The ancient city of Bath is well positioned from so many aspects from an historical point of view through beautiful countryside to its arguably un-equalled Georgian architecture. Whilst the city is fairly sophisticated, it has not lost its lust for life with its vibrant atmosphere. It does cross your mind that this could offer the alternate lifestyle away from the pressures of London. There is a combination of individual shops as well as the usual big high street brands, plus a few good restaurants and less formal eateries.
The thermal spring at Bath came to prominence in around 850BC as it has 42 minerals, a millennium or so later the Romans built an elaborate series of bathing houses the remains of which can be visited today. More recently, some 300 years ago, Bath gained massively from the great wealth generated from foreign trade in nearby Bristol, with merchants and professionals building magnificent houses that now form the basis of the award of a UNESCO World Heritage site status.
Amongst the most spectacular series of these buildings is centrally located Royal Crescent, a sweeping terrace of 30 identical grand houses (built between 1767 and 1774). The Crescent is universally recognised as one of the greatest architecture achievements in the Georgian era as such it is a fundamental part of the award of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You cannot stay in other such sites like the pyramids in Egypt or the Royal Opera House in Sydney, but you can stay in this very discreet hotel offering a quality that ranks amongst the very best of in-depth luxury.
Whilst the Crescent is celebrating its 250 anniversary this year, the hotel is very much of today (and tomorrow); it lacks for nothing. It is a combination of period architecture and luxury furnishings alongside modern technology; fitting in the lift so discreetly is an achievement in its own right. Behind the façades of its two houses lie peaceful gardens divided into several areas together with a new tranquillity spa, and a restaurant offering modern British cooking.
The service and attention to detail are really absolutely outstanding from the General Manager, Jonathan, to the doorman. There is not a hint of stuffiness - no fawning and intrusive ‘flunky’ service here - everyone is unfailingly helpful, well informed, relaxed and friendly. From the moment you are ushered into the magnificent ground floor reception room you are wrapped in a cocoon of a warm friendly embrace, you feel as if you part of a very special family.
After a welcome glass of champagne we were ushered upstairs to our suite on the first floor; it was a little confusing as we thought that we had come into another public reception room of a similar size to the one by the entrance. It turned out to be our private sitting room, there were tall windows under the soaring ceiling (maybe 4m. high?) overlooking the expansive lawns of the terrace beyond which were views across the city, valley and hills beyond.
Our bedroom was beautiful, elegant and romantic, with an extremely comfortable four poster bed, antiques, period-style prints and, naturally, a lovely marble bathroom with delicious Floris toiletries. What more could one possibly want other than delicious food and that too is on offer!
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Crescent the head chef, David Campbell, has devised a seven course tasting menu using local West Country produce with an historical spin. The cucumber consommé, Earl Grey tea cured salmon, lime and nasturtium was memorable as was the most delicious gooseberry and elderflower crumble. But you can also try this great menu until October (2017) if you book the ultimate RC250 package celebrating this historical milestone.
To celebrate Bath’s history, The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa have specially created packages, menus, and a ninety-minute Spa experience under the RC250 heading. I highly recommend the Spa treatment which leaves you feeling relaxed and invigorated. This package comprises of a two night stay in a suite and is the ultimate in cosseting. It may be expensive but it is without doubt a great way to celebrate any momentous anniversary or occasion in what must be one of the most individual hotels.
Whilst at the hotel I met a well-travelled American gentleman who was making yet another reservation for next year. Apparently, he has been doing so for some years and expects to continue to do so for years to come! Visitors travel from all over the world to see the iconic city of Bath and the hotel exudes charm, providing the ideal city centre retreat.
The Royal Crescent Hotel is much, much more than a prestigious landmark it is a very quiet haven in the centre of the city which offers an unparalleled experience of hospitality, luxury and escape. It is truly one of the finest hotels we have stayed in and we left feeling totally relaxed and replete.