Bath, United Kingdom

The Bath Priory

Rates from (inc tax)$191.14

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP175.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Club Victoriana

Setting

Leafy Victoria Park

Set on a picturesque perch in the hills overlooking Bath, The Bath Priory hotel is housed in a converted Victorian manor on equally scenic manicured grounds. With a spa, indoor pool, fine-dining restaurant, comfy drawing rooms, plant-lined terrace and impressive collection of artwork, this brings all of the pleasures of staying in country pile to the excitement of the city, which is just a short walk away. The Bath Priory is part of the Gidleigh Collection, which includes quintessentially British abodes Gidleigh Park, Amberley Castle and Lower Slaughter Manor.

Smith Extra

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A welcome cocktail

Facilities

Photos The Bath Priory - Bath - UK

Need to know

Rooms

33, including six Crescent Suites.

Check–Out

11 am, but flexible subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $191.14 (£146), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next {dayrange} days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP175.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include a Continental buffet breakfast (£20 a person, £25 for a full English breakfast).

Also

The Garden Spa has four treatment rooms, including a double with a walk-in shower, and a fitness suite. Book the award-winning Awakening treatment, which includes a massage and facial with Elemis products.

At the hotel

Spa, gardens, a library of books and DVDs, gym and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, Vi-Spring bed and free bottled water.

Our favourite rooms

Each room bears the name of a bloom, in honour of the flora-filled grounds. Moringa is the most exotic, with a freestanding scarlet bath tub by the bed, golden walls and paintings of animals on the walls. Orchid and Peony come joint second, with a striking scheme of bright colours and leopard prints. For a guaranteed great night’s sleep, book into Honeysuckle: the suspension system of its Ammique bed will hold you in the perfect pose all night.

Poolside

There’s a terrace at the bottom of the garden with a heated outdoor pool. The spa has a heated indoor pool with French doors leading straight out onto the gardens.

Packing tips

A copy of William Cobbett’s 19th-century horticulture manual, <i>The English Gardener</i>, to help you appreciate the grounds.

Also

There are two dog-friendly rooms for those with pooches past the 10-month mark (no puppies allowed); the hotel charges £10 per pet, per night, and you’ll get a dog basket and bowl if you need one.

Pet‐friendly

Pups over six months and up to medium size are welcome in the Premier Deluxe Rooms. See more pet-friendly hotels in Bath.

Children

Welcome. Cots and extra beds can be provided. A babysitter can be recruited from local company the Hotel Nanny (www.thehotelnanny.co.uk), on request. The hotel advises booking a week in advance.

Best for

Older kids who will enjoy a spot of croquet.

Recommended rooms

The Crescent Suites have the most space, including a sitting area.

Activities

The extensive grounds are perfect for a bit of hide and seek or croquet, and Victoria Park is just down the road – its adventure playground is impressive. There’s a selection of children’s DVDs to borrow, and various toy boxes to be raided. At Easter, egg hunts are set up throughout the gardens.

Swimming pool

Both pools have a shallow end, as well as inflatables on loan. There are set times for children to use the indoor pool, but, when it’s open, they can use the outdoor pool at any time.

Rates

More details

Rates usually include a Continental buffet breakfast (£20 a person, £25 for a full English breakfast).

Meals

Children are welcome in the restaurant at lunchtime, but in the evening they must have the à la carte menu. Otherwise, a kids’ menu can be served in the bedroom lounge or on the terrace. High tea can be served in the Pantry before 6pm.

Babysitting

A babysitter can be recruited from local company the Hotel Nanny (www.thehotelnanny.co.uk), on request. The hotel advises booking a week in advance.

No need to pack

Dressing gowns – mini versions are supplied for kids.

