Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Towards the end of last year I realised that I had barely seen my sister: with trips to Rwanda, Tokyo, and New York under my belt in less than eight weeks, our contact had been pretty much limited to WhatsApp and my dropping off and picking up Lettice from Holly’s doorstep. Which is ridiculous when she lives five minutes away.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Determined to schedule in some proper sister time, we took up a long-standing invitation to visit the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Designed by the architect John Wood the Younger and built between 1767 and 1774, it is considered to be one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture in the United Kingdom and is a Grade I listed building. The hotel sits in the middle at number 16, and it’s easy to miss it, as all that marks the front door is a piece of carpet, two bay trees and a subtle plaque.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Arriving is a joy, as one drives onto the sweep of the crescent. And, as if by magic, a doorman appears, greeting you by name – we were asked for our registration in advance, but it’s a lovely piece of stage management, – and our car is briskly unpacked and taken off to be valet parked further down the Crescent.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

The hotel has very much the feel of a (very grand) private house, with a coalfire burning in the hallway, and a beautiful drawing room to the left, where one can wait to be shown to one’s room.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

The big surprise is when one walks through the house on the Crescent – two rooms wide, through a garden door and discovers that there is a glorious secret garden and a series of other buildings, all belonging to the hotel, the Spa & Bath House, the Dower House Restaurant (above), Montagu Bar, The Pavilion, and The Garden Villa.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

The Pavilion houses 7 bedrooms and suites, two with their own private conservatories, and The Garden Villa is tucked away around a corner, offering complete seclusion. Also available for exclusive use, it offers two suites and two bedrooms with its own private garden.

It’s worth checking out the hotel rooms on the website in advance, as they all have something different to offer, and a variety of styles, from intimate suites under the eaves to astonishingly luxe Georgian grandeur in the main rooms overlooking the Crescent.  (There are four posters in some rooms too.) Guests in the suites are guaranteed their room choice upon booking, subject to availability, and other rooms can be requested, but not guaranteed.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

The view (above) towards the restaurant through the private hotel gardens, and (below) to the rear of the Crescent.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

The hotel is dog-friendly – although you must inform the hotel in advance, and so we were placed in the Beau Nash Suite in the Pavillion, reached through the garden, with our own private conservatory living room, with French windows to the garden.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Staying in The Pavillion really does feel like being in a private home. There is a pretty entrance hall, and our door was just to the left, which led, in turn, to our own entrance hall.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

royal crescent hotel

I was staying with Holly, so we had the comfortable bedroom made up with twin beds.  I particularly liked the pretty dressing table, although sadly it was no use for doing one’s makeup, as the lighting was far too low. (Both on the table, and in the room – low energy lightbulbs have a lot for which to answer.)

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

There was a large en-suite bathroom, with a powerful walk-in shower and lovely Floris toiletries, as well as a separate cloakroom off the spacious main entrance hall of the suite.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

The separate sitting room was huge, and extremely comfortable.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Maisie particularly liked the velvet sofas.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

With our bags unpacked, the first thing we did was hot foot it off to check out the spa (below).

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

The swimming pool, whilst compact, is just big enough for lengths, and in the morning the light floods in through the gothic arched windows. At night, it is extraordinarily atmospheric, and the thermal experience is hugely enjoyable. I spent a happy hour splashing between plunge pools, steam room, sauna and showers.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

For supper we ate from the Vegetarian tasting menu of Executive Head Chef at The Dower House Restaurant, David Campbell, whose inventive and interesting food was a delight. The menu included Cep: Cep Soup, Roast Pistachio, Pickled mushroom, Wiltshire Truffle and Artichoke: Jerusalem Artichoke, Fine Beans, Toasted Pine Nuts and Walnut Vinaigrette. Although I fell at the pudding hurdle, far too full to even attempt one.

royal crescent hotel

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Next morning I was awoken far, far too early by Lettice jumping on my head, so I gathered up her and Maisie, and headed to the adjacent park for a morning walk. The hotel has a key to the Crescent Garden, but I was in the mood for a longer walk so we marched down the hill beneath the Crescent.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

The reward was the magnificent view of the Crescent itself.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Back with two dogs, exhausted from advanced squirrel chasing, we headed to breakfast in The Dower House Restaurant. Very impressive, from the green juice to the choice of three home made granolas, via a vegetarian breakfast that even had vege bacon, absolutely a first for me in any five star hotel.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

We spent the morning in Bath – it’s about a fifteen minute walk through the park to town.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

The walk to and from the centre of town is particularly delightful, especially with dogs.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Arriving back again, I went for a walk around the hotel gardens, which are studded with pieces of sculpture by local artists, a pet project of the delightful hotel GM. In the summer the restaurant has a terrace for meals, and afternoon tea can be served throughout the garden, which must be charming.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Knowing that we had afternoon tea on the books, we skipped lunch which turned out to be the correct decision.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Mmmmm Bath buns.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

Then it was back to the suite, for my sister to nap with the dogs in bed, and for me to tackle my ever-present email mountain from the extremely comfortable sofa in the suite’s separate living room.

Later on I ordered room service for supper, a delicious plate of local cheeses. Then off to bed.

Royal Crescent Hotel Bath

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath,  16 Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LS.

