There was a very special birthday in our house over Christmas; my Dad’s 60th. Although he was adamant that he didn’t want us to make a big deal of it, we just couldn’t let this special occasion slip by without celebrating. So we decided to take him away to Bath for the night as a surprise.
With its honey-coloured Georgian architecture and iconic streets, Bath has a timeless beauty. It’s one of our favourite cities in the UK and it’s only an hour’s drive from my parents’ house so it’s the perfect place for an overnight stay.
Bath isn’t short of lovely places to stay. There is an abundance of luxury hotels, grand guesthouses, and chic apartments. After looking at a few hotels, we finally settled on the Francis Hotel, a beautiful Grade 1 listed hotel which exudes charm and charisma; perfect for such a special occasion.
A gateway into a bygone era
Distinctive and full of character, the Francis Hotel is made up of seven original 18th century townhouses on the south side of Queen Square. These townhouses are now interconnected and form one single residence, housing 98 luxurious and unique bedrooms.
The hotel is part of the M Gallery by Sofitel, a collection of boutique hotels which embody the style of the location they represent and offer a gateway into another world. Wandering through the hotel, I felt as if I had walked right into a Jane Austen novel. It’s filled with handsome antiques, oil paintings and classical pillars. Although the hotel underwent a £6 million restoration in 2012, the townhouses have retained their original Regency grandeur, making it easy to imagine you have travelled back to 1858 when Soloman Francis first opened the hotel at No.10.
All 98 rooms are individually styled with comfortable beds, Egyptian cotton linen, luxury toiletries, a flat-screen TV, safe and complimentary WI-FI. We stayed in a Superior Room with views overlooking the square. It was a peaceful location (except for the seagulls which Bath is renowned for!) and we all slept very well. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a very light sleeper so I’m quite particular about hotel beds but it was very comfortable.
The hotel has several dining options, including the bar and lounge areas, as well as Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc which is attached to the hotel. We went out for dinner but breakfast is also served in Brasserie Blanc so we got to have a look at the restaurant the next morning and the menu did look delicious, especially if you like French cuisine.
The hotel is based in an excellent location near many of the historical and contemporary attractions. The Roman Baths, Pump Room, Jane Austen Centre, Thermae Bath Spa and Royal Crescent are located nearby and it’s only a 10 minute walk to the centre of the town where you’ll find a wonderful choice of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops.
If you’re looking for a hotel with character and something a little different then I’d definitely recommend staying at the Francis Hotel. It’s a timelessly stylish hotel which has managed to retain every ounce of its original grandeur. It had a lovely ambiance and a real warmth that you don’t always get in a hotel. Staying somewhere with such a rich heritage really made my Dad’s 60th so special and I’m sure it won’t be the last time we stay at the Francis Hotel.
You can find more information about the hotel and current room rates here: Francis Hotel.
As always, please leave any comments and recommendations below. I’d love to hear from you!