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Hotel Highlights

  • Intimate country house hotel in the city
  • Michelin-starred dining
  • Spa with award-winning treatments and therapists

Overview

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

Here's what you get for booking The Bath Priory with us:

A welcome cocktail

Facilities

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The Bath Priory Hotel - Bath - UK

Need To Know

Rooms

33, including six Crescent Suites.

Check–out

12 noon, but flexible if there’s availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $233.62 (£138), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include 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, The English Gardener, 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.

Children

Welcome. Cribs and extra beds can be provided. Babysitting with a local nanny costs £10 an hour (book 48 hours in advance).

Read more

Food & Drink

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The Bath Priory Hotel - Bath - UK

Hotel Restaurant

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.

Hotel 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.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Mr Smith, the restaurant’s dress code requires shoes and dapper attire; jackets are also preferred. Mrs Smith, get those silk dresses and sparkly earrings out.

Top table

When it’s hot, sit out on the terrace with a sundowner and selection of canapés. The bays by the window have the best view of the gardens.

Local Guide

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The Bath Priory Hotel - Bath - UK
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

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

Take an appetite along to Hudson Steakhouse on London Street (+44 (0)1225 332323; www.hudsonbars.com); if you’re not hungry, it’s worth a visit for the cocktails. 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 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. 

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.

+ Enlarge
Leafy Victoria Park

The Bath Priory

The Bath Priory Hotel , Weston Road, Bath, BA1 2XT, United Kingdom

The Bath Priory is in the hills overlooking Bath, a 15-minute stroll from the city centre and just a couple of minutes from Victoria Park.

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.

Reviews

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The Bath Priory Hotel - 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,…
Read more

The Bath Priory

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

Reviews of The Bath Priory from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The room and the gardens were beautiful.

Don’t expect

I thought the service could have been better.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the warm welcome when we arrived and friendly, professional service throughout our stay. The special extras in our room were just perfect as we had told them that we were celebrating a special anniversary. The surprise menu and wine was a sensation.

Don’t expect

All though it was not a problem for us, maybe book any spa treatments in advance as there were only a few slots available when I enquired.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the food, and the ambience in the hotel was comfortable, peaceful and relaxing.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the superb service, lovely food, beautiful gardens and spa.

Don’t expect

Rooms can sometimes get a little warm in absence of air-con.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

My wife and I stayed just the one night at the Bath Priory but if we could have moved in we would have. We loved it. The staff, without exception, was friendly, attentive without being over-bearing and efficient without being starchy, right from the welcome at the front desk through the staff in the restaurant to the young guy who cheerfully cleared our windscreen of the mess left by the local bird-life. Nothing was too much trouble and we felt our every need would be accommodated, if it hadn't already been anticipated. For us this was a special treat, a birthday present bought for us by our children, and it felt just that, a treat from start to finish. Our room (Apple Blossom) was lovely and, crucially, the bed was really comfortable ('Which sort of pillow would you like, sir?') It was also really quiet so we had a great night's sleep. Lunch was superb with immaculate service, and having taken our coffee in the lounge the hotel even brought a free Happy Birthday foodie treat. It was just so indulgently comfortable in their big sofas that we didn't really want to move. If you're going into the centre of Bath, and you should of course, then unless you have real mobility problems you should walk. It's a short and very pleasant stroll through the park, across the Royal Crescent, around The Circus and into town. Lovely. Oh, and let's not overlook the pool and spa area. This has been beautifully incorporated into the old buildings. We were very appreciative of the fact that even after we had checked out the hotel was happy for us to go into the city and come back to use the pool before heading off. By this time though we wouldn't have expected anything less of such a classy place. Perfect.

Don’t expect

One little thing: booking through Smith gave us a free cocktail. From the extensive menu of cocktails we were, however, limited to a choice of one. As it happened we enjoyed it but had it been, say, gin-based my wife couldn't have had it. Why would they not say, for example, it has to be one of a select few, or up to a certain price? As I say, just a small thing but small things count.

Rating: 10/10 stars

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The food is amazing. I liked the atmosphere.

Don’t expect

The spa facilities could be better, but the treatments are great.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on Do dogs count?

We loved

The house is fantastic. Similarly, the grounds are beautiful. Our room was perhaps the best room we have stayed in – exquisitely furnished and very tasteful. The service is fantastic: every member of staff – from the litter picker in the grounds to the lady gardener to the porters – was extraordinarily courteous, helpful and attentive. Aso, the hotel has dog-friendly rooms which were a big attraction for us. Complimentary cocktails on our arrival (courtesy of Mr & Mrs Smith) were also greatly appreciated.

Don’t expect

It is a very pleasant, but longish, walk to the city centre through the park. I have had better coffee at breakfast – the coffee was the weakest point in a brilliant stay.

Rating: 10/10 stars