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Royal Crescent Hotel - Review

THERE’S BATH, AND THERE’S THE ROYAL CRESCENT. This iconic hotel quite simply has the city’s best location. It would check all the boxes for a super-indulgent weekend – elegant setting, sublime views, a secret garden stretching behind and a grand front door bang on Bath’s landmark crescent – one of the great architectural set-pieces of Europe.

The Royal Crescent is a place to forget about the credit card bill, uncork the champers, and enjoy. A liveried doorman is on hand to whisk your bags – and your car – away. Cross the threshold into the chequerboard marble floored lobby, and you could have stepped inside a Jane Austin novel. It's romance on a stick.

Restored to their original splendour, rooms at Bath’s most luxurious address are rich in period features. Carpets, furnishings, colours and fabrics all echo Bath in its Georgian heydey, with plenty of 21st century creature comforts thrown in. Walls sport original paintings by Gainsborough and Reynolds, and portraits of guests range from Lord Nelson to Dickens.

English elegance

Overlooking the famous crescent and its manicured lawns at the front or secluded gardens at the rear, bedrooms ooze English country house elegance. Ornate cornices and huge mirrors, bold wallpaper, working fireplaces (in some), Egyptian cotton sheets and eiderdown pillows set the tone. Many have four-posters and drawing room areas, while wi-fi and flatscreen TVs are discreetly hidden. Bathrooms are stocked with organic products made by a local Bath apothecary.

Money no object? Bag the Sir Percy Blakeney master suite – there's a sitting room with superlative Bath vistas, and a bedroom with wonderful views over the garden – or the Duke of York master suite, with its fabulous bathroom and roll-top bath. The other super-private option is the Garden Villa in the grounds – a fave with visiting stars.

Wander across The Royal Crescent’s leafy gardens (one of Bath’s best kept secrets) and you’ll arrive at the Dower House restaurant, built in the hotel’s former coach house. Sunlight streams in through the tall windows, while a distinctive mink and light olive green colour scheme sets things off a treat.

If indulgence is high on your must-have list, you’ll want to spend time in the tranquil oasis of the Bath House, The Royal Crescent’s small and intimate spa. This is a place to soak in the steam room and plunge pool (those fun-loving Georgians flocked to Bath to take the waters, remember) or book a blissful wind-down treatment (do book ahead) with one of the resident therapists.

If all that is not enough, you can always hire The Royal Crescent’s private river launch and pootle along the River Avon complete with champagne picnic.

The Royal Crescent was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mairiona Cotter

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