Food and Drink

Photos The Bath Priory - Bath - UK

At the hotel

Michelin-starred Sam Moody oversees the menu of Modern European food served in the formal Bath Priory Restaurant, which overlooks the verdant gardens. It’s traditional, with crisp linens, polished crystal, striped velvet chairs and jewel-coloured banquettes. Don’t miss the confit Cornish cod with cauliflower and hazelnut couscous, Madgett's Farm duck with rhubarb and pain d'épices, or the roast loin and croquette of local pork with a caper and anchovy crust. The Pantry is a more casual affair, where light meals – potted shrimps with lime and caper butter, croque madame and mussels in cider with parsley – are served alongside heartier meat and fish dishes.

At the bar

Staff will shake up a colourful cocktail in the Pantry, or apéritifs are served in the drawing rooms, library and on the terrace. In summer, a bar is set up outside.

Last orders

During the week, breakfast is on offer between 7.30am and 10am; at weekends, it’s 8am–10am. Lunch is 12.30pm until 2.30pm; dinner is from 6.30pm until 9.30pm. Drinks are served until late in the Pantry.

Room service

A menu of salads, risottos and sandwiches can be delivered between 11am and 11pm.

Location

Photos The Bath Priory - Bath - UK
Address
The Bath Priory
The Bath Priory Hotel Weston Road
BA1 2XT
Bath
United Kingdom

Planes

The closest airport is Bristol, 20 miles away. Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) flies in from all across Europe, including Belfast and Dublin. From London Heathrow, the 90-mile drive should take just under two hours.

Trains

Bath Spa station is a mile and a half from the hotel. First Great Western runs hourly services between Bath and London (www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk). Cabs await at the station, or there are buses from the city centre to just outside the hotel.

Automobiles

The drive from London shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. National Express coaches go direct to Bath Spa station (www.nationalexpress.com). From the M4, exit at junction 18, then pick up the A46. From Bristol, you’ll need the A4.

Worth getting out of bed for

Settle in with the papers in the library or a board game in the drawing room, or track down Jane, the gardener, at work in the grounds to borrow some tips – she can give you a tour if you arrange it in advance. The sommelier is also on hand for wine tastings.

Explore Bath by canal boat, open-top bus or on foot, or head out of the city with a trip to ancient Stonehenge (www.stonehenge.co.uk), to see the animals at Longleat Safari Park (www.longleat.co.uk) or one of the National Trust’s properties nearby, such as Lacock Abbey.

Local restaurants

The Circus on Brock Street is a family-run restaurant staunchly loved by locals; the locally sourced British menu has a few surprises – try the authentically slow-cooked Caribbean goat curry (+44 (0)1225 466020; www.thecircuscafeandrestaurant.co.uk). For the city’s finest Italian fare, you can’t beat Martini Ristorante on George Street (+44 (0)1225 460818; www.martinirestaurant.co.uk).

Local cafés

Sam’s Kitchen on Walcot Street, affectionately known as Bath’s artisan quarter, has breads, cheese and coffee that live up to expectations – pitch up with the papers and enjoy the best cake in town (+44 (0)1225 481159; www.samskitchendeli.co.uk). Even the most dedicated of carnivores will love the creative vegetarian food at Demuths, near Abbey Green (+44 (0)1225 446059; www.demuths.co.uk) – try the miso-roasted aubergine or courgette flowers with goat’s cheese.

Local bars

We're suckers for a fat home-made sausage roll, gooey bacon and egg sarnie or a bowl of bubbling macaroni cheese; luckily the Hop Pole (+44 (0)1225 446327)  – a 10-minute walk from the hotel – serves all this and more gourmet comfort food, not to mention a long list of local ales. 

Reviews

Photos The Bath Priory - Bath - UK

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith

Meticulous planning promises our two days in the West Country will bulge with eating, drinking, pampering and all-action edification. Schedule at the ready, spa treatments and gourmet grazing awaits: with no margins for error, we plunge into a rare, romantic escape to Bath. Having clocked up over 16 years of travel-time together, I’m by now well aware that historical excursions, to Mr Smith, equal hard labour – thankfully Bath’s Georgian grandeur should provide a stealth-like serving.

