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“Spa wonderful, food a letdown...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Bath Priory Hotel

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The Bath Priory Hotel
Ranked #10 of 34 Hotels in Bath
Certificate of Excellence
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Spa wonderful, food a letdown...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2012

We didn't stay at the hotel, instead travelling to the Bath Priory for a spa day and dinner. Before dinner we went to the spa area for a swim, jacuzzi, sauna and steam in the steam room. We were shown to the spa area by a rather disinterested but courteous staff member, but the spa staff were very helpful and friendly, happy to show us where things were and how they worked if we were unsure. We were provided with towels and robes, and in the changing rooms there were electronic lockers where you entered a personal PIN number to lock and unlock them, which gave the feeling that our belongings were safe whilst we relaxed.

The pool was lovely and warm, though because the jacuzzi was actually part of the pool it was only two jets of water, one rather weak, and so it was not very effective at all and underwhelming. The sauna was nice, pretty much identical to any other sauna except for the small colour-changing mood-lights in the ceiling which were a nice touch, though only noticeable if you looked upwards. The steam room was beautiful; the entire room (including the seats) was covered in a deep reddy-purple mosaic, which was hot on the skin at first but then comfortable and relaxing, and there were also mood lights in the ceiling.

We left the spa at just after 12 and after wandering around the ground floor of the hotel trying to find the restaurant we grabbed a passing staff member who showed us into the drawing room for a 'pre-dinner drink'. He was rather pretentious, looking us up and down before he ushered us into the drawing room which made us feel slightly self-conscious. We were seated in a large, heavily furnished room, hung with beautiful portraits which were very interesting to look at. After a while, though, it got rather boring, and there was a tense, unfriendly silence in the room. It felt almost like we weren't allowed to speak or that it wouldn't be 'proper'. I was offered a drink and when I politely declined was given a look that said I had somehow crossed a line, which made me feel quite uncomfortable. My daughter, by this point, was bored out of her mind after studying the paintings for a while as there was nothing else to do (remembering that talking felt somehow prohibited). After between 5 and 10 minutes we were served a chilli hummous with some kind of crispy things, which we did not catch the name of because of the waiter's thick French accent. It was average, not particularly nice but not unpleasant.

After another 15-20 minutes we were led into the dining room, which was clean, had a better atmosphere and was very bright (probably as a result of everything being bright white and the large windows letting in lots of light). There was also a guy playing guitar in the corner which was a nice touch. We were introduced to our waitress, Jessica, who was aloof and seemed to not like it when we talked to her, which made us very unsure whether we should thank her or not when she brought out our courses (etc.). However, she gradually loosened up towards the end of the meal and rewarded our thanks with a tentative smile. Before dinner we were served a basket of bread containing three different bread varieties, which was nice, although we didn't actually know what they were because of Jessica's thick French accent and quick way of speaking, which all the staff seemed to possess.

The bread was very nice and swiftly followed by a potato and leek veloute, 'complimentary of the chef'. It had a handmade potato crisp on top and cubes of potato in the bottom, and was served in a beautiful twisty-handled white cup. It was delicious. Our cups were taken away when we finished and then there was a 15-20 minute wait for our starters. Like in the drawing room there was a feeling of needing to be quiet, although it wasn't as bad.

I had the lamb breast with lamb kidney and my daughter had the duck egg with hollandaise and fricasee mushrooms because she didn't like the sound of any other starters. My starter was nice but miniscule, and my daughter's egg was also nice but the hollandaise was almost non-existant.

After another stupidly long wait we received our tiny main courses. I had the roast lamb with roast potatoes and vegetables and my daughter had the wood pigeon with hazelnut couscous and cauliflower puree. The roast lamb had a thick layer of unrendered fat which was disgusting and inedible, the roast potatoes were completely average and there was a ridiculously pitiful amount of vegetables - for example, there were two broad beans. What is the point of two broad beans? My daughter tried the potatoes and lamb and declared that my roast lamb and potatoes are better, and I have to say I agree. My daughter's wood pigeon had a nice flavour but was slightly dry and chewy, but she said that her cauliflower puree and hazelnut couscous was lovely, even if there wasn't enough of it.

And finally, after another long wait, we received our desserts. I had the amaretto and chocolate mousse, which looked beautiful but was a bit of a letdown on taste, and my daughter had the apricot and hazelnut souffle with apricot sorbet which was absolutely gorgeous, possibly the best part of the meal.

