BATH just has to be one of Britain’s most beguiling destinations. So why not indulge your inner Regency Dandy and book in at the city’s “newest” hotel – all mod cons in a setting of sybaritic Georgian splendour, of course?
The restored Francis Hotel dominates the south side of classical Queen Square, which was built between 1728 and 1735 by architect and town planner John Wood the Elder, creator of so many of Bath’s prestigious buildings.
The south side originally comprised nine private townhouses, united by a single honey-coloured stone façade. Seven survive – seamlessly interconnected to form this townhouse hotel, refurbished at a cost of £6 million.
A member of the MGallery collection of upmarket lodgings, it boasts 98 individually-designed bedrooms many with four poster beds and views over the World Heritage designated cityscape.
The luxurious interior lives up to its Grade 1 listed status... from the the gentle chimes of an eight-bell longcase grandfather clock to the vibrant colours of the reception areas – ultramarine blue walls with bold geometric floor tiling and gold lighting. Check out the Raymond Blanc designed cuisine of Bath’s first Brasserie Blanc, conveniently situated on the hotel’s ground floor.
The hotel is in easy reach of all Bath’s many attractions. The Roman Baths are a reminder of the city’s ancient past; Bath was first established by the Romans as a spa with the Latin name Aquae Sulis (“the waters of Sulis”) in AD 43.
Close by is the magnificent Bath Abbey, where Edgar was crowned King of England in 973, the Theatre Royal, the Thermae Bath Spa, which is Britain’s original and only natural thermal spa, the recently reopened Holburne Museum and the Assembly Rooms housing the fabulous Fashion Museum.
Not far aways are the Royal Crescent, designed by John Wood the Younger and one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture in the UK, and the majestic Circus, modelled by John Wood the Elder on the Roman Colosseum.
The Francis is the second UK member of the MGallery Collection by Accor, which was launched in 2008 and now encompasses almost 50 memorable, high-end hotels in 18 countries around the world.
One of the unique features of MGallery hotels throughout the world is that guests are offered a Memorable Moment – an exclusive, unforgettable experience or activity unique to each establishment.
In Bath, the Memorable Moment is absorbing the history and magnificent architecture at a leisurely pace, with a hamper of champagne and strawberries and a personal tour guide.
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