The family-run boutique Queensberry Hotel could scarcely be better situated. In a city characterised by its Georgian architecture, four very fine classic townhouses of that period interconnect to provide the luxuriant accommodation. Positioned on a residential street, it is a mere amble from the showpiece Circus while the resplendent set-piece Royal Crescent is five minutes on foot. Staff are welcoming, warm and at pains to point our all the sumptuous public spots in which to grab a complimentary coffee and lounge with the papers. Its original owner was the 8th Marquess of Queensberry; the hotel remains every inch fit for high society.
As we are shown to our first-floor room, an apology hangs in the air on account of the fact that it is the smallest of the hotel’s 29 lodgings. But if this is the most diminutive, we can but wonder at the scale of the others; laid out across two floors, the aesthetic is pleasingly simple and comfortable; Farrow and Ball sensibilities – all understated greys and muted greens – prevail, with decorative feature walls and a four-post bed overhang. We revel in the gorgeous, oversized Georgian sash windows. Perfect for make-believing you’re the heroine of a Jane Austen novel.
Food and drink
The Olive Tree must surely be one of Bath’s best-kept secrets. Deservedly the winner of three AA rosettes, it lurks knowingly in the hotel’s basement, and under wunderkind head chef Chris Cleghorn (a protégé of Heston Blumenthal), serves up sensationally delicious food that stimulates both the senses and the mind. Start off with poached lobster or crab lasagne, then luxuriate in sensational fish or meat main courses, and don’t miss out on an amazing chocolate and cherry dessert that comes served as a homage to Blumenthal’s legendary “meat fruit” at Dinner. Staff are as knowledgable, convivial, chatty and friendly as they come and the room is stylish, with sage green walls and witty prints hung all over the walls.
In a nutshell
The Queensberry is the hotel in Bath for the boutique traveller. Whilst the new Gainsborough is superlative and slick and the famous Royal Crescent Hotel is the city’s grande dame, the marquis’ former home offers the off-the-beaten track seeker the thrill of discovery alongside style, luxury and seamless service.