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Best hotels in Bath 2021: From luxurious spas to city centre apartments

Rory Mellon
16 Mar 2021
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Need to relax and recharge your batteries? Then treat yourself to a break in the beautiful city of Bath

Christened the ‘original wellbeing destination’ by its own tourist board, Bath has been a source of culture, calm and relaxation to its visitors since Roman times. If you’re looking for the ideal destination for a mini-break to escape the grind of everyday life, then this peaceful West Country spa town has lots to offer.

Located in the South West, around 100 miles from London, Bath is the largest city in the county of Somerset. Don’t let that fool you though: while technically a city, it has managed to retain the friendly atmosphere and peaceful nature of a small town – albeit with some stunning Italianate Georgian architecture.

Consistently ranked as one of the most popular cities in the UK for visitors, it’s no wonder that Bath contains a huge range of hotel options for every budget. Ranging from classic country homes to modern apartments, there’s a perfect pad for everyone in Bath. To help make finding your ideal hotel a little easier, we’ve put together a list of our personal favourites below.

Keep in mind that under current government guidelines, hotels and other kinds of indoor hospitality will not reopen until 17 May at the earliest. Non-essential retail, public buildings and outdoor hospitality will not reopen until 12 April at the earliest. These plans are subject to change, so be sure to check the latest information on Covid restrictions before booking anything. Our recommendations assume that attractions and hospitality are safely open.

Things to do in Bath

For most visitors, the first item on the agenda will undoubtedly be the Roman Baths. This is where the city gets its name from, after all. While you can no longer bathe in the historic pool, you will get a comprehensive history lesson on life in Roman Britain.

If you do fancy a dip, then be sure to visit the Thermae Bath Spa. Combining both a historical and contemporary spa, Thermae houses the only natural thermal hot spring open to the public in Britain.

There’s also plenty to do in Bath that doesn’t involve water. Bath Abbey, which can be dated back to the 7th century, and Pulteney Bridge - completed in 1774 and one of only a few bridges in the world lined with functioning shops - are two of the city’s most popular historical sites.

Literary fanatics will want to explore The Jane Austen Centre (the writer is Bath’s most famous native), while history buffs will love The Holburne Museum and the chance to explore a Georgian townhouse decorated in the style of the time at No.1 Royal Crescent.

If you need some tranquillity then Prior Park Landscape Garden is perfect for a stroll and some reflection, and if you want to get out of the city for a day, why not take a day trip to Stonehenge? The world-famous Bronze Age marvel is only a half-hour drive out of town.

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How to get to Bath

With a large number of well-developed transport links serving Bath, getting to this historic town couldn’t be simpler.

Bath Spa Railway Station is located in the heart of the city, which makes getting to Bath by train the preferred method for thousands of tourists each year. There are frequent direct services from London Paddington, which will get you to Bath in around an hour and a half. Regular direct trains are also available from Exeter, Birmingham and Leeds.

Getting to the city by coach is also possible with frequent buses from London Victoria and Heathrow via National Express. Alternatively, if you fancy getting behind the wheel yourself, Bath is easily accessible by car due to its close proximity to the M4 and M5 motorways.

If you’re looking to fly into Bath, the city doesn’t have its own airport, but it’s a mere 20 miles from Bristol Airport, an international hub that serves over 100 destinations worldwide.

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The best hotels in Bath

1. The Z Hotel Bath: Best hotel for location

Price: From £45 per night | Book now at Bookings.com

With its historical facade and contemporary-styled rooms, the Z Hotel Bath judiciously combines the classic and modern. There’s an awful lot to like about this place, not least its budget-friendly price, but it’s the prime location that really makes Z Hotel a great place to stay. Opposite the Theatre Royal, the hotel sits a mere 200 yards from the Roman Baths, and the Abbey is similarly close by – it’s only a three-minute walk away. If exploring all that central Bath has to offer is your top priority, then this hotel will make for the perfect base.

