Bath

Romance in the city | three romantic hotel breaks in Bath

Bath, the city of Roman spas, honey-hued buildings and lush landscape surrounds- and travel blogger Laura's favourite place to whisk her loved one away for a romantic break.

Back in the 1800s, the Georgian elite flocked to Bath, leaving behind a city of grand architecture that now sets the tone for history, arts, food and shopping. So whether your idea of romance is a candlelit dinner, a classical music recital, a theatre show or some pampering in a swish spa, a dreamy trip to Bath is just what Cupid ordered.

One of my favourite facts about Bath is that it was once home to the literary great, Jane Austen. So where better to escape to with my very own Mr Darcy?

Bath’s beautiful buildings hide some stunning places to stay, and I’ve picked my favourite hotels to suit every type of budget, whether you want to splurge or save for your romantic Bath break.

A luxury romantic weekend of indulging like the Romans at the Gainsborough.

1/4

If you’re going to splash out on a romantic break in Bath, it may as well be in style. Do it as the Romans did, and head to the Gainsborough for unparalleled luxury and spa bliss.

Found in the heart of town, this impressive hotel extends over three ancient buildings – one Elizabethan, one Georgian and a Victorian. Perhaps most impressive is its Roman spa remains, which have inspired the Romanesque Spa Village, which gives off grand vibes with its stone columns, mosaic and glass roof.

We’ve all heard about Bath’s healing thermal waters, and the real treat here is that the hotel is one of only two places in the city that enjoys access. The other is the Thermae day spa across the road, and having been to both, I will say that the Gainsborough is a far more relaxing and luxurious experience.

Romance in the Rooms: Georgian grandeur

The Romans have inspired the Gainsborough’s Spa Village, but it’s the Georgians that prompt the style in the bedrooms, with their chic palette of muted blue, beige and grey tones. Two-poster beds give each a romantic feel, while many of the rooms host sweeping views across the honey streets through tall windows. Added luxury comes in the Bath Spa rooms, which have roll-top bathtubs with three taps – your usual hot and cold, and an added extra that pours those ancient thermal waters right into your own bath. Pure bliss.

Romance in the city: high society-style entertainment

Where to go for afternoon tea

The Gainsborough sits in the perfect spot for enjoying every aspect of the city. Nearby Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths ooze classic romance if you want to sightsee. The Pump Room is also close and is the place to take afternoon tea. Its typically English setting with grand columns, a fancy chandelier and ancient portraits is topped off with background music from the resident pianist or string trio. I challenge you to sit here and not imagine you’re in a Jane Austen novel.

Where to go for an elegant evening

The Gainsborough sits in the perfect spot for enjoying every aspect of the city. Nearby Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths ooze classic romance if you want to sightsee. The Pump Room is also close and is the place to take afternoon tea. Its typically English setting with grand columns, a fancy chandelier and ancient portraits is topped off with background music from the resident pianist or string trio. I challenge you to sit here and not imagine you’re in a Jane Austen novel.

The Gainsborough Bath Spa

Top rated
Bath, 0.2 km to Bath Abbey
9.4 Excellent (1084 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.5 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Wellness centre / Spa
Hotel CTA

A romantic weekend in a grand old manor at Macdonald Bath Spa

1/4

I actually visited the Macdonald Bath Spa on a hen weekend, but as I wandered around the hotel and relaxed in the spa I definitely picked up some romantic vibes.

The hotel exudes luxury from the off, with a long driveway leading up to an old manor house (visit in the summer and you’ll see croquet set up on the front lawn). Inside is just as grand, with period features such as stone columns, high ornate ceilings, marble floors and oil paintings on the walls. This hotel definitely captures that ancient romantic mood of Bath.

Romance in the Rooms: Old school luxury

Bedrooms continue the high-class glamour. Modern wing rooms are decorated in muted tones, mixing classic elegance with contemporary design, while Feature Rooms in the old Georgian wing evoke romance with four-poster beds, sultry silks and plush damask finishing touches. If you’re feeling flush, book an executive suite with a fireplace, order room service and enjoy a cosy night beside the fire.

Romance in the city: bath time and pampering

Where to go for culture

The Macdonald Bath Spa sits on the fringes of the city, and it’s worth staying here just to enjoy the walk into the centre. It’ll lead you through Sydney Gardens and onto Great Pulteney Street, where you will see all the signs of the old Georgian high society – think huge grand sweeping buildings. Make sure you stop at the Holburne Museum for ancient paintings, porcelain and sculpture.

