Bath (Somerset) is without a doubt one of the UK’s most culturally and historically rich destinations. Whether you are seeking tales of the Roman occupation or seeking top-end modern cuisine, there is a cacophony of options to keep almost anyone happy.
The Francis Hotel Bath epitomises the grandeur and heritage of the area with aplomb. This grand Regency-style townhouse was built in 1858 by the eponymous Soloman Francis. Since then it has been developed over time and even experienced the effects of a 500kg bomb during World War II. As you can, see the history of this Grade 1 listed building, is every bit as rich and exciting as the area of Bath itself.
Location, Location, Location
For us, the location of the hotel is absolutely perfect. The hotel sits on the gorgeous Queens Square. According to history, Queen Square was designed by John Wood the Elder (1704-54) who set out to provide an architectural masterpiece for the chic members of society “to assemble together”. As you can well expect, the square is therefore surrounding by gorgeous townhouses and stunning architecture.
For those looking to take in the rich history of Bath, it is also close to sights such as the Roman Baths, Pump Room, Thermae Bath Spa, Jane Austen Centre, No.1 Royal Crescent, Theatre Royal, as well as the city’s elegant shopping, culinary and cultural heart. The hotel couldn’t be better placed for a brief dalliance with the City’s attractions. On a more practical note, the hotel is also only a short walk or taxi ride from the Bath Spa railway station. Parking and babysitting are available for additional fees.
Comfort, style and luxury
The hotel is home to 98 bedrooms and there is a trio of room categories for guests to select from. We were staying in the Classic rooms, which are the lower end of the price spectrum. Our room was adorned with dark plum, gold and green décor for a regal feeling and setting. The room also came with the customary tea and coffee making facilities, flat-screen TVs and free WiFi. In addition, the bathroom came complete with The White Company’s fantastic Noir range for that extra touch of luxury.
The overall experience was one of utter comfort and luxury. Plump pillows and Egyptian cotton linen made for an opulent sleeping experience and we woke totally refreshed. If you are feeling a little more extravagant, you can go for one of the upgraded rooms, these come with 4-poster beds, minibars and espresso machines.
Dining and Breakfast at The Francis Hotel
As with any modern hotel of this stature, there is also a range of options to keep you fed and watered during your stay. In keeping with the hotels sense of tradition, the hotel offers afternoon tea, as well as dining and breakfast options.
For those looking to enjoy dinner, the hotel is adjoined to one of Raymond Blanc’s successful Brasserie Blanc restaurants. Although, we didn’t visit on this occasion, Brasserie Blanc is one chain of restaurants we would recommend and their take on French cuisine is certainly a pleasant one.
Breakfast (set in the hotel itself, rather than Brasserie Blanc) was a bit of a damp squib, if we are honest. After a wonderful night of relaxation and luxury, we did anticipate the same high standard to follow through into breakfast. However, with a 40-minute wait for cooked food and it arriving cold, we were not too impressed. Guests around us were also left waiting for a long time and some had to ask twice for tea and coffee. A bit of a shame and not quite reflective of the rest of our experience.
On a different note…
The hotel is also one of three MGallery by Sofitel properties to have partnered with renowned scent historian Lizzie Ostrom from Odette Toilette, who has created a signature fragrance inspired by the heritage, personality and unique story of each hotel. From October 31 guests will be able to choose their fragrance as a finishing touch for their room or suite. Continuing their Sensory Storytelling journey outside the room, they can learn about some of the individual notes and materials that make up each scent, via smell and taste through a specially-created cocktail and Afternoon Tea.
Francis Hotel is part of the unique MGallery collection of individual hotels, none of which conforms to the norm and all of which promise a journey of discovery both within their charming and remarkable walls and beyond. To find out more about The Francis Hotel or the rest of the MGallery range, please visit here.
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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