A disappointing and unfulfilling dinner was followed by a polite notification from a member of staff that the spa was ready for us and that we could go and have our treatments, which meant that we didn't get our coffee and petit-fours. With a feeling of building excitement we went back downstairs to the spa, and our spirits plummeted when we found out that the ridiculous waits had cost us half an hour of our treatments and we had not been told. If we had we would have left the dinner (as it was a complete disappointment really) and gone to our treatments. We felt disappointed and like we'd lost out.

We filled out some disclaimers and were introduced to our therapists who were lovely, polite and friendly. They took us into seperate rooms and we received a wonderful salt rub and full body mud wrap (for which we chose the salts and muds), then showered, had an extremely vigorous full-body massage, a foot massage and a scalp massage. The whole experience was extremely enjoyable and left us feeling completely relaxed.

The receptionist who took our payment was lovely and helpful, and dealt with our payment extremely well.
Overall, we felt out of place and slightly judged by the restaurant staff, welcomed by the spa staff and completely disappointed with the restaurant's food and service.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Stephen_and_Kay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline B, Manager at The Bath Priory Hotel, responded to this review, 12 April 2012
I would like to thank you for your kind comments regarding your time in the spa on Sunday, I shall ensure the spa team are made aware of your feedback. I was however, most disappointed to hear that your lunch experience did not meet your expectations.
The majority of our guests do enjoy spending time in our drawing room so we like to allow our guests the time to relax and enjoy the surroundings whilst making their menu selections, we find that this is the same throughout the meal which is why we allow a period of time between each course, we do observe all feedback closely and find the timings are usually pretty spot on.

Sam Moody's food mostly receives wonderful comments from our guests, one trip advisor posting made earlier this week headed up "Spectacular" was written by a guest who enjoyed the same menu as you. This aside, we are naturally sorry that the food was not to your liking and that you thought the portions were insufficent. I was particularly sad to hear that you did not enjoy the service and were unable to relax. Although a handful of our restaurant team are French, there are also several that are English, one of which is Jessica, so I can only apologise on her behalf if her explanations were not made clear to you.

Where I believe we let ourselves down was not adjusting our style of service to your needs and ensuring that service was more timely and being aware of your appointment in the spa. It is not acceptable that we made you late for your treatments, therefore, cutting into the allocated treatment time.

It is always saddening when our guests leave us less than delighted by their experience and although our food and restaurant offering was not to your taste, it would be my greatest wish for you and your daughter to return and enjoy a day in the spa with our compliments

Please do contact me directly and I shall take care of the arrangements for you personally
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1,187 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (225)
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
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English first
Springfield
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2012

Deserves 6 not 5 stars! The greetings, the impeccable room, the awesome food and fine dining, the manicured gardens, the spa... not a detail was missed. The cleaning staff check our rooms when we were at appointments. I actually own a national mystery shopper company and so I know a bit about quality. And, typically, traveling with just my daughter, we are treated poorly. But not at the Priory. At dinner we had a beautiful table by the window overlooking cascading gardens instead of a noisy table by the kitchen door which is what normally happens. For every minute of our well earned weekend off, we were treated like queens! I can't imagine anything better. Every detail was not wasted on us! Many thanks the staff! We are both totally rejuvenated!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mary F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline B, Manager at The Bath Priory Hotel, responded to this review, 12 April 2012
The team are delighted that you rate the Bath Priory with 6 stars, especially bearing in mind what a sharp eye for detail you must have given the company that you own!
Mother and daughter time is so precious so I am so pleased to hear you were treated like queens and we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you both for a future visit
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Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

We have just had the most delicious lunch - possibly the best we have ever had. The service was exceptional - better than any restaurant we have ever been to. I am still trying to decide in my favourite couse but think I have to settle with the apricot and hazelnut souffle with apricot sorbet. The petit fours were a dessert in themselves. The food is very well priced. £35 for canapés, amazing bread and four exceptional courses. Not too much fuss on the plate and perfect complementary flavours for each course. The wine chosen by the sommelier was also perfect - though £11 for a glass is slightly more than I would have liked to spend but as this was a special occasion I did not really mind. Why no michelin for this amazing restaurant?

