Full of jaw-dropping Georgian grandeur whilst retaining a homely, familiar charm, says Charlie Teather
Even as a relatively new and wide-eyed Londoner, an urgent desire to abscond from the relentless activity and incessant buzz of the metropolis is an all too familiar feeling. It is this longing for escapism that tends to render Bath – both the peaceful city and the vessel for that matter – too tempting to resist.
It was that same desire to switch off from the buzz that led me to The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, housed in a Grade 1-listed Georgian townhouse less than a 10 minute walk from the city centre and nestled somewhat subtly in the central two houses of the city’s iconic Royal Crescent.
Said to be popular with celebrity repeat customers Johnny Depp, the Rolling Stones and U2 – as well as Prince Frederick, Duke of York and favourite son of King George III, in the late 1700s, who returned to Bath after receiving the rare honour of Freedom to buy the Crescent’s so-called ‘centre house’ for £5,000 – The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa is full of jaw-dropping Georgian grandeur whilst retaining that homely, familiar charm.
Walking through the admirably understated entrance hall and into a cosy drawing room with an open fire and wonderfully festive decorations, we were greeted by the highly experienced and deeply devoted General Manager Jonathan Stapleton, who guided us past a second Christmas tree and up a small but nonetheless sweeping staircase to our home for the next two nights; The Duke of York Suite.
Perhaps the grandest of the 45 luxurious suites and rooms, this first-floor room overlooking the Royal Crescent lawns and city’s landscape is spectacularly dramatic in the least intimidating way.
With a four-poster bed, oak wardrobe and ornate paintings at one end, and a dramatic fireplace, flat-screen TV and sumptuous sofa at the other, luxuries such as the Nespresso coffee machine, enormous en-suite, full bookcase and third Christmas tree seemed almost incidental amidst the magnificence.
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