The Abbey Hotel Bath: Luxury in England’s Unmissable City

By Abi King | Small Luxury Hotels

Mar 10

One of England's best cities> The Bath Abbey Hotel in Review. If you’ve never visited this part of England, you’ve missed a trick or two. The Abbey Hotel is worth a visit just to sip an Earl Grey Martini in the Art cocktail bar, but for the complete experience, check out the whole hotel review. - via @insidetravellab

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” Jane Austen

The Abbey Hotel Bath in Review

Ah Bath. Beautiful, spa-salty, rugby-licking, Regency Bath.

If you’ve never visited this part of England, you’ve missed a trick or two.

Tourist brochures boast about the honeyed-smooth Crescent and Circle, the Jane Austen heritage, and the healing spa waters that predate Roman times (and, for the record, you can visit the Roman Baths themselves, complete with bold statues standing tall over emerald bubbling mist.)

The Royal Crescent in Bath

The Royal Crescent in Bath

Bath Spa: A Favourite Place

I have a soft spot for the city for several reasons. I took my first steps as a new doctor onto a hospital ward at the Royal United Bath and a few years later, took my first steps as a newlywed beneath the crystal chandeliers at the Bath Assembly Rooms.

I’ve had good times before and since: learning how to cook, unearthing druidic history, strolling through handicraft lanes and floating in the starlit wilderness during something known as a watsu at the Thermae Bath Spa.

Watsu at Thermae Bath Spa

“Imagine your limbs are seaweed,” my therapist said as she attached buoyancy aids to my calves “and let them float through the water.”

At first, it was awkward.

Then a little seasick…

And then…And then…

Weightlessness arrived in terms of mind, body and spirit. The stars danced overhead, my muscles relaxed and the water that fell as rain more than 10 000 years ago rose from the earth to do its work.

 

The Abbey Hotel Bath at Christmas

But my latest trip to Bath came just before Christmas, when the stout, sturdy Abbey glittered in her gladrags beneath the stars. When those shopping lanes lay studded with ice lights, and the Roman statues loomed larger than before.

Behind the Abbey just before the riverbank, a pop-up ski chalet mulled hot wine into the air and children posed for photos behind a giant snow bauble.

The pop-up chalet (and accompanying posing stag) belonged to the Bath Abbey Hotel, an establishment that, as the name would suggest, overlooks the Bath Abbey.

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey: Imposing yet beautiful

The place is worth a visit just to sip an Earl Grey Martini in the Art cocktail bar, but for the complete experience, let’s zip on in to the whole hotel review.

Did you know?

The iconic red phone boxes seen across Britain were hated when they first arrived in 1935. Erected to celebrate King George V’s jubilee, allowances were made for muted grey phone boxes to appear in areas of outstanding or architectural beauty. Look out for the K6 phone box, therefore, on the edge of Bath’s Royal Crescent… And laugh at our fickle, fading change in fashion.

 

The Abbey Hotel Bath in Review

Rooms at the Bath Abbey Hotel

Rooms at the Abbey Hotel Bath

Rooms are cool and calm in muted colours. Compared to the Americas, the rooms are on the small size but this is Britain and you are sleeping in a renovated Georgian Townhouse.

There’s nothing old fashioned about the fixtures, though: wifi, lift, and hot showers are all present and correct. There’s an iPad-led guest services device plus REN toiletries. Ask for a room at the front of the building if you want to be able to see the Abbey and the famous Pulteney Bridge.

Shower at the Abbey Hotel Bath

The Abbey Hotel Bath Bar: The Art Bar

The Art Bar makes a splash with both its décor and its drinks. Bold and brilliant, even if you’re just in Bath for the evening, make an effort to check out this place. I loved the sharp restraint of the Early Grey Martini but more daring souls can perhaps check out the pink grapefruit ‘n’ vodka based Texas Breakfast.

The Abbey Hotel Bath Restaurant: Allium

Allium artfully dodges the trap that can befall many a hotel restaurant: slightly uncomfortable silence. Luscious beige drapes mean the ambiance is quite different to the bar. The menu offers hotel staples for the weary traveller but excels in gourmet creations for those looking for a good night out too.

Between triple-cooked chips and purple-sprouting broccoli with ginger, sesame and soy, there are enough options to satisfy a varied collection of guests.

What I loved

  • The Earl Grey Martini. Sharp, fresh, flavoursome.
  • The kooky British art on display downstairs ( I love to find art in hotels)
  • The central location: great view of the river and glimpse of the Abbey. Easy access by car or train and right in the centre of the action.
  • The magret duck breast with mushroom puree, miso braised turnips, figs and chicory. Dee-licious.
  • Careful attention to detail for dietary restrictions – always appreciated!

What to know

  • The luggage storing facilities don’t fit with the rest of the hotel.

Find the full specs for the Abbey Hotel Bath here

Bright bold art at the Bath Abbey Hotel

Bright bold art at the Bath Abbey Hotel

Disclosure – I received a complimentary stay at the Bath Abbey Hotel for review purposes – on the understanding that as ever, as always, I kept the right to write what I like. The good, the bad, and the part about the Roman statues. Otherwise, what’s the point?

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