Where to go for food

Let the French bring the romance with dinner at Chez Dominique. I always opt for the steak frites but there are plenty of fantastic flavours on the menu if you want to sample some fine French fare. There is usually also an indulgent chocolatey pudding on the dessert menu, which I think is the only way to finish off date night.

Where to go for pampering

Take full advantage of the Macdonald Hotel spa facilities the next morning. The saunas and steam room are blissful, but the big draw is the swimming pool, which leads from the inside to the outside. There’s a terrace for sunbathing if it’s warm enough, but the waters are comfortably steaming if it’s not. You can easily spend a frosty winter morning here, lapping up the hot water and lazing together in the sun.

Macdonald Bath Spa

Bath, 1.1 km to Bath Abbey
8.3 Very good (3947 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.8 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Wellness centre / Spa
Hotel CTA

An affordable romantic weekend in an eccentric townhouse at the Queensberry

1/4

Bath was a destination for the high society back in the 18th century, but you don’t have to be regal to take in its elegant surrounds. With so many beautiful Georgian buildings, it’s hard to find a hotel that isn’t fancy in this town, and there are some boutique places that give great value for money.

The Queensberry offers just that, and it’s definitely a steal for what you get. Set on one of those glorious honey-stoned Georgian streets, The Queensberry sits in a striking old townhouse. Inside is quirky but chic, and the rooms feel chilled and private, great if you’re looking for your own romantic bolthole for the weekend.

Romance in the Rooms: Each one as unique as you are

The Queensbury serves up lavish vibes with rich purple carpets, grand furniture and marble fireplaces. Rooms are uniquely decorated and as eclectic as they come, my favourite being the equestrian themed room filled with cushions covered with horses and a rather fetching horse-illustrated toile de Jouy wallpaper and a sofa to match. Every room has its own special feature, but if you’re feeling fancy, there’s a four poster suite with a contemporary cool seven-foot square bed. You’ll find Jane Austen novels on the bedside, and impressive breakfast options like crispy bacon and french toast (which was perfect for us, my boyfriend is a sucker for that American sweet and savoury breakfast blend).

Romance in the city: shop, sightsee or stay in

Where to go shopping

Shopping is always on the cards in Bath whether intentional or not; You won’t be able to resist entering a few doors as you wander around the city together. Beautiful boutiques are lined up against high end and high street, showcasing everything from vintage fashion and quirky homeware to books and foodie treats. Head to Walcot Street for a browse and stop for lunch at Aqua, an Italian restaurant set in a former church. It was the huge high ceiling that first drew us into lunch here.

Where to go for a drink

In the evening don’t miss out on sampling some of Bath’s famous gin. There were a few tasty concoctions at the Canary Gin bar when I last visited. The ‘Mrs Peacock’ went down a little too well and the boy was a fan of the ‘Professor Plum’ twist on the Negroni… the murder mystery vibes here are so very Bath. Sub 13 will also whip up a few gin cocktails in its gin bar, but they are also masters of the straight-up gin and tonic.

Where to unwind

Head to the Thermae Bath Spa if you want to sample the healing waters that make this city so famous. You’ll find a rooftop pool that boasts sweeping city views – it cannot help but be super romantic.

Where to go for dinner

The Queensberry is a destination in its own right, with one of the best restaurants in Bath in its basement and a cocktail bar to boot. You’ll laugh together at the framed Queensberry rules created in honour of the hotel’s first owner, the Marquis of Queensberry. My boyfriend’s personal favourite (because he likes a pair of ankle grazers and a pair of garish socks) – “Gentlemen whose trousers fail to reach the ankle may be discouraged from wearing white socks, at the discretion of the management”.

Now back to that basement restaurant… it’s the only Michelin Star awarded in the city, the head chef is a Heston B protégé and the food is every bit as special as you’d expect. After dinner, take a whisky nightcap to bed, the hotel owner is a fan so you’ll find plenty of artisan bottles, and the staff know a thing or two about tasting the

Where to go for a picnic

Head outside the hotel and you’ll find yourself right in the middle of Bath. Nearby Royal Crescent is the best spot to sit on the green with a picnic and revel in those Austin era romantic vibes.

Queensberry Hotel

Top rated
Bath, 0.7 km to Bath Abbey
8.9 Excellent (855 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Restaurant
Hotel bar
Hotel CTA

Laura Feasey

A writer living in London, Laura is currently working on her debut novel – a fictional tale inspired by her travels across America. When she’s not checking out the ideal hotel bed thread-count, she’s penning short stories, writing for various publications & brands, and sharing fashion tales on her blog, LauLauLand.