Individually decorated rooms with modern flair and flat-screen TVs
Espresso machines and four-poster beds in some rooms
French cuisine and room service available from Brasserie Blanc
Lovely courtyard and walled garden
Meeting rooms for events of up to 100 guests
Laundry facilities on-site
On-site parking for a fee
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Room sizes vary, even with the same price
Hotel food is expensive
The Francis Hotel is a four-pearl property opposite the tree-lined Queen's Square in historic Bath. The 98-room hotel comprises seven limestone town houses refurbished in the Regency style, and it's brimming with character, particularly in its distinct rooms -- some with quirky decor and houndstooth accents. Its central location is advantageous to those exploring Bath on foot, but its dreamy, comfortable lounge and elegant restaurant might entice guests to linger. If the Francis Hotel is booked, travelers could consider The Royal Crescent Hotel, which overlooks Victoria Park.
Historic hotel with modern interiors, popular with well-heeled tourists and business travelers
The Francis Hotel Bath draws corporate business travelers and tourists seeking a pampering -- if expensive -- stay in the historic Somerset city of Bath. The hotel is composed of several row houses that were joined into a single residence in the 19th century. One unusual aspect of the property is its juxtaposition of modern furnishings in historic rooms with vintage or retro wallpaper. The lobby is a dramatic navy blue, with bold white trim and a red upholstered reception desk. The hotel's sizable art collection runs the gamut from period portraits to contemporary photography. The Lounge Bar, is a dusty-blue, intimate room with low lighting. The adjacent lounge -- where afternoon tea is served -- has delicate chandeliers suspended from its high ceilings, pale-blue wallpaper adorned with roses, and velvety-blue and dark-pink tufted sofas and wingback chairs. Breakfast is served in the John Wood Room -- a stylish space named after a prominent Bath architect -- characterized by spare wood floors, and black and red upholstered chairs and banquette seats. There's also an outdoor courtyard and walled garden.
Near restaurants, cafes, and shops in central Bath
The Francis Hotel is a 10-minute walk to the center of Bath, in an area with many cafes and shops. Although devoted readers of Jane Austen will recognize sites from her novels, there is an official place for her fans to gather -- the Jane Austen Centre -- which is just a two minute walk from the hotel. The Bath Abbey, the city's cathedral, is a six-minute walk away, right by the Roman Baths for which the city is known. Bristol -- where the nearest airport is located -- is a 44-minute drive away, while Salisbury takes an hour by car. London takes just under two hours to reach by train.
Historic rooms with fun, modern styling and sleek bathrooms
Rooms feature snappy color schemes such as black-and-white with houndstooth accents or turquoise and purple with massive gilt mirrors -- the overall vibe is posh, but with a twist of fun. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, Egyptian-cotton sheets, and safes. The more expensive units have more elegant furnishings and amenities, such as four-poster beds, espresso machines, MP3 players, and minibars. Windows open and many rooms have excellent views of the city. Bathrooms are modern with white porcelain fixtures and walk-in rainfall showers. Fluffy bath robes, C.O. Bigelow toiletries, and hairdryers are provided. One thing to note: Rooms can vary in size, even within the same price point, and some layouts can feel a bit cramped, so it pays to request the largest room available in your category.
Meeting rooms, laundry, free Wi-Fi, parking (for