As the sun sets on our spring drive through Somerset, we arrive in the honey-coloured heart of this Spa town, its mellow majesty instantly calming. Bath Priory is a country estate in miniature – in the middle of the city. Hidden behind a high stone wall, this luxury hotel’s dignified 18th-century building marries an ecclesiastical air (well, it has a pointy roofline with a cross on it) with vintage country-house flair.

Beyond the bijou gravel driveway and low-key entrance awaits all we could want from an aristocratic home from home: plump sofas piled with cushions, ancestral artwork and just the right amount of silver service. And fasttracking its way to our hearts: delicious food for him, and splashing around in a spa for me.

Chic tartans, candy stripes and bold Colefax & Fowler florals have ousted any chintz, thanks to a contemporary renovation by talented local interior designer Carole Roberts. Pelmets and heavy curtains are in and original paintings, portraits and still-lifes preserved, laying on the character and luring loafers and loungers galore to the hotel’s sitting rooms.

Padding through the library to our suite, we pass groups of families and friends from grads with grandparents to loved-up couples. There is a genteel Friday-night feeling as staff unstuffily buzz around replenishing everything from cream teas to G&Ts, doling out amuses-bouches and Scrabble boards.

Settling into our ground-floor room, Mr Smith and I concur that Bath Priory combines a helping of glamour with lashings of English country manor. ‘It’s sufficiently comfy-cosy yet feels like proper boutique hotel’, I say sagely. ‘And we’ll definitely be OK for cushions,’ smirks Mr Smith gesturing to a bed piled high with jewel-toned pillows. Through wisteria-framed windows we look out over the celebrated tended-to gardens and luminous immaculate lawns.

With all this greenery, little wonder the hotel’s Garden Spa has wild flowers, oils and berries dominating its indulgent treatments. Admiring the shrubberies I mention to Mr Smith that I’m having a 80-minute Mala Mayi Wrap the next day; he reminds me that I already told him this about as many times before we’d even left West London.

Ah, Bath Priory, what a slurp of the good life you give. Sipping champagne on the back terrace, we toast those green grounds that have unsurprisingly won head gardener Jane Moore awards. So intoxicating is the landscape we’re starting to savour our setting as though it’s actually ours. Like our fellow guests, we’re decked in finery fit to sample a tasting menu from local lad Sam Moody, one of Michael Caines’ acolytes.

In this context, even urban Mr Smith looks the landed gent. I’ve managed to convince Lord Smith that it is fun dressing up, which is a relief, as the schoolmarm in me is convinced that in this kind of context, formal attire is somewhat essential. For those not blessed with such old-fashioned instincts (or ‘neurotic Victorian tendencies’ as Mr Smith so sympathetically puts it), there is an obligatory dress code. (It’s testament to the restaurant’s rep that I managed to prise Mr Smith out of his denim and trainers.)

Moody’s menu is a peon to provenance, with dish of locally sourced this after ethically farmed that. Microsalad-garnished canapés kick off Michelin-courting magic. Outsized plates showcase the imaginative creations, with artistic squirts of pulps, purées and puddles, around intense mouthfuls of proteins. We match our parade of savouries and sweet with half bottles from the tantalising wine list, and an obscure marmalade-scented, amber-coloured South African dessert wine provides a fitting grand finale.

Galvanised by a full English breakfast on the back of a silent night of downy sleep, and we’re primed for our action-packed Saturday in one of the world’s most popular weekend rendezvous. A few minutes from the hotel is a pitch-and-putt on a super-steep golf course. Flanked by Bath’s most elegant Georgian terraces, parades and crescents in warm sun-kissed stone, I sneak some history into Mr Smith while we get lungfuls of fresh air. Sidestepping the typical tourist trail, we swerve next to Kennet and Avon Canal where we happen upon a sandwich-selling kiosk near Bath Deep Lock.

Tucking into trad-as-can-be cheese and pickle on white (with a distinct smear of margarine and a hillock of ready-salted crisps; Michael Caines this ain’t), it’s as though we’ve stepped back 50 years. Kids nag for ice-cream while their parents try and read the weekend papers, and on a bench in a sliver of sun we ponder how our stay at the Bath Priory has struck the perfect balance of then and now. Hunter wellies or Louboutins, Land Rover or Hackney carriage – you don’t feel out of place for a moment.