Telephone: 01225 823333
www.royalcrescent.co.uk

Sasha Wilkins was a guest of The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa for two nights in November 2015 on a bed and breakfast basis, with one dinner and afternoon tea in The Dower House Restaurant. She paid £22 for lunch via room service, and a total of £51.65 for her stay.

You May Also Like

18 comments

Reply

I love Bath. The last time I stayed there was during Glastonbury time and the hotel was full of musicians. How did your sister find walking around the city?

Reply

Hi Catherine. Holly knows Bath very well, as she has business there. I think, as with all aspects of her life, she just manages her time and expectations, and knows that, for example, if she walks into town, then a sit down and a cup of tea en route will enable her to manage the walk back…LLGxx

Reply

Once again, your photos make me weep with envy. The weather was much finer when I was in Bath the middle of May, but I still only got a few decent photos. I just don’t have the eye for it. sigh.

In any case, sincere thanks for this post. Because I love that city and I knew that hotel would be worth a splurge one day. But it’s going to be a while before that happens, so I really appreciate getting to see so much of it now. What a fabulous place.

Reply

Thank you Rebecca! I think I took all of these on my iPhone 6, which I think is a great camera lens, all things considered. I love Bath too, and visit as often as I can, and I’m glad you enjoyed this post. LLGxx

Reply

Really enjoyed reading this. I was in Bath over Christmas. Each time I walked by the RC Hotel, I tried to work out how many of the houses it occupied. Definitely also the one to the right but not sure of those on the left hand side. Apologies for the Bath hotel geeking but I’ve only seen it from the outside so thought I’d ask……. Also, had no idea about the gardens and buildings behind. How totally lovely.

Reply

Hi Helen, the hotel can answer this more accurately than I can, but that lovely drawing room I photographed is to the left of the front door, so there are at least two sets of windows to the left!

And geek away! – I’m a complete hotel obsessive too. (Reviewing hotels for Conde Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times Travel sections remain, after all these years, some of my favourite commissions!) Next time you are in Bath, maybe pop into The Montague Bar – out the back through the gardens in The Dower house, for a drink as you will get a lovely sense of the hotel that way. I also understand from the GM that plans are underfoot to open up a rear access to the bar and restaurant for non-residents, which would be lovely. LLGxx

Reply

@Sasha Wilkins: Hi Helen & Sasha, I am the Marketing Manager at The Royal Crescent Hotel Helen and in answer to your question we occupy house 15 & 16 of The Royal Crescent. As Sasha mentioned the next time you are in Bath you should definitely drop in and experience the bar or an Afternoon Tea. Sarah 🙂

Reply

@Sarah Moon: Thank you Sarah! LLGxx

Reply

The hotel looks glorious! I went to university in Bristol so I know Bath a little. I was interested that you said you used the sauna and steam room while you were there though – do you not find that the heat triggers your rosacea? (I am sadly forced to avoid both, much as I enjoy them!)

Reply

Hi Emily, you know I’ve never thought about it, so I guess the answer is no! I don’t do much sauna-ing, as I prefer the steam room, and I don’t stay in for a long time, as I tend to get a bit dizzy, but generally my skin feels lovely and soft afterwards. I know some people like to massage in a facial oil pre steam, so that might be worth a try? LLGxx

Reply

I loved to read this! I visited the Royal Crescent hotel for two nights as a pre-xmas treat and, though pricey, I left so relaxed I felt like a cloud.

Reply

gosh yes! It’s so calm there, and the beds are so comfy. And although there were plenty of guests in residence, at times it felt like we were in our own private fiefdom. Bliss LLGxx

Reply

I am green with envy. I used to live a few minutes walk from the Crescent, and the park, and often admired this hotel. I would live to stay there on a visit back to Bath. Beautiful photos, they really capture how gorgeous Bath is.

Reply

@Georgina: Thank you! I’ve always wanted to stay there: it’s been on my list for years, so was thrilled to be invited to stay. And, of course, we loved that it was dog-friendly. LLGxx

Reply

Than you Sasha and Sarah. I will definitely visit the next time I am in Bath.

Reply

Lovely review Sasha – I adore Bath and as my two best friends went to the excellent university there I got to know it quite well through them. I have to admit I didnt even know part of the Royal Crescent WAS a hotel, so will definitely pop it on the wishlist for the next visit.

xx

ps – worth also putting, I really respect how transparent you are about what part of you stay is comped and what you paid. An example to many bloggers at there who are so misleading with their travel posts as to what has been gifted.

Reply

@Clare Groombridge: Hi Claire – thank you so much. It’s always lovely to hear that we have told readers about something that is new to them, and which they think they will love. And, yes, transparency is super important – I get so fed up with bloggers peddling fantasy lives to their readers and never disclosing. It’s so immoral and unethical. LLGxx

Reply

@Sasha Wilkins:

I completely agree! I do also feel now that the blogging landscape has changed so vastly over the last couple of years the responsibility for this also lies with brands and PRs to be more insistent as to what has been comped – however unfortunately it’s probably a long way off happening. I find it ironic that it’s almost gone full circle – something that started as a way of providing honest, unbiased reviews has now evolved into a more biased and unethical way of promoting a product than we ever got from travel/beauty editors, tv, etc in the first place.

I’m at http://www.claregroombridge.com – where I write about similar subjects. I’d love your feedback!

Anyway. A digression from your lovely post on Bath, sorry!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *