Royal Crescent Hotel Spa & Bath House
Almost monastic simplicity combined with luxury treatments, state-of-the-art fitness equipment and pretty plates of food to enjoy afterwards
Surely the best position in the whole of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bath. The Royal Crescent Hotel is made up of two Georgian townhouses slap bang in the middle of the iconic 18th century The Royal Crescent, overlooking lawns and the city’s biggest green space, the Royal Victoria Park, and then the rooftops of the city beyond. You’re a few minutes away from the shops and cafes of the city but it’s an oasis of calm up here. And The Spa and Bath House? Come with me.
Pass through the main house (take a peep into one of the sumptuous reception rooms as you go).
Out into the large and pretty gardens out back (you’d never know they were there). The spa and the restaurant lie on the other side. With trees just coming into leaf, winding pathways, contemporary sculptures and seating areas dotted around, it’s completely delightful. Try out the copper Ostara Swing while you’re here (it’s big enough for two).
Into the reception. That’s the Fitness Room you can see through the window, where Power Plate technology, originally developed to help Russian cosmonauts get used to effects of weightless in space, will give you a high-speed workout favoured by celebs. Today I’m here for The Half Day Spa Retreat but next time… next time.
Get changed here.
Pop these on.
THE SPA SUITE
Very minimalist, the atmosphere is one of complete tranquility. Arched windows and stone walls create a chapel-like atmosphere. It’s almost monastic – monks do love a luxury spa.
First into the warm waters of the Relaxation Pool.
At 12 metres long, you can enjoy some lazy laps.
Then head into the Herbal Steam Inhalation Room.
Followed by the Sauna.
Cool down with a cascade of crushed ice.
Pop yourself into the Vitality Pool, with powerful massage jets positioned for your leg muscles and back, which bubbles up every five minutes or so.
Finally a spot of lounging. The simple design fits the monastic vibe.
Therapists use the Chinese theory of Five Elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – to guide the treatments given in six treatment rooms. You complete a simple questionnaire asking your favourite time of year, the time of day you’re most active, how your body feels that day and so on, to establish what element you are, so they can determine what will be best for your needs that day.
The Spa uses natural and responsibly sourced skincare range Elemental Herbology, as well as Spiezia ‘Made for Life’ products and the Proto-col Advanced Collagen Facial (with instant results!), suitable for the most delicate of skins.
Looking very pink and healthy after my Elemental Herbology Five Element Facial – a Bio-cellular Super Cleanse, Facial Glow Radiance Peel, Hyaluranic Booster Plus+ Serum, Cell Active Rejuvination Moisturiser and Eye Elixer Eye Cream – and a brilliant head massage.
SCOFF & QUAFF
A short stroll across the gardens for lunch in The Montagu Bar and Champagne Lounge. Swanky.
Elegant dining with Wedgwood colours, classical busts and a glass wall through which you can see The Dower House fine dining restaurant next door.
You don’t have to choose the healthy options on the All Day Dining Menu (you can have fish ‘n’ chips, a burger or steak) but we were feeling virtuous. This is the vegan and gluten-free Superfood Salad with beetroot quinoa, broccoli, nasturtium and orange.
Veggie and gluten-free soy tofu, with roasted carrot, carrot puree, peanut crumb and paste and mooli slaw made with daikon radish.
OK, OK, we sneaked in a cheeky portion of chips perfectly cooked (three times) too.
Didn’t have time for desserts this time (school run beckoned) but lemon meringue sundae, choc brownie and banana ice cream, amaretto affogato and cheese were all on the menu.
Good for: pure relaxation in tranquil surroundings in the spa; excellent treatments; beautifully presented food. Treat a friend for a birthday? Girls get together. With your other half.
Not for: a quick in and out; you’ll want to relish this. We didn’t leave enough time for our two-course lunch – you must.
The damage: The Half Day Retreat: one hour spa use, treatment of your choice, followed by a 2-course lunch or afternoon tea £140 (Mon– Fri); £150 (Sat & Sun). The Serene Day Retreat, same but with two hour treatment £180 (Mon– Fri); £190 (Sat & Sun). The Romantic Hideaway, one hour spa, couples massage, 3-course dinner and a glass of Taittinger champers £340 (Mon– Fri); £360 (Sat & Sun). Individual facial treatments from £20–£120. Body treatments from £65–£250.
The Spa’s open Mon to Fri from 7am to 9pm; Sat, Sun and Bank Holidays from 8am to 8pm. Treatments every day from 10am to 6pm.
Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, 16 Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LS. Tel 01225 823333. royalcrescent.co.uk