Imagine this as a news headline: “Taking the Waters Can Cure Virus”? We can dream but, 500 years ago, The Cross Bath in Bath Street was one of the world’s vessels for the medicinal: visitors flocked to bathe in the mineral heavy water hoping to have their ailments cured. “This Bath is much frequentid of People diseasid with Lepre, Pokkes, Scabbes, and great Aches, and is temperate and pleasant… [sic],” wrote a happy Mr John Leland one afternoon in 1538 after taking a dip in the water that starts life as rain on the Mendip Hills, before being heated with geothermal energy.
A sacred site where Celts revered the Goddess Sulis, this Grade I listed building, restored during the 1990s, is still famed for its supposed healing powers and while it may not sort the pandemic out, it is ideal for unwinding from the stresses of these current times. And what’s more, it’s available for private use when you check into the Townhouse, Bath’s elegant new exclusive-use proposition.
This luxury Georgian townhouse, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the five-star Gainsborough Bath Spa hotel, is the latest offering from the YTL Hotels group, which also owns and manages the prestigious likes of the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train, the award-winning Pangkor Laut Resort, and Hinode Hills in the Niseko Village, a world-class ski area in Japan. The Gainsborough Bath Spa itself won the 2017 Condé Nast Traveller Awards World’s Top 100. You know you’re in good hands.
Located in the centre of Bath, this beautiful Georgian property, with its period antiques, silk curtains and copper bathtub in the master suite, is perfectly placed to allow visitors to explore this beautiful city, and combines the space of a private house with the efficiency of a five-star-run hotel. Spread over four floors, it sleeps up to five people in its three bedrooms (one king, one queen and one single). There’s also a kitchen (complete with fridge full of champagne and delicacies), dining area and a lounge with sofas big enough to get lost in.
Stepping out for your daily constitutional is equally joyous – Bath itself (the only UK city that’s a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site) is an enchanting place for culture vultures, with its many museums and galleries and architectural and natural wonders, including the Bath Abbey’s Tower and the Bath Skyline Walk – a six-mile route taking visitors through lush landscapes.
From the Townhouse, much of Bath is also within walking – and cycling – distance too: Townhouse staff can arrange bike hires, which is the better way of exploring the nearby countryside. Or perhaps you’d like to see this part of the world by boat – or hot air balloon? All these options are available – along with automatic use of the facilities of the Gainsborough Bath Spa. It’s enough to soothe John Leland’s great Aches. Or even his ‘Scabbes’.
Nightly rates at The Townhouse at The Gainsborough Bath Spa are subject to length of stay and start from £765 per weeknight and £995 per weekend night, with a minimum two-night stay required over summer weekends. To book, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk
See below for more pictures, all of which are by ferlapaolo.com