To get the most out of the city of Bath, and its surroundings, you need to stay for a few days, or even longer. I’ve rounded up some of the best places to stay in Bath – hotels and self catering. Some are historic, some are quirky, and some are both! However, they will all guarantee a memorable stay.
Indigo Hotel, South Parade, BA2 4AB
Although it is part of the IHG group, there is nothing remotely corporate about the Indigo Hotel. This is an individualistic boutique hotel, the place to stay if you are looking for somewhere a bit different but with attentive customer service.
The hotel has 160 rooms in a row of Grade I listed Georgian town houses, retaining many of their original features. Bedrooms are individually designed according to a series of locally inspired themes (like “love and mischief”, recalling some 18th century preoccupations…) Some rooms can only be reached via the stairs, but there are three fully accessible bedrooms.
The hotel incorporates the excellent Elder Restaurant, with its emphasis upon wild food and game. Room prices vary between around £150-250 per night.
Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel, Beau Street, BA1 1QY
The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel is unique in that it is the only hotel in the UK whose spa is fed by a natural, mineral-rich, hot spring. The hotel itself was built as a hospital in the 18th century, on the site of an earlier Roman spa (you can see a replica of the Roman mosaic floor that is now hidden underground).
There is a choice of different types of bedroom including the “Bath Spa Rooms” whose bathtubs are connected to the thermal water supply. All guests have access to the hotel’s Spa Village, with thermal pools, saunas, steam room and ice alcove. Several rooms are suitable for guests with limited mobility – check when booking.
The Gainsborough Brasserie serves contemporary British cuisine. Room prices start at around £215 per night.
Abbey Hotel, North Parade, BA1 1LF
The Abbey Hotel is the only hotel I know of that has its own Artist in Residence! You can see works by Emma Taylor and other local artists around the hotel, including in the aptly named Artbar and the restaurant.
The hotel incorporates three Georgian houses built in 1739. Rooms come in different styles and sizes, all with – naturally – lots of pictures on the walls. Several rooms have lift access – check when booking.
You can dine in the Abbey Hotel Kitchen, and the Artbar is famous for its cocktails. Room prices start at £139 a night.
The Yard In Bath, Monmouth Street, BA1 2AT
A recent addition to Bath’s hotel scene, The Yard in Bath is a historic venue with a range of rooms to suit all budgets. The 18th century King’s Arms was a coaching inn; today’s hotel is still based around the original courtyard.
The hotel has 14 bedrooms of different types, from cosy to large rooms with roof terrace. Three of the rooms are on the ground floor.
The Yard in Bath has a café and a wine bar. Prices vary according to the size of the room: expect to pay anything from £90 to £200 per night.
Eight, North Parade Passage, BA1 1NX
Eight is a small, independent hotel in the heart of the old town. It is the oldest of the buildings on this list, being of a similar age to the neighbouring Sally Lunn’s Eating House, dating from the 15th century and reputedly the oldest house in Bath.
The hotel has 18 bedrooms on three floors. Note that none of the rooms is on the ground floor, and there is no lift.
Eight has a historic bar and a rather good restaurant serving small plates. Room prices start at £110 per night.
Quirky Self Catering In Bath
There are lots of options for those who prefer the freedom of self-catering. But, if you’re looking to stay in a historic building, check out the Landmark Trust, whose properties include the eccentric Beckford’s Tower, and the grand Elton House in Abbey Churchyard. Or have a look at Panda Sanctuaries, whose offerings include former toll houses and a converted chapel.