Editor Sophie Ritchie whets her appetite with a stay at The Gainsborough Bath Spa, a five-star hotel brimming with both history and hedonism
If you’re searching for serenity this summer, you’re bound to find a slice of it at The Gainsborough Bath Spa, the five-star hotel tucked away in the heart of Bath’s bustling centre.
A building dating back to the 1800’s, its Grade II listed walls offer more than just elegant decor – this luxury YTL property not only has a stunning Spa Village but exclusive access to Bath’s famously mineral-rich waters – making it the only UK hotel with such a coveted perk.
Said to originate from rain falling over 10,000 years ago, the city’s waters have seen hundreds of thousands flock to Somerset for their supposedly healing properties – including the leprosy-ridden Prince Bladud, who founded Bath back in 863 B.C after healing himself with a dip.
The prince might be long gone, but the sense of regality is still in full effect at The Gainsborough – guests can even have their car valet parked if they don’t fancy the walk back to reception, where a haven of marble and pristine columns awaits.
With 99 custom furnished bedrooms and suites, some specially designed for travelers with impaired mobility, grace can be found around every corner.
Comfortably grand, book a Courtyard Room for something splendid. The large and relaxing rooms boast high ceilings and tall windows that flood the space with light, as well as the perfect way to admire Bath’s golden skyline of symmetrical buildings from afar.
Peacefully eloquent, teal walls are contrasted with swathes of drapes that block out the glimmering morning light attempting to awaken the room. Sink into the soft beds designed for slumber – or make the most of large working desks equipped with modern lamps.
The Gainsborough’s interiors prove that you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks. Created by award-winning Champalimaud Design, nothing feels stuffy or old hat – instead, beautiful stone-clad bathrooms with heated floors and design details such as lampshade-like chandeliers merely add to the suavely traditional atmosphere.
Of course, luxury can’t be luxury without the little details. Unwind with a handful of relaxing amenties – including flatscreen TVs, Nespresso machines, opulent teas, a complimentary minibar and little touches that’ll leave you feeling special – like the welcoming bottle of bubbly sitting patiently in its ice bucket home.
The Food & Drink
All that relaxing is bound to work up an appetite. Enjoy a fine dining dinner or lunch at Dan Moon at The Gainsborough, the sophisticated three AA Rosettes restaurant filled with original artwork and impressive wine cabinets.
With a focus on using the finest local produce and seasonal ingredients, West Country born Dan Moon conjures delicate plates with a number of a la carte options and intricate 5 or 7-course tasting menus.
With just as many dishes for vegans as there are meat lovers, there’s plenty to choose from. Order the Cauliflower Samosa for a crunchy mix of roasted cauliflower and curried cauliflower puree or the tender Fillet of Monkfish with a squash croquette for something special – and make sure to leave room for Dan’s array of decadent desserts.
Breakfast is also served here, with a well-coordinated buffet offering slabs of watermelon, bowls of cereal and pretty salmon twirled into dainty rolls of pink. Additional hot options are also on offer for an extra (but worthwhile) cost.
Cocktail lovers should also make a beeline to The Gainsborough Bar, a small but modern space serving bespoke cocktails or the perfect post-feast liqueur. Here, chatty bartenders conjure delicious innovative cocktails with a potion-like method – along with a wide collection of Champagnes, artisan gins, wines and local tipples.
If you prefer afternoon tea to aperitifs, indulgent spreads can be ordered in the Canvas Room – with both traditional and Champagne-filled sittings available.
Spa lovers, you’ll feel like moving into the hotel’s Spa Village Bath. One swift elevator ride down will transport guests to their unique Bath House experience, a spa circuit that includes dipping in two natural thermal pools of varying temperatures, traditional and infrared saunas, a steam room, an ice alcove and multiple relaxation areas.
Integrating the famous waters of Bath with private aquatic body therapies and classic spa treatments, there’s plenty to wile the day away with – including a pitstop at the unique Aroma bar.
A number of treatments can be booked, but we recommend treating yourself to something more unusual than a standard back massage and trying a Ginger Renewal (starting from £180) for 90 minutes of pure relaxation.
First, undergo an invigorating full body exfoliation, followed by a pampering back, neck and shoulder massage with organic ginger oil and warm healing stones. After reclining inside a warm cocoon, a luxurious foot and pressure point scalp massage completes this supreme experience.
It’s also worth noting that in-house guests have complimentary access to the Bath House facilities between the hours of 7am to 9am and 8pm to 10pm. Guests who book a spa treatment however, are entitled to complimentary use of the facilities at any time between 7am – 10pm.
The Wordrobe Verdict
‘Water’ you waiting for? Eloquently stylish, The Gainsborough is perfect for enjoying both spa time and a culture-rich getaway this summer.
Brimming with graceful interiors, gourmet cuisine and show-stopping spa facilities, this five-star stay is bound to whet your appetite.
Make it happen
Where: Beau St, Bath BA1 1QU
Wallet: Rooms from £295 per night, based on two people sharing.
How: Click here or phone 01225 358888 to make a reservation.
In a nutshell:
The Wordrobe’s Restaurant Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Overall hotel rating: ☆☆☆☆☆