommendations below. You will also find more handy tips and fantastic places to explore in our guide to dog-friendly Sussex, available on Dog Digest.
Address: Alexander House Hotel and Utopia Spa, Turners Hill, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH10 4QD
Alexander House Hotel is easily accessible from southern England, with a number of main tributaries running near. For Capital dwellers, the hotel is just over an hour’s drive from central London down the A23 to the A22, or via the M23, before taking the B2110 for the last few miles. Just pop the postcode in the SatNav.
Haywards Heath, East Grinstead and Crawley stations are all close by and offer direct services from London’s Victoria Station, in 40 minutes to an hour. Make sure you pre-book a dog-friendly taxi to take you and fido the rest of the way.
On a summer’s day, somewhat lacking in summer sun, we set-off to Sussex. With thoughts of a spot of R&R firmly on our minds, we were keen to get to our destination du jour, pet-friendly Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa.
As we turned into the leafy driveway, Rigby, sensing our approach, was soon sitting-up, taking a good look at his new surrounds. My husband meanwhile, ever the gadget geek, immediately spotted the electric charging points, and thoughts of pulling up to the main entrance were rapidly forgotten. With the car plugged in and the furry one out of his harness and taking in the country air, we were ready to make our way to the manor house reception.
Greeted by a smiling doorman, delighted to meet Rigby, we were ushered through to check-in, with a multitude of staff members coming to say hello to their latest doggy guest. Efficiently checked in and with a glimmer of sunlight making an appearance, we opted to explore the grounds with Rigby before adjourning to our room. No sooner was our decision made than water bottles and a walking map of the grounds appeared for us – pawfect.
Rigby leading the way, (no surprise!), we headed out into the splendid country estate. Set high, with rolling hills in front of it, themselves a patchwork of manicured grounds, meadows and forests, it was a truly calming spot and a welcome antidote to city life. Rigby’s tail was soon approaching warp speed as he bounded off, doing rolly-pollies down the first meadowy bank, while also trying to sniff out the flora and fauna, his own brand of multitasking that he has so worked hard to perfect! An hour later and all ready to put our feet up, only one of us looking a little less groomed, having found seemingly the only bog on the grounds, and for once it was not the furry one… we were meet by our Suite Concierge, with a helping hand for our bags.
Shown to our dog-friendly suite in Cedar Lodge, Rigby was overjoyed to find he had his own patio. Having done a quick inspection of the garden he soon returned to find that in his haste to get outdoors he had missed the pile of goodies left for him, pausing a mere nanosecond before jumping into his bed and putting his nose pointedly on the treats. The furry one satisfied with water and a biscuit, we took in the enticing space.
Generous in size and glass fronted to our private terrace, there was more than enough room for all of us. Vibrant, warm colours accented the room, along with sparkling flourishes of textured wallpaper adorning the room and framing the free-standing bath in the spacious bathroom. Well equipped and with a selection of sweet treats left to greet us, we felt a load lift as we put our feet up with a fresh pot of tea.
With Rigby showing all signs that a siesta was in order, we took the opportunity to head over to sample the hotel’s acclaimed spa. Keen to work out some of our aches and pains, we made a beeline to the hydrotherapy pool, followed by the bubble tub. With the popular outside jacuzzi occupied, we took to the steam rooms…what a hardship! After a brief attempt at a swim before deciding that it was just too much like hard work for a lazy afternoon away, we headed back to the serenity of our suite to see Rigby.
Rested and revived, we set-off for a casual dinner with Rigby in the hotel’s 1608 Champagne Bar. In the main house, overlooking the gardens, this contemporary bar was a delight. With a low hubbub from guests, cheerily chatting about their days and swing music playing quietly in the background, we sunk into two rather comfy wingback chairs, while Rigby sprawled out at our feet, before jumping back up to greet our waitress.
With a water bowl soon sourced for Rigby and some summertime aperitifs ordered from the obliging staff, we took our pick from the short but sweet menu of hotel favourites the world round. Contentment radiated as we partook of our drinks, Rigby only rousing when our Wagyu beef burgers arrived. Moorish and just what the doctor ordered, they were soon devoured.
Having all had our fill and with the spa having worked its magic, we decided on an early night, keen to sink into the silky soft sheets of our plush bed, after a short night time stroll with Rigby.
With no desire to rouse early, we decided a well-earned lie in was in order, Rigby clearly agreeing as not a peep was heard. We, only too soon it felt, dragged ourselves up, to make sure we made breakfast after a brief excursion with Rigby.
In Reflections, the hotel’s casual dining restaurant, we were shown the buffet and a la carte options as we sipped on the fruit shot of the day. One full English and one crushed avocado breakfast ordered, we relaxed, coffee in hand while enjoying a selection of the hotel’s excellent viennoiserie.
Appetite’s satisfied, we headed back to collect the furry-one, ready to explore the grounds once more. This time borrowing some of the hotel’s wellies, keen to avoid a muddy foot second time around! And this time we were in for a surprise, as a herd of deer galloped by mid-walk.
With its extensive spa front and centre, picturesque grounds, warm welcome and relaxed grandeur, this colourful hotel is a lovely place to rest one’s feet, or paws.
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