UPDATE: Since we wrote this article we have made a personal visit to this hotel and you can read our review of the Gainsborough Bath Spa.
I have previously mentioned the upcoming opening of The Gainsborough Bath Spa and finally, there we have an opening date set in stone. The Grand opening is set to be 1st July 2015.
The hotel is the first and only hotel in the UK to offer its visitors the opportunity to access and experience Bath’s famed natural thermal waters in its incredible spa. The hotel marks YTL Hotels’ latest addition to its impressive international portfolio and is their first property in the UK. The hotel is a member of the prestigious The Leading Hotels of the World. For me, Bath makes a lovely weekend break from Sandbanks, just one and a half hours drive through the rolling Dorset hills. It also offers an alternative to one of my favourite hotels, the Royal Crescent in Bath. Which will be better? For me, the Royal Crescent in Bath will be hard to beat, but I will enjoy testing the (Spa) waters.
Spa Village Bath
Unique to The Gainsborough Bath Spa is a modern-day Roman Bath Circuit in actual natural thermal waters. Spa Village Bath at The Gainsborough Bath Spa is a new world-class exclusive spa in the city that extols all the natural virtues of the city’s healing thermal waters giving guests a majestic spa journey that apparently will keep you coming back again and again. Spa Village Bath has been conceptualised to honour the healing traditions of Bath. Since pre-Roman times people have flocked to mend their bodies in the thermal springs of Bath. The hotel’s private water reserve bubbles to the surface at 47 degrees centigrade, packed full of rich natural minerals, for the hotel’s guests to reap the benefits in this totally immersive experience coupled with the timeless venerated British use of aromatherapy, the healing culture will continue.
Reviving the ancient practice of social bathing, The Gainsborough Bath Spa has created a one hour ‘Bath Circuit’. A ritualised self-guided tour of the thermal pools, saunas, steam room, ice alcove and elegant relaxation rooms, visitors will embark on a bathing journey akin to ancient Rome, concluding with a very special Water Ritual Ceremony. Three thermal pools lie in the heart of the spa set apart by Romanesque columns and beneath a glass atrium.
The Aroma Bar provides guests with a plethora of lotions and potions from which they can blend their very own oils. In harmony with Spa Village Bath’s healing concept, UK organic skincare brand Neal’s Yard, luxury skincare company, Kerstin Florian, and the Natru certified organic line, Amala, will be the Gainsborough Bath Spa’s partners. An exclusive Spa Suite and two further spa rooms (pictured above) will be the only guest rooms in the UK to offer in-bath access to the thermal waters via a second tap, giving guests the extraordinary choice of bathing in thermal water.
History with Artistic Roots
The history and design of the building is a fascinating part of the hotel’s story. During the early redevelopment stages, archaeological excavations uncovered 17,000 ancient coins, now known as the Beau Street Hoard, which marks the first chapter of the hotel’s future legacy. A selection of the hoard will be on display in the hotel’s reception for guests to enjoy. The Grade II listed building has enjoyed a colourful history having housed the United Hospital in the 19th Century and most recently the Bath College of Art & Design until 2005, its name inspired by one of the city’s most illustrious residents, the highly acclaimed painter, Thomas Gainsborough. To honour its artistic connections, The Gainsborough Bath Spa has selected three students from the College and commissioned them to create exclusive artwork for the hotel to feature prominently in its public spaces. An ancient site within a UNESCO World Heritage City, The Gainsborough Bath Spa is proud of its heritage and looks forward to being a hotel for Bath’s future.
A Stunning Design
The 99-room hotel has been harmoniously designed by New York-based design firm Champalimaud Design, to pay homage to the building’s fascinating history and Georgian characteristics in creating a modern interpretation of a classic design. The design of each guest room is bespoke and a result of exclusive collaborations between Champalimaud and other design specialists, from the delicious two-poster beds and playful toile antimacassars depicting traditional Bath scenes, to the marble bathrooms, luxurious burl wood in-laid wardrobes and dramatic draperies that frame the tall windows. The rooms are flooded with natural light and promise to charm guests with the sumptuous furnishings and warm ambience.
Johann Lafer at the Gainsborough: “Dining without Borders”
The Gainsborough Bath Spa is honoured to be partnering with world-renowned Austrian chef, Johann Lafer, as he lends his name to the hotel’s restaurant Johann Lafer at The Gainsborough in his first restaurant venture outside of Germany. Based in Germany, Lafer is one of the country’s most celebrated Michelin starred chefs and TV personalities. Johann’s gourmet philosophy is Dining Without Borders – the notion of combining locally sourced English products with the very best of Asian flavours to create innovative dishes that will attract diners from far and wide.
All dishes will be inspired by Johann’s highly-acclaimed award-winning cookbook Two Friends, One Cuisine, co-written with Malaysian Chef Wai, the YTL Hotels Group Corporate Chef. The book is a culinary adventure of these two longtime friends and chefs, as they explore the different ingredients from their respective homelands as well as varied cooking techniques. The innovation, passion and freshness of these dishes will be the driving force of the gourmet experience at Johann Lafer at The Gainborough serving for both lunch and dinner.
Johann Lafer at the Gainsborough and The Gainsborough Bar will be destinations in their own right, matching the reputation of the hotel’s accommodation and spa offerings, while offering two new exceptional meeting spots for local residents and hotel guests alike.
The Chapel, Somerset Room & The Canvas Room
As well as its unique spaces and dining options, the hotel also offers a variety of meeting and banqueting facilities, ideally suited to weddings, celebrations, events and conferences, making it an unforgettable venue for all occasion. With an exquisite tented ceiling and views onto the thermal spa pool, the 92 square metre Chapel is the hotel’s largest space and can also be linked with the Chapel Terrace to create a larger event space. The Somerset Room sits on the ground floor of the hotel accommodating up to 70 people for luncheons, dinners and meetings. This room also boasts views over the spa. Both rooms feature state-of-the-art AV and conference facilities and are fully licenced for civil wedding ceremonies.
The Canvas Room offers the perfect place to unwind in style. Its character and charm are quintessentially British and irrefutably modern with an understated elegance where guests can feel at home. There is an extensive list of cocktails, Grandes Marques Champagnes, Artisan Gins and Fine Wines to enjoy whilst taking in the delights of its luxurious surroundings.
The Gainsborough Bath Spa is ideally located in the centre of the ancient Roman city of Bath on Beau Street, minutes away from the city’s shopping and restaurant districts, the Theatre Royal and historical Roman Baths and directly opposite the Thermae Bath Spa. A five-minute walk from the Bath Spa train station, this new spa hotel is just a 90-minute train journey from London, making it a luxurious new getaway.
To celebrate the hotel’s soft opening, The Gainsborough Bath Spa is proud to announce that all hotel revenue on 1st July, the hotel’s opening day, will be donated to local charity, St John’s Charity, that has been providing care and support to Bath’s disadvantaged residents since 1174. To mark the soft opening of The Gainsborough Bath Spa, on this special occasion, the hotel will be offering a 20% discount on published room rates for the month of July.
Nightly rates at The Gainsborough Bath Spa start from £285 on a room-only basis.
Disclosure: Most of our property, service & product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced by any sponsor.