Bath's best hotels
A relatively new addition to Bath’s hotel scene, Gainsborough Bath Spa boasts the only natural thermal spa inside a hotel in the UK. And it’s bang in the heart of the town! Behind a pair of Georgian and Victorian facades are 90 airy, bright, elegant rooms. They’re exactly what you’d imagine from a hotel that belongs to Leading Hotels of the World – but it’s the spa village that gets us excited here. Set under a glass atrium are two natural thermal pools, saunas, a steamroom and an ice alcove, along with nearly a dozen treatment rooms, and – to properly work up that sweat – a gym.
Another newcomer, this place offers a pleasing and quirky boutique aesthetic in a top location... yep, you guessed right: 15 Great Pulteney Street. It consists of a series of three Grade I-listed townhouses that have been converted into 40 playfully decorated rooms. Look out for murals by local artists, trompe l’oeil canopies, custom-made furniture, and an eclectic mix of materials and fabrics. Oh, and a Nespresso machine, a larder with complimentary soft drinks and snacks, Sky Sports and Movies and magical bathrooms with copper hand-basins.
It’s six miles away from Bath, but we’ve listed it here because it is definitely worth the journey in and out of town. Lucknam Park is a sumptuous eighteenth-century Palladian mansion set in over 500 acres of parkland, with 42 individually designed bedrooms and suites featuring highly traditional décor – think overstuffed cushions, lots of damask and tastefully muted florals. Foodies flock here for the Michelin-starred restaurant Hywel Jones, and if you’re feeling inspired by the cuisine you can even do lessons at the hotel’s cookery school. Alternately, just make the most of the light-filled spa and outdoor pool. We’re not judging.
Set across to Georgian houses on the Royal Crescent, and featuring classically elegant bedrooms that are brought to life with colourful textiles and pleasant period touches. If it looks like the kind of place that would turn up in a period drama, you’d be right: Keira Knightley featured here during a scene or two in ‘The Duchess’. Added since then is the fine-looking, newlyrenovated garden-set Spa and Bath House, featuring two pools, a gym, and a host of treatments. Slap-up English breakfasts and wi-fi are free too.
The fun, and highly affordable four-star Sofitel is perfect for those who opt for a contemporary feel. It has modern, newly refurbed rooms with Egyptian cotton sheets, free wi-fi and tea and coffee-making facilities. Pay for a wee upgrade, and you’ll get four-poster beds, minibars and espresso machines. The bathrooms come with fluffy bathrobes and luxury toiletries, and public areas, including a brasserie and bar, take in a mish-mash of styles, from dainty Georgian to more out-there geometric.
This place isn’t so much a hotel as a pub-turned-B&B – but we’ve listed it as, well, it’s just lovely. Its six individually designed rooms reside in a Georgian terraced house, which is about ten minutes’ walk from the town centre. If it looks like a home, it certainly feels like one too – from the fresh thermos of milk for your tea or coffee, to the hearty breakfasts around a communal table. Rooms feature lots of charming personal touches too, like homemade biscuits and spacious bathrooms with White Company toiletries.