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ZestyBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline B, Manager at The Bath Priory Hotel, responded to this review, 11 April 2012
Dear ZestyBee
We are all delighted that you had such a delicious lunch with us and found the service exceptional. Sam Moody, our Head Chef and Anca Harlow, our Restaurant Manager would like to join me in thanking you for your very kind comments. We hope that it will not be long before we have the pleasure of welcoming you back.
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Villanova, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2012

The property is spectacular with gardens, works of art and furnishings that make this hotel something very special. The attention to detail is evident and the staff makes you feel very welcome. We chose to dine at the hotel two consecutive nights because we could not bear the thought of leaving the gorgeous surroundings. The newly built spa is first rate but still taking baby steps.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 534Ted
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suewilliams, General Manager at The Bath Priory Hotel, responded to this review, 7 April 2012
Thank you for your review.
We are a privatley owned hotel and the family really do love styling the house
and enhancing it year on year. It is one of the things I believe that sets us appart.
We are delighted that you enjoyed Sam Moody's food and that the team
made you feel welcome.
We do hope to see you again.
Kind regards
Sue Williams
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2012

My wife and I stayed in this lovely hotel a week ago and I should admit the staff know all about hospitality and how to make their guest feel so special.
The accomodation is fantastic, and makes an impression how clean and looked after everithing is. The room we stayed (Apple Blossom) was beautiful with all the little extras to make my wife happy:))) (Latest magazines, fruit platter, lovely cosmetics)...and of course the GARDEN VIEW! They were all so nice to organize a tickets for bus tour, and were really flexible with our enquieries. Best treatment, best staff! Thank you all for making our stay so memorable! Will definitely come back!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Manuela D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suewilliams, General Manager at The Bath Priory Hotel, responded to this review, 7 April 2012
Lovely to know you will be back, and thank you for your review.
As the manager of the hotel it is great for me to see the team getting
so many mentions for doing a good job. They are a great bunch and I am
a lucky manager.
Best wishes
Sue Williams
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2012

Had the best two days in bath and the hotel made it perfect. Staff were awesome, room was lovely and the food was amazing.
Got engaged in the hotel and the staff made it very special for my girlfriend and really went out of their way with little extras.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Willsw82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suewilliams, General Manager at The Bath Priory Hotel, responded to this review, 7 April 2012
Many congratulations on your recent engagement from all of us
at The Bath Priory. Thank you for choosing us for what is a very special
moment in your life. The Staff love making all the little extras happen
when there is romance in the air.
We hope to see you for a wedding anniversary celebration in the future.
Best wishes
Sue Williams
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
88 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2012

We came to Bath Priory to celebrate my mother's 80th birthday. The hotel was as welcoming and comfortable as we remembered from our visit 2 years ago. The rooms were spacious and well equipped. Home made biscuits and soft drinks were provided in the rooms, The grounds were beautiful and the weather was so lovely that we were able to eat lunch outside on the terrace while enjoying the garden.
The food was delicious (and we managed to sample most of it, from breakfast to light lunches and afternoon teas to the a la carte menu in the dining room. !)
We also enjoyed our treatments in the spa.
One slight disappointment on the first night was that our 10 year old niece and nephew were not allowed to eat with us in the dining room (because they wanted to eat from the room service menu rather than the a la carte). However when we discussed this with the hotel management the next day they went out of their way to provide us with a fantastic family dining experience that evening which we thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed.
In short - Bath Priory offers blissful comfort with fine dining and a wonderful welcome.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank OxfordJulieT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suewilliams, General Manager at The Bath Priory Hotel, responded to this review, 7 April 2012
Thank you for your review after your recent visit.
I am delighted the weather meant you could make the most of the garden.
Our Gardener Jane Moore joins me in thanking you for the lovely comments about the garden.
Jane has worked with us for 10 years now and we are now seeing the frutis of all her labours.
I sounds as though you were able to make the most of all areas of the hotel which is good to know.
Best wishes from all at The Bath Priory
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Bath Priory Hotel

Property: The Bath Priory Hotel
Address: Weston Road, Bath BA1 2XT, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Bath
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 34 Hotels in Bath
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Bath Priory Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled within four acres of mature award-wining gardens and spacious terraces, The 5 Red Star Bath Priory Hotel and Spa sets itself apart as a peaceful haven in a bustling city. The Georgian house of honey-coloured Bath stone enjoys a tranquil location just a short walk to the city centre and is proud to hold the city's only Michelin Star for culinary excellence. Welcoming guests as if to a private home, The Bath Priory is where much of proprietors Andrew and Christina Brownsword's private art collection adorns the walls. To help you truly unwind, our Garden Spa offers massages and a selection of luxurious treatments by British spa and skincare brand Elemis. There are 27 luxurious en-suite bedrooms and 6 suites set around 4 acres of stunning award-winning grounds and gardens. ... more   less 
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