Visitors to Bath are spoiled for choice when looking for a boutique hotel. There is an abundance of independently owned hotels that are full of charm and history – much like the city itself, in fact. We’ve picked out eight of Bath’s best boutique hotels to help you plan your next stay but – be warned – you’ll probably want to try them all!
Grays offers true elegance. It’s decorated in calming blues, yellows and – appropriately enough – greys, partnered with gorgeous antique-style furniture throughout the shared areas and in the 12 bedrooms. There’s a true attention to detail here, from the fresh flowers in the rooms to REN toiletries to the fresh milk kept in the downstairs fridge from which guests can help themselves. Their locally sourced breakfast is cooked to order and will more than set you up for exploring the sights of Bath. For more of the same, albeit it on an even smaller scale, check out their bijou sister hotel, Brindley’s
, which has just six bedrooms.
“Not what you might expect,” reads their website, and that sentiment runs all the way through this quirky boutique hotel. It’s housed over four interconnected Georgian townhouses, but no two bedrooms are alike. The luxurious suites, for example, make use of the generous proportions of what once would have been drawing rooms. This hotel will definitely help you relax – many of the rooms have their own sofas, while tea and coffee is available 24 hours a day in today’s drawing room. There’s another treat to be discovered in the basement in the form of the Three AA Rosette Olive Tree restaurant, specialising in contemporary British fine dining.
With its pretty contemporary wallpaper and antique furniture, a stay at the Villa Magdala feels like a real treat. There’s the king or super king-size Hypnos bed in each of the 21 rooms, made up with goose down duvets and Egyptian cotton bed linen, for starters. Then there’s the cake and tea available throughout the day, as well as the luxury biscuits found in each room. And what better way to start an indulgent day than with the Buck’s Fizz served at breakfast (there’s also smoothies on offer as a delicious alternative)?
Experience the pleasures of a country spa hotel just a short amble from the centre of Bath. Each of the 33 rooms is named after a flower and combines decor from the likes of Colefax and Fowler with furniture from the Arts and Crafts movement. The hotel creates a cocoon of comfort, with its fresh flowers and fruit, bath lotions from L’Occitane, along with the essential of any boutique hotel stay, lovely fluffy robes. There’s a choice of both an indoor and an outdoor pool and a poolside sauna. It’s hard to beat the simple pleasure of partaking in an afternoon tea or in enjoying a special meal at their Michelin starred Bath Priory restaurant, which offers modern European food.
This elegant Georgian Country House Hotel dates back to 1830 and was built by the Duke of Wellington. The ambience reflects its noble heritage, with antique furniture and period artworks coupled with details such as satisfyingly stiff white tablecloths in their airy breakfast room, with views over the city, to hand mirrors on the dressing table. It doesn’t scrimp on contemporary technology, however as each room has its own flat-screen TV with DVD player and iPod docking station. Situated about 30 minutes walk from Bath’s city centre, Aspley House benefits from its own delightful gardens. With four-poster beds available in some of the rooms, a stay here will really make you feel like you are lord or lady of the manor.
This Victorian villa takes its inspiration from the literary world. Each of the 16 rooms is named after a writer, and you’ll find a book by that author – as well as an especially styled teddy bear – in each of the rooms. The house is full of beautiful original architectural details to discover, from marble fireplaces to stained glass. Perhaps your own creative inspiration will strike while relaxing in your bathrobe and slippers, enjoying the beautiful, tranquil gardens or even after enjoying a drink or two at the hotel’s bar. Even if it doesn’t, there’s no disputing that a night or a weekend here will make you feel totally relaxed.
Paradise House is aptly named. This 17th-century mansion is a heavenly place for a boutique stay. There are 11 individually designed rooms to pick from, with details varying from four-poster beds to claw-foot baths. Each shares the same bright and cheerful colour scheme, and thoughtful touches such as Molton Brown bath products, cafetière coffee and locally-made shortbread. It’s also renowned for its breakfast – with a wide array of juices, yoghurts, fruit and cooked-to-order options – served with a side order of views across the city. Oh, and did we mention the cava?
Perhaps the most unusual option in our selection, this is a boutique offering from an architectural firm with experience in restoration. No surprise then that it is housed in a historic building – in fact one dating all the way back to 1748. There are just two guestrooms and they are both stunning. Pick from the Linley Suite with its circular bath or Elder Suite, housed in the former kitchen as identifiable by the stone oven. There’s an emphasis on local suppliers for everything from the tea, coffee and toiletries to homemade Chocolate and Lime Truffles found beside the beds. Berdoulat & Breakfast won’t be for you if you rely on all mod-cons: there’s no TVs or kettles, but instead you’ll find a Thermos of hot water for your morning tea, and a library of 5,000 Penguin books for browsing. However, if you’re looking for something different every detail of this place – down to its Turkish-influenced breakfasts – certainly won’t disappoint.
Author: Frances Ambler