Key details - Parking: No; Wi-Fi: Yes; Distance from train station: 1 mile; Disabled facilities: Yes

Book now at Bookings.com


2. The Gainsborough Bath Spa: Best hotel for relaxation

Price: From £240 per night | Book now at Bookings.com

Bath provides its visitors with countless opportunities to kick back and relax, but there’s no better way to chill out than by visiting a wellness centre. The Gainsborough Bath Spa is both a hotel and an idyllic spa retreat, and the spa’s no phones policy means that there’ll be no self-indulgent selfies on the menu – you can switch off and drift into pure, uninterrupted relaxation. If you can drag yourself out of the naturally-heated thermal waters, you’ll have the whole of Bath on your doorstep to explore, but we won’t blame you if you decide to get a hot-stone massage instead.

Key details - Parking: Yes (additional fee); Wi-Fi: Yes; Distance from train station: 0.5 miles; Disabled facilities: Yes

Book now at Bookings.com


3. YHA Bath: Best budget hotel

Price: From £29 per night | Book now at Bookings.com

While technically a hostel, YHA Bath also offers private rooms for backpackers, couples and families. Don’t expect a great deal of additional amenities here, but if price is the deciding factor when looking for accommodation then this place won’t hurt your wallet. Considering the bargain price, the YHA is an impressively slick establishment; in fact, there’s a lot of places for double the price that aren’t as modern. The communal dining and television areas offer a great way to meet new people as well. Perhaps the only real downside to the YHA is the location. It's rather removed from the city centre and roughly a 25-minute walk from the train station.

Key details - Parking: No; Wi-Fi: Yes (in public areas); Distance from train station: 1.5 miles; Disabled facilities: No

Book now at Bookings.com


4. MacDonald Hotel: Best hotel for classic grandeur

Price: From £134 per night | Book now at Bookings.com

Bath is a city steeped in history, from the Roman Baths to the historic Abbey. Looking like a manor straight out of Downton Abbey, walking into MacDonald Hotel feels like being transported back in time. The facilities are very much of the 21st century however, with a pool, fitness centre and lounge all open to guests. The rooms themselves are decked in luxury marble and grand mahogany, giving the decor a classic feel. Located on the edge of the city, MacDonald’s Hotel offers the best of both worlds – close proximity to all Bath’s top sights but a secluded location which offers peace, tranquility and the opportunity to stroll through greenery.

Key details - Parking: Yes; Wi-Fi: Yes; Distance from train station: 1 mile; Disabled facilities: Yes

Book now at Bookings.com


5. Bailbrook House Hotel: Best hotel for peace and quiet

Price: From £87 per night | Book now at Bookings.com

If escaping the big city hustle and bustle is what you’re after, then Bailbrook House is ideal. Set within 20 acres of private land, and the product of a £10 million refurbishment project, this is a hotel you need to have on your wishlist. It offers 81 stylish executive bedrooms, a fine dining restaurant and a gallery offering views of the hotel’s front lawn. The adjacent Mansion House offers three lounges, a conservatory bar and landscaped gardens. Bailbrook House is the perfect fit for a long weekend in which you do nothing but relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Key details - Parking: Yes; Wi-Fi: Yes; Distance from train station: 2.5 miles; Disabled facilities: Yes

Book now at Bookings.com


6. The Halcyon Hotel Apartments: Best speciality hotel

Price: From £134 per night | Book now at The Halcyon

If you prefer a fully-functioning apartment over a simple hotel room, Halcyon Apartments offers everything you could want. Each apartment comes with a well-equipped kitchen, a large seating area, as well as a spacious bedroom and bathroom. Popular local attractions, including the Bath Assembly Rooms, are just a few minutes walk away, and there is an onsite restaurant and bar if you don’t fancy making use of the apartment’s kitchen. If you find a traditional hotel room a little too restrictive and cramped then the Halcyon Hotel Apartments are a good alternative.

Key details - Parking: No; Wi-Fi: Yes; Distance from train station: 0.2 miles; Disabled facilities: No

Book now at The Halcyon


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