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On a fine sunny day, I have returned to the splendid spa town of Bath once again. Bath has always been one of my favourite towns, set in a valley countryside with its charming parks and rows of elegant Georgian townhouses and the exclusive Royal Crescent is one of the most prominent addresses in the world. I find myself standing in front of this iconic centre townhouse, marked only by a carpet at the front door, two bay trees and a subtle plaque which confirms the beginning of my stay at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa for the next few nights.
An elegant doorman, dressed in a dark tailcoat, magically appears to greet me by name and collect my luggage, also asking for the car keys, after which the car is swiftly driven away. Everything is taken care of, so there is no need for any concerns about parking during your stay and, yes, they will even valet your car too. Entering the elegant lobby and drawing room on the left, my first impression is the grandly curving staircases overseen by classical busts, with sparkling chandeliers, oil paintings and elaborate stuccoed ceilings setting the elegant tone. This is true Georgian splendour, where I can easily see how Georgianna Cavendish, better known as Duchess of Devonshire, would have approved of this immaculate interior whilst sipping champagne.
Time to visit the room and I have been handed the key with the curious engraving “Duke of York”, which leaves me intrigued to find out what’s behind the closed door. Once inside, I am welcomed into the duck blue shaded vast and opulent suite with a high ceiling, crystal chandelier and boasting outstanding views. Having already been showcased the room by friendly staff, I am aware that this is the best suite here at The Royal Crescent, once the favourite of Prince Frederick, Duke of York who stayed here back in 1795. No wonder – it is indeed fit for a King! The hotel offers 45 individually designed suites and guest rooms, blending elegant Georgian architecture with contemporary, refined interior decor, as befits this most impressive address. A recent facelift has beautifully refreshed this proud 18th-century building which has served as a guesthouse since 1950. While the shell remains intact – it is, after all, a listed building – every one of the generous-sized rooms has been redecorated with rich fabrics and bold trimmings. You can expect a very English palette of yellows, blues, green or greys throughout each of the unique bedrooms, with splashes of rich silks and velvets adding texture and a touch of decadence.
A 10-minute drive from the station, the hotel is set on a half-moon Georgian street. The Royal Crescent is a row of 30 terraced houses laid out in a sweeping crescent in the city of Bath, England. Designed by the architect John Wood the Elder and later on, John Wood the Younger, and built between 1767 and 1774. It is among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the United Kingdom and is a Grade I listed building. The 500-foot-long (150 m) crescent has 114 Ionic columns on the first floor with an entablature in a Palladian style above. It was the first crescent of terraced houses to be built and an example of “rus in urbe” (the country in the city) overlooking one end of the gently bustling parklands and Victoria Park with no passing traffic. Starting points from which to explore this Roman city don’t get much more stylish – it is located close to the Roman Bath, Bath Balloons and No.1 Royal Crescent to name but a few. Alternatively, you can ask the concierge for any additional information or suggestions and they will no doubt help you to make the most of your stay.
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The desirable street that is known today as “The Royal Crescent” was originally named simply “The Crescent.” It is claimed that the adjective “Royal” was added at the end of the 18th century after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany had stayed there. He initially rented Number one and later bought Number 16. The Royal Crescent is close to Victoria Park and links via Brock Street to The Circus which had been designed by John Wood the Elder. Today, The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa celebrates 250 years, looking spectacular as ever.
Time to explore more of the property and the grounds. The big surprise is when one walks through the house on the Crescent, just two rooms wide, through a garden door, and discovers that there is a glorious secret garden and a series of other buildings, all belonging to the hotel. A well-groomed and beautiful garden, designed by Alison Jenkins, makes you feel as if you have escaped into an oasis rather than the city of Bath. As you wander around the garden, you will see The Garden Villa, set in an acre of stunning scheduled garden. The Garden Villa boasts its own walled garden, perfect for family gatherings, special celebrations or weekends away with friends. It can accommodate up to eight people which makes it your very own private residence at The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa.
There is also The Dower House Restaurant, which offers fine cuisine throughout the year both to hotel guests and non-residents. All these creative dishes are created with passion and served with pride by their Executive Head Chef, David Campbell. When the weather is fine, the sunny terrace and lawns are an unmissable setting for idyllic al fresco dining or perhaps a quintessentially British Afternoon Tea with an option of an indulgent Taittinger Champagne. During the evening, dimmed lights and candles create a soft, elegant ambiance in which to enjoy the array of flavours and textures on the a la carte and tasting menus and it also changes during on each season.
Also, this is a place for the most mouth-watering breakfast. For an even more leisurely start to your day, they can bring breakfast to the comfort of your own Suite or Room.
The Montagu Bar and Champagne Lounge offers a relaxed yet sophisticated style, which is an ideal backdrop for any occasion and a perfect setting for your pre-dinner drinks, a glass of champagne or cocktails with friends. The Montagu is open both to residents and non-residents alike. You really must sample their signature cocktail “ Queen of the Blues”, which includes tequila, elderflower cordial, blue curacao, fresh lime juice, and champagne. Sounds tempting, right?
Lastly, you will want to nestle into The Spa and Bath House, an escape to peace and tranquillity. This holistic heaven in the heart of The Royal Crescent combines fine architecture with world-class facilities in stunning contemporary surroundings. Guests can wallow in indoor vitality and relaxation pools (whilst benefitting from a satisfying pummelling from underwater jets) for hours. These amenities are a nod to the city’s infamous Roman baths, no doubt, while the sauna is inspired by the Himalayas. There, salts infuse with the steam to allow for an extra deep clean, while the steam room is infused with eucalyptus to clear pathways. I tried out the amazing ‘Rejuvenating Age Support Facial’ treatment. This treatment offers a transformational facial, which addresses the key underlying causes of physiological aging, By improving fine lines and wrinkles, cellular drainage, micro-circulation, skin nutrition and hydration, the skin’s tone, elasticity, radiance, and moisture levels are radically improved. The treatment begins with a deep cleanse and AHA exfoliation, followed by an extensive face, throat and decollate massage and acupressure to repair and revitalise the skin. This facial delivers both immediate and long-term results. I can immediately see the difference between before and after where my face is more plumped and hydrated. This experience is also enhanced by the beautiful private landscaped Taittinger Spa Garden, exclusive to spa guests and offering a varied selection of healthy yet refreshing food options. I think I will stay here a little longer and you will know where to find me!
The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa has everything under one roof and is most definitely a luxury retreat to remember.
The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, a five-star hotel located in Bath, rates from £330 for a double room on B&B basis.