Escaping London for the weekend is always a little slice of luxury, leaving work on a Friday with high expectations of the countryside or just leaving the big smoke to glimpse some elusive green fields or enjoy one of the U.K’s many understated yet beautiful towns and villages. Although jumping on the Eurostar or a budget Easyjet flight is now a regular occurrence in many instances, weekend jaunts within the UK are on the up and it’s clear why. In a society where time is money, Bath is a key example of a beautiful weekend destination which has been appreciated and enjoying by society for centuries. With a travel time of less than 2 hours from London, Bath offers a haven of culture, wellbeing and tranquillity. A delightful city which you may have to share with the odd group of enthusiastic American tourists is perfectly sized for weekend wanderings. The Gainsborough Bath Spa is one of the most recent 5* openings in Bath under the YTL Hotels banner. With a truly unique offering it recently won the coveted Tatler Spa Guide award for best new spa and we can really see why! Made up of three beautiful historical buildings, each with a Grade II listed Georgian façade; the site of The Gainsborough Bath Spa is rich with history which has been carefully preserved throughout its recent renovations. The rooms are tastefully designed and a beautiful welcome awaited us with fresh fruit, chocolates and bubbles! The perfect way to start a relaxing weekend.
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. Upon entering the Spa Village, you are greeted by the aroma bar where one of the experienced therapists will guide you through various oils in order to create a pouch rich with essential oils to enhance your spa experience. Sitting in what feels like a beautiful apothecary, these small touches of luxury are what made our stay at The Gainsborough so unique. On entering the main pool area where the private thermal waters are located, the light and architecture has stayed true to the Roman style where the ritual of bathing was a religious experience. The ‘Bath Circuit’ allows you to experience various rooms, including thermal pools, saunas, steam room and ice alcove. Said to boost circulation, tone skin and relax mind and body the circuit draws on centuries of knowledge – not forgetting the addition of a delicious chilli chocolate shot to stimulate blood flow!
The private thermal waters at The Gainsborough are only open to hotel guests at restricted hours throughout the day to ensure peace and privacy. Those lucky enough to experience a spa treatment during their stay, can also access the waters during the day. My personal recommendation would be the magnesium wrap. Cocooned in the warmth of this treatment I felt a deep sense of peace and relaxation which lasted and ensured I had an excellent night’s sleep. The 90 minute treatment flew by and my limbs felt soothed and restored. A key aspect on a weekend break is not only relaxation but also excellent food! Whilst exploring the city of Bath we came across some unique and individual shops including Charlotte Brunswick, a beautiful shop selling wonderful smelling (and tasting) chocolates perfect for a little extra indulgence or a gift or a loved one back home.
After a long day of visiting the interesting museums of Bath and taking in the historic sites we were delighted to try another key gourmet experience within The Gainsborough. After being treated to a fabulous ‘tea inspired cocktail in the bar we dined at Johann Lafer at The Gainsborough. The combination of locally sourced English products with Asian flavours ensure that dinner was packed with innovative dishes and flavours.
Every aspect of the idyllic weekend break was fulfilled and for us it was the warmth and friendly nature of the staff at The Gainsborough which created a wonderful atmosphere within the hotel. An ancient site within a UNESCO World Heritage City, The Gainsborough Bath Spa offers an unbeatable combination of culture, history, luxury and relaxation.
Nightly rates at The Gainsborough Bath Spa start from £285 on a room-only basis.