I’d be fibbing if declared these Smith never to have clashed in holiday tastes in our years of globetrotting – but here on our Bath weekend away, we’ve been remarkably in sync. ‘Well, Mrs Smith,’ smiles my contented companion. ‘I do believe we’ve find somewhere that’s a good old-fashioned modern classic.’

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Bath Priory’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Loved this dog friendly hotel, great food, cocktails and lovely walks with our dog close by. Really nice spa area too.

Don’t expect

To book last minute and be able to get many spa treatments. 

Rating

Stayed on 31 Mar 2016

We loved

Arrival experience and general service level all wonderful - especially reception staff. Room (Lilac) was beautiful and an unexpected upgrade. Grounds are stunning and would be even better in the summer. Drawing room is cozy to sit in and a nice place to relax. Pool/spa treatments were also great - a very very relaxing break! Nearby, we loved the Raven for a great pie on Sunday lunch (and good real ale). Martini's was also great Italian and lovely service. Also check out the old map shop on Pulteney Bridge - good for a rummage!

Don’t expect

In my opinion both restaurants looked devoid of atmosphere when we were there, so we never bothered to eat in the hotel (the formal one looked silent and stuffy). But it's an easy trip into Bath for a lovely array of independent restaurants.

Rating

Stayed on 27 Feb 2016

We loved

We loved staying at this hotel, the staff were wonderfully helpful and it's a real dollop of luxurious country house relaxation. The room decor seems updated from the online photos, it was just as you'd hope, spotless, elegant and comfortable. The location is great, just a short 15 minute stroll into the city centre. The hotel lounge is the perfect cosy place to relax with a cocktail in front of the fire after a day taking in the sights of Bath. We'll definitely return.

Don’t expect

Was a little disappointed with our dining experience. The dining room decor is quite bland and uninspiring. Whilst the service was excellent, we didn't walk away feeling the food was particularly exceptional for a Michelin starred establishment. A blob of lemon sorbet floating in neat vodka was a pretty disappointing, basic desert course.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Jan 2016

We loved

Beautiful and refined! excellent service!

Don’t expect

A proper jacuzzi.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Jan 2016

We loved

Very friendly staff and very comfortable room!

Don’t expect

A super short walk into Bath; it's about 15 minutes to the Royal Crescent and 30 minutes to stroll to the Roman Baths. 

Rating

Stayed on 30 Nov 2015

We loved

Excellent service, relaxed and friendly.

Don’t expect

Wild nights.

Rating

Stayed on 21 Nov 2015

We loved

The room and the service. The drinks in the lounge were very nice. The service in the hotel was very good. Ten out of 10. Bath is a lovely city. The Mayor's tour is terrific.

Don’t expect

I found the dinner disapointing. I didn't think the dining room was terribly attractive, and the food didn't seem Michelin one star quality.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Oct 2015

We loved

Beautiful garden, outdoor pool and the spa.

Don’t expect

It's not young and trendy - most of the clientele were in their 50s and older. It's very traditional, so there are no ipod docks, and the TVs are fairly old.

Rating

Stayed on 27 Aug 2015

We loved

The location of the hotel is perfect for leaving the car and exploring beautiful Bath on foot.

Don’t expect

The hotel is lovely and was perfect for us but not for younger people if a lively time is expected.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Mar 2015

We loved

Excellent friendly service, great breakfasts, lovely gardens, relaxing spa and pool, very very good restaurant!

Don’t expect

Small quibble, but a few more drinks etc in the room other than teas, coffee and water would have been nice - sometimes you don't want to have to call down and wait for (and face!) room service...

Rating

Stayed on 29 Jan 2015

We loved

The hotel was in a great location with friendly staff. The rooms were very clean and it was the ideal place for a relaxing break.I really felt as though nothing could have been better. It was the best break I have taken in years and I will be going back!

Rating

Stayed on 3 Sep 2014