Personal butlers who’ve served the queen, sumptuous suites with four poster beds and an award-winning ballroom restaurant – Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel offers a stay steeped in splendour, as Leanne Kelsall discovers…
An extravagant entrance
First impressions are everything and the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel didn’t disappoint. As I made my way up the gravel drive, I was greeted by arches of stunning greenery, Greek-style fountains and the majestic mansion I’d be calling home for the weekend.
With its many halls and wings, this 20th-century building oozes elegance and in years gone by has served as a private boys’ school and a luxury family home.
The Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel is just a 2-hour drive from London and a short stroll from the historical centre of Bath.
A £22 million restoration has transformed the Greek revival style hotel into the popular spa it stands as today. And I visited to review the recently refurbished ultra-luxe suites.
I checked into The Belgrave Executive suite. Two other suites have also been updated – The Grange Presidential and The Cavendish.
Each of the suites at the Macdonald Bath Hotel come with a private butler, and this truly personalised service doesn’t just start when you walk through the door. Your butler will call you in advance of your stay, to get to know you and the sort of trip you’re wishing for – whether that’s romantic retreat or a weekend of sightseeing. On arrival, your butler will park your car, take care of your luggage and even put it away if you like.
That’s the best thing about the butler service at the Macdonald Bath – it’s completely bespoke. So, as Ra the front of house manager explained, your butler can provide an attentive round-the-clock service or undertake his tasks incognito. You decide.
After check-in, I wandered down the hotel’s grand hallways in search of my suite. The place was brimming with character – its chic interior boasts oil paintings, antique vases and plush armchairs.
My suite, The Belgrave, is like a miniature palace. There’s a large hallway and living room decorated with warm, regal tones and dark oak furniture. The XL Georgian windows let buckets of light in.
I noticed a delicate mix of old and new; the king-sized four poster bed looked centuries old while a modern, mirrored TV caught my eye in the lounge. Then there was the bathroom, featuring a cast iron roll top bath and luscious Molton Brown toiletries.
As promised by my butler, there are canapés and champagne on arrival to my room and my clothes were freshly ironed within just half an hour of asking.
After an afternoon sightseeing in Bath, the spa was calling. The hotel’s high-tech spa features an indoor pool large enough for several laps, a sauna and steam room, plus an outdoor hydrotherapy pool that’s hot enough to enjoy all year round.
If you’re feeling like some real R&R, there’s a range of treatments for him and her, including exclusive pampering sessions created for the hotel by ELEMIS Skincare.
There’s a modern gym too, to work off those West Country indulgences.
After the spa, I discovered the hotel’s beautiful courtyard where you can enjoy a pre-dinner drink with the tranquil sounds of the fountain trickling in the background.