The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath, UK

The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath, UK

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.