The UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath is best known for its impressive architecture and spa culture, so any new venue aiming to equal, if not usurp, local standards has a tough task ahead. Yet The Gainsborough has done just that. Housed in a grand Grade II listed property, the hotel honours the area’s longstanding thermal bathing tradition and successfully marries a centuries-old institution with modern technology. The main draw is undoubtedly the multifaceted Spa Village Bath, which offers guests local thermal spring water; warm, mineral-rich and pumped directly from a private reserve. Capitalising on the water’s healing virtues, the spa has at its heart three Romanesque thermal pools, and is equipped with thermal pods, saunas, a steam room, an ice alcove and 11 relaxation rooms. Elsewhere, The Gainsborough is equally as impressive: The 99 guestrooms, outfitted by New York-based Champalimaud Design, give a distinct nod to local history via toile antimacassars depicting Bath scenes, while public spaces feature pieces by artists from the Bath College of Art & Design. The hotel’s restaurant, Johann Lafer, is led by a philosophy of ‘dining without borders’, which manifests itself through exciting Asian flavours produced with locally grown English produce.