MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel: perfect for couples
Our review of The MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel. Elegant, stylish, luxurious and a wonderful location for a weekend break with friends.
NB. This is not a sponsored post. We fully paid for our stay.
Why the Macdonald Bath Spa hotel?
We had visited Bath before, but only for one night and more to break up our journey home after a holiday down in Cornwall. This time we were with another couple, were staying for 2 nights instead of 1 and wanted to experience a spa hotel for the first time; something that Bath is of course well known for. Our friends had stayed at the ‘MacDonald’ many times before so we were extremely happy their suggestion to stay there.
The hotel’s location
The MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel is located on a hill towards the eastern side of Bath. But don’t worry, it’s still only a short 0.7 mile walk downhill to Pulteney bridge which overlooks Bath’s famous Pulteney Wier (read about out 30 minute boat ride from the weir up to Bathampton Mill). Even closer, just 3 minutes walk away is the canal towpath. This offers you the choice of a slightly lazier walk alongside the water towards the Bath Spa railway station side of town. Bath’s Crescent lies further to the west as you can see in the image below.
The hotel itself contains seven acres of well-manicured formal gardens which are a reason to stay in themselves. Well-established trees, secluded rectangular ponds and luscious hedges line your walk from the hotel down to the road entrance to the grounds. We were there on a slightly overcast day but the lovely aromas coming from the grounds instantly lift your mood and well-being.
Which offer did we like?
Our friends recommended the ‘Deluxe Garden Rooms’ overlooking the front of the grounds. These offered far-reaching views out across the city from the top floor (rooms 507 and 509). Our deal also included dinner up to £30 a head (excluding alcohol) which seemed fabulous value for the four of us. The weekend was all about the hotel so we were more than happy to maximise our time there by dining downstairs in its Vellore restaurant. Having this meal offer included in the restaurant meant we didn’t feel the need to walk into town, paying out extra unnecessarily.
The MacDonald Bath Spa facilities
One main reason for staying at the spa hotel was to enjoy the spa as hotel guests. Previously we’d considered going to the actual thermal spa in town. However as this one accompanied the hotel (albeit not thermally heated from the ground underneath) we thought it would be rude not to lounge around in our pristine white bath robes for our first afternoon there. Bath robes might I add that were the fluffiest I’ve ever worn.
As there are no mobile phones allowed in the spa area (quite understandably) the photo below is from the hotel’s own website.
Needless to say the spa complex consisted of:
- A 15m metre swimming pool + whirlpool
- Outdoor heated hydro pool (below)
- State of the gym
- Infra Red Sauna + Rock Sauna
- Sensations Shower + Massage Shower
- Salt infusion room
- Ice room
- Aroma Steam Room
- Manicure salon
- Relaxation room
- Treatment room
… which is why we felt the need not to go anywhere else!
A 360 view of the hotel and grounds
To get a real feel for the hotel and all it has to offer check out these 360 degree tours. Some of the best examples of this technology I’ve seen for a hotel so far.
Amazingly attentive restaurant staff
What soon became apparent was the staff’s friendliness and attention to detail. Many restaurants and bars these days have gone all industrial with bare wooden floors, filament light bulbs and a complete lack of any soft furnishings. Places where you only need a small crowd for everybody having to raise their voices to talk over everybody else.
This is why the hotel’s restaurant was so refreshing. Full length curtains across the windows and a proper thick pile patterned carpet. Even though the room was half empty when we decided to sit down for dinner it was just so lovely and quiet. We even found ourselves talking in hushed tones as was the relaxed ambiance of the place. I wish more restaurants were like this.
A shout out too to restaurant manager Leigh who was ever so courteous and friendly during our stay.
Post meal you’ll have a choice of seating spaces to enjoy a cocktail. From the book wallpapered Rotunda Bar (below) to the cosy Champagne bar seating just 6 people, through to the long-stretching Collonade rooms. Never at any point did we feel rushed and on most occasions we felt spoilt by having some of these public areas all to ourselves.
It was rumoured Van Morrison was staying in the hotel on our first night as he was performing at a concert at the cricket ground just half a mile away. However this was never confirmed and sadly we didn’t catch sight of him to share a celebratory cocktail at the bar.
Final impressions of the MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel
This 5 star should certainly exceed your expectations, with classically elegant hotel rooms as you would assume. The white marble-themed bathroom was spacious, the waterfall shower welcome, the Elemis bath products sensuous, the bed comfortable and the far-reaching views stunning.
What set the bar high for me though was that “je ne sais quois” you get from upmarket hotels. The sedate atmosphere, personal touch and attentive staff that you can only get at certain establishments. in short you can’t go wrong booking here and our £194 deal was actually pretty reasonable when you factor in the £60 dinner included per room and the hotel’s own spa. The latter saving us at least £40 per head rather than paying out to visit the thermal spa in town.
Is anyone now thinking of going after reading this article? Or at least visiting the beautifully understated city of Bath 🙂
Fancy staying in a wonderful hotel in the capital instead? Then see what we thought of our stay in a junior suite at London’s acclaimed Savoy.
Disclaimer: Some of the links used on this website are affiliate links. This means that if you click on it (like the one above) to book a room, we’ll receive a small commission which comes at no extra cost to you and I’ll be ever so grateful!