By Jane Knight
Dreaming of living the Bridgerton life, if only for a day or two? The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa in beautiful Bath is the place to do it.
Enviably located in the centre of Bath’s most famous street, the Grade I Listed hotel seamlessly blends Georgian grandeur with 21st century five-star luxury. Following an extensive refurbishment, it’s looking fresher than ever.
Occupying two adjoining town houses you’ll find additional bedrooms and the serene Bath House Spa in converted Coach Houses at the bottom of the surprisingly large garden.
The hotel’s restaurant has been reimagined too. Helmed by award-winning Head Chef Martin Blake, Montagu’s Mews offers everything from cooked-to-order breakfasts to a six-course fine dining tasting menu. It also serves an excellent afternoon tea.
Here’s what happened when our Resident Spa Expert, Jane Knight, checked in for the night.
ROYAL CRESCENT HOTEL & SPA REVIEW BATH
The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is in the north of the beautiful city of Bath and easily reached from the M4. The hotel offers valet parking with a limited number of complimentary parking spaces you can book ahead.
If you’re coming by train head to Bath Spa station, just 1 hour and 20 minutes from London Paddington. Jump in one of the cabs waiting at the station or enjoy a 20-minute walk to the hotel.
The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is as grand as its name suggests. Situated in the centre of Bath’s most iconic Georgian crescent, you’re unlikely to make it to its shiny white door without passing clusters of admiring photographers looking to capture and share its elegance. Or an Aston Martin delivering its next guests.
As I approached the hotel, I was greeted by a cheerful doorman who led me to the discreet check-in desk through the foyer. Making my way up a wide winding staircase past gilt-framed portraits and Georgian arched windows, I was delighted to stop at the grand door of the John Wood Suite on the second floor, named after the architectural visionary who designed the Crescent.
The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa has 45 individually designed bedrooms and suites which have all been recently refurbished. Rooms vary in features and price, but all have stylish décor with a contemporary edge that flatters and highlights the rooms’ Georgian heritage. Bedrooms look out to either the Royal Crescent lawns at the front or the hotel’s own pretty garden at the back.
My home for the night – and it felt like just that, despite its high-ceilinged grandeur – was the John Wood Suite. With a high four-poster bed and its own spacious lounge area, it really did feel fit for royalty. Modern glass table lamps sit alongside an original fireplace in this generous space and the cushion-clad bed is worthy of the cover of a stylish interiors magazine. The bathroom is equally smart and immaculate, with appreciated touches like an illuminated magnifying mirror and Dyson hairdryer.
Several rooms can accommodate families and interconnecting rooms are available. The hotel also offers babysitting services. Choose from Deluxe, Heritage or Master Rooms or push the boat out and book one of the 11 stylish suites. Dogs are also welcome in several rooms with garden or terrace access at a charge of £35 per pet, per stay. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, you can add fresh flowers, chilled champagne or a picnic to your booking.
FOOD AND DRINK
There’s just the one restaurant at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, but it’s a goody. Montagu’s Mews is the hotel’s recently relaunched bar and dining space, offering everything from your choice of breakfast to à la carte dining and an imaginative six-course tasting menu.
The menu offers a range of modern British dishes crafted from top quality ingredients, with creatively combined flavours and perfect presentation. Montagu’s Mews has a well-stocked bar too and is a stylish setting for a pre-dinner drink. Or you can sit out on the terrace and enjoy the sunset across the pretty, well-preened garden. The knowledgeable bar staff are keen to go out of their way to help you choose your perfect cocktail or create one especially for you.
The pretty salmon pink restaurant has two main sections and seamlessly transitions from bright breakfast room to stylish ambient diner. And while Montagu’s Mews has a sophisticated, grown-up vibe, the atmosphere remains relaxed and unstuffy.
Breakfast is included in the room rate. There are plenty of options on the menu, from continental to a classic cooked Full English, all made with quality ingredients sourced from local suppliers where possible. In the evening you can choose from the Tasting Dinner Menu or opt to dine à la carte.
I chose à la carte and enjoyed the freshly baked Japanese Shokupan Milk Bread with local butter before tucking into a Loch Duart Salmon starter (£15). The citrus-cured fish was a taste sensation, as were the accompanying mango balls and delicately placed micro greens. Taste and presentation were 10/10 and worthy of any Michelin-starred dinner.
The main course, a beautifully cooked Ribeye Steak, was equally delicious and came with Charred Hispi Cabbage, Roasted Vine Tomatoes and melt-in-the-mouth Rosemary Salted Chips (£38). In the spirit of research, I pushed through to dessert. My stamina paid off as the Baked Passionfruit Tart and Coconut Sorbet (£10.50) was a flavourful triumph that rounded off the meal perfectly.
Vegetarian and vegan Tasting Menus are available. Plus, there are two wine pairing options: the classic Prestige, or the Sommelier’s Choice, which includes newer or unexpected wine partnerships with each course. In room dining is also available.
The Royal Crescent Hotel has a small but perfectly formed spa at the far end of the garden, open daily from 7am in the week and 8am at weekends to 8pm. Its 12-metre heated relaxation pool is bathed in natural light which streams in through church-like arched windows, helping to create a tranquil feel. There’s also a raised vitality pool, sauna and steam room, hot and cold showers, loungers, six treatment rooms and a nail bar for finishing touches.
Hotel guests have complimentary use of the spa. Non-residents can upgrade a treatment booking to add on pool use or book a dedicated spa package. Spa Days start from £150pp and include use of the facilities, a one-hour treatment and afternoon tea or two-course lunch.
The spa menu offers a good choice of treatments by popular British brand TEMPLESPA, including luxury facials and massages. Therapists have been specially trained to offer treatments suitable for guests with specific medical needs, making them one of the first UK hotels to do so. They recently partnered with Amethyst Trust to create bespoke massages and pampering therapies for those who are recovering from illness, including cancer.
Children over 16 are welcome to use the spa facilities. Younger children can access the pool during limited times in school holidays, but must be booked ahead. There’s also a well-equipped gym with new Technogym machines.
If you’re after a quintessential English break where the service is as fine as the architecture, the food is fabulous and the spa treatments leave you feeling relaxed and regal, The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is an all-round excellent choice.
Rooms start from £375 per room per night, including breakfast and spa access
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