The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, Bath
THE HOTEL: Probably Bath’s best known hotel, The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa sits at the centre of the city’s famous Georgian masterpiece. It was purchased by the Topland Group in 2012 and has undergone a multimillion-pound investment plan.
THE CHECK-IN: I pulled up on the cobbled road outside the hotel and the cheerful concierge soon had my luggage out of the car and into the hotel before driving off to park it. The low-key entrance opens into a small lobby plus the Library and Drawing Room. I was directed to the latter to wait briefly before being shown to the Montagu Champagne & Cocktail bar for a light meal.
THE ROOM: Each of the hotel’s 45 rooms and suites is unique. Mine for the night was the vast Ralph Allen suite – named after the entrepreneur and 18th century mayor of Bath – which overlooked the hotel’s rear gardens. The door opened onto a large living area, with a sofa, easy chair, coffee table, small desk, table and chairs and flatscreen TV. A side room had a day bed, dressing table and coffee machine (but no kettle or tea!). On the opposite side of the living area was the main bedroom, walk-in wardrobe and bathroom. The style was classic but not chintzy – high ceilings, tall windows, heavy curtains and chandelier. Mauve cushions, foot stool, headboard and lampshades added a modern twist.
THE BUSINESS: The Library (for up to 20 people), Sheridan Room (35), Sir Percy Blakeney Suite (8) and the Dower House Restaurant (60) are all available for meetings and events use. Events can also be staged in the hotel's rear gardens and on the lawns at the front of the Royal Crescent. Day delegate rates are from £65; 24-hour rates are around £315; and exclusive use is from around £31,000 (all inc VAT). There's free wifi access.
THE FACILITIES: The acre of gardens to the rear of the hotel are something of a hidden gem. Lavender-lined paths lead to the Spa & Bath House, the excellent, three AA rosette Dower House restaurant and the Montagu Champagne & Cocktail Bar. Numerous tables and chairs are laid out on the lawns too.
THE VERDICT: This is quintessential English luxury, with extremely attentive staff and an air of relaxed sophistication throughout.
THE DETAILS: The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, 16 Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LS. Room rates start from £265 per night on a B&B basis; suites are from £695. royalcrescent.co.uk
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2015)