The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa
A classic gets cool
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What it is
A Georgian masterpiece, built in 1774, and recently revamped under new management.
What it isn't
Austere and spare. Prepare to be charmed.
What we think
John Wood, the Younger, who started designing this iconic Georgian stone-walled property in 1767, wouldn’t entirely recognize it—and that’s a good thing. Because now the hotel that generations of Britons have known and loved as they visited Bath for its “waters” is ready for today: think docking stations, Nespresso machines, and high speed, lightning-fast WiFi that reaches all corners of the garden. Rooms are as sumptuously appointed as ever, though, with plasterwork ceilings, four post beds, frothy curtains, and gilded-framed art that could well be hanging in a local museum. Don’t miss a dip (or five) in the indoor pool, which feels almost like a cathedral to calm, with its stone walls and vaulted church-like ceiling.
You're here because
It’s so cinematic it’s appeared in countless films; you may remember it from The Duchess, with Kiera Knightley.
At your table in the lavender-lined garden, your afternoon tea is every bit as note-perfect as Elizabeth Montagu would expect. The 18th century socialite held Bluestocking Events here in the 1770s; she’d be just as charmed by the oak smoked salmon and chive cream cheese sandwiches, warm scones with clotted cream and cinnamon butter and bergamot-dusted Earl Grey as you are.
Restaurants & Bars
The Dower House Restaurant & Garden Room - Traditional British cuisine with a contemporary edge
The Montagu Bar
A zippy 90-minute train ride from London’s Paddington Station.