Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa
The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa sits in the centre of Bath’s architectural showpiece, The Royal Crescent. Overlooking Victoria Park and beyond, it commands one of the best positions in the city, if not the UK. And it feels like an honour to be able to stay in such an architectural icon of a building. Despite its peaceful residential position, it’s just a 10-minute walk to the city centre, so it has the best of everything. And being just 1 ½ hours from Paddington by train, it’s within easy striking distance of London too.
The Royal Crescent has serious Main Character Energy and seamlessly blends Grade I listed Georgian grandeur with 21st century luxuries. It occupies two adjoining townhouses, plus several converted Coach Houses that are reached through the hotel. The extensive gardens are beautiful, and the whole place offers an oasis of calm before you even step foot in the Bath House and Spa.
I’d reviewed the Royal Crescent and its spa previously, so I knew roughly what to expect, but the hotel has seriously raised its game since my last visit. Always a special place, the hotel now feels fresher and smarter, retaining its traditional feel, but with sharper, more contemporary, interiors. And the spa, restaurant and communal areas have all been reinvented since my last stay too, also upping their already lofty game. Montagu’s Mews is somewhere you’d come to for a celebration meal wherever you’re staying in the city, and Bath’s definitely not lacking in the dining department.
The Royal Crescent Hotel is in the North of the city of Bath and is easily reached from the M4. The hotel offers valet parking, with a limited number of complimentary parking spaces which you can book ahead. If you’re coming by train, head to Bath Spa station. Then jump into a cab at the station or enjoy taking in the Georgian architecture and Bath stone on your 20-minute walk to the hotel.
Bath is of course a long-time favourite destination for wellness-seekers looking to ‘take the waters’. And the city and its surroundings still excel in the spa department. While the Royal Crescent isn’t a full-blown ‘destination spa’, its small but perfectly formed wellness space delivers big in terms of escapism and tranquillity.
Sitting pretty in a former Coach House at the end of the lovely garden, the Bath House and Spa boasts a 12m swimming pool, Himalayan salt sauna, steam room and vitality pool. And the space has an almost spiritual feel thanks to the stone building’s high ceiling and church-like arched windows. The pool is tiled in iridescent blue mosaic, which turns the water a beautiful electric blue when the pool lights are on, adding to the magical feel.
There are six treatment rooms, including one double, and a separate nail bar. You can choose from a range of facials and massages, all offered by British spa brand favourite, Temple Spa. The spa menu has something for everyone, and the Bath House and Spa work with the Amethyst Trust to be able to offer treatments to people who may traditionally not have been able to enjoy them for medical reasons.
The spa is open Monday to Friday between 7am and 9pm.
There’s a good gym next to the spa too, with new Technogym machines, open during the same hours. Over 16s can use the spa and book spa treatments. Children 15 years and under can only use the pool during specific hours in the school holidays and need to book slots ahead.
Non-resident guests can book a treatment at the spa and can upgrade their booking to include pool and spa use for an additional £35.
The spa also offers a variety of spa days and part days including: The Half Day Spa Day that includes an hour in the spa, a one-hour treatment and lunch or Afternoon Tea. From £150 And The Taittinger Champagne Spa Retreat where you’re given Champagne and chocolate truffles on arrival, plus 60-minutes’ use of the Spa and two hours of spa treatments of your choice. From £200
Must-book treatments include the ever-popular Temple Spa Drift Away massage, a super relaxing body treatment that can be booked as a 30-, 60- or 90-minute treatment, focusing on neck and shoulders, full body, and full body plus head, respectively.
The My Kinda Skin facial is another great choice if you’re more of a facial kinda person. It’s a bespoke prescription facial that’s tailored to your individual skin and includes a skin consultation and relaxing head massage.
Or, for a celebration treatment, the Champagne and Truffles Deluxe Facial is a delightfully decadent facial featuring Temple Spa’s multi-award-winning Skin Truffle brightening face cream.
The spa also offers manicures and pedicures by Jessica Nails.
Once you’ve enjoyed your treatment, you can stock up on products in the spa reception to keep the self-care going at home.
Spa robes and slippers are available at the spa, or guests staying at the hotel can use the ones provided in their room and wander across to the spa ready to dive in. Umbrellas are also provided.
The Royal Crescent has 45 individually designed bedrooms and eleven suites, which have all benefited from the hotel’s recent refurb. Rooms are split between the two townhouses and the smart buildings through the garden. There are five room categories that vary in features and price, but all have stylish décor that’s contemporary while being sympathetic to the hotel’s Regency heritage. All have decent views, whether over the Crescent Lawns at the front, or the hotel’s pretty garden at the back.
My home for the night was the John Wood Suite, named after the architect who dreamt up the Royal Crescent. A large room with a separate living area on the second floor, it’s a lovely light space with high ceilings, large windows and stunning views out across the park. And, in a Spavellous review first, the room has its own Visitors Book for comments. Needless to say, guests were raving.
The John Wood Suite is immaculately decorated in Wedgwood blue and muted tones, and the room feels fresh and decadent, while getting top marks for comfort too. There’s even a pillow menu! Glass lamps illuminate sweeping linen curtains, and the obligatory stack of cushions on the bed would be equally at home on the front of an Interiors magazine. The four-poster bed is something else – exceptionally comfortable and layered with linen of the heady thread count that you’d expect at a hotel of this calibre. The mattress its high, making me feel like the fairy-tale princess, but thankfully without the irritating pea. Sleep quality was excellent thanks to the bed, quiet location, and light-stop curtains. And the sleep pillow spray left at turn-down was the icing on the soporific cake.
The bathroom is equally smart. There’s no stand-alone rain shower here – the shower’s over the bath – but there are appreciated touches like Noble Isle products, an illuminated magnifying mirror and a Dyson hairdryer. And spa vibes are continued with snow white fluffy towels and proper sized, quality bathrobes and slippers.
Choose from five room categories: Deluxe, Heritage Master and Master Family Rooms, plus Suites and a Garden Villa that sleeps eight.
wining & dining
There’s just the one restaurant and bar at The Royal Crescent, but it has you culinarily covered for all your drinking and dining needs.
Montagu’s Mews is the Royal Crescent’s new bar and dining space. Helmed by award-winning Head Chef, Martin Blake, it offers everything from breakfast to a 6-course fine dining Tasting Menu. It also serves a right royal afternoon tea.
The menu includes a good range of modern British classics, crafted from top quality ingredients, with creatively combined flavours and perfect presentation. The restaurant uses local suppliers where possible, and the quality of the ingredients is evident in the fresh flavours.
The bar and restaurant have been recently reimagined and there’s much more outdoor dining space than when I last visited, with pretty vistas across the well-preened garden. Part of the terrace is now heated too, so you can extend your al fresco drinking and dining. Or, you can retreat to the equally stylish indoor bar area where the knowledgeable staff are keen to go out of their way to help you choose your perfect cocktail or glass of fizz or wine.
Across from the bar, the pretty salmon pink restaurant has two sections, and seamlessly transitions from bright breakfast room to stylish ambient dining space with clever lighting and comfortable modern furnishings. And while Montagu’s Mews has a sophisticated, grown-up vibe, the atmosphere is relaxed and unstuffy.
Breakfast is included in the room rate and there’s a good range of options to choose from to fuel your day. Select from Continental to a classic cooked Full English or Eggs Benedict, all made with quality ingredients, and served with bottomless fresh coffee or tea. Or, if you’re not ready to leave the comfort of your room, you can order room service to enjoy in your lap of luxury.
For dinner, you can take your pick from the Tasting Dinner Menu or opt to dine à la carte. Vegetarian and vegan Tasting Menus are also available.
I chose à la carte, and enjoyed the freshly baked Japanese Shokupan milk bread, with local butter, before tucking into a melt-in-the-mouth Loch Duart salmon starter. The citrus-cured fish was a taste sensation, as were the accompanying balls of mango with delicately placed micro greens. Taste and presentation were spot on and worthy of any Michelin-starred diner.
For main, my on-point ribeye was equally delicious, and came with a piquant peppercorn sauce, roasted vine tomatoes, charred hispi cabbage and the kind of crispy, fluffy chips that dreams are made of.
In the name of research, I pushed through to dessert, and was glad that I did as the baked passionfruit tart was a flavourful delight that rounded off the meal perfectly.
After we’d finished our meal, we got talking with guests at the next table, an American couple over for their son’s wedding. They sang the praises of their six-course Tasting Menu meal, and recommended the ‘Sommelier’s Choice’, where each course is accompanied by unexpected or more obscure wine partner than you’ll find on your average tasting menu.
why so spavellous?
The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa really has the wow factor, and the recent refurbishment has given the hotel and facilities a fresh, more contemporary feel. The setting, architecture, décor, cocktails, food, staff chat and atmosphere were all spot on. Service is slick but friendly, rooms are elegantly comfortable, and the outside space is immaculate and inviting. It’s hard not to feel relaxed here. And like in so many settings, it’s the people that make the difference.
On a practical level, touches like the chilled face cloths in the spa, illuminated magnifying mirrors in the bathroom and complimentary valet parking all take the experience to the next level. And, although the spa is small, it’s a treat to swim in its aquamarine pool and kick back in the vitality pool.
As the rooms are individually styled, it’s worth doing your research to pick your perfect one. Have a look at our Instagram Reel showing different room types.
It’s a good idea to book any treatments as far in advance of your stay as possible.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, or just fancy living your best luxury life, the hotel can add fresh flowers, bottle of champagne on ice or box of handmade chocolates to be in your room on arrival.
‘I’m lucky enough to be a local member as I always feel relaxed from the second I step through the door.’
‘I loved my massage – even though I’m quite ticklish. I’m going to book 90 minutes next time to include a head massage now I’m feeling braver.’
‘I love the view out to the garden from the pool and the natural light.’
‘I treated myself to a facial as it’s my birthday – I’ve never had one before and I wasn’t expecting it to be so relaxing – I nearly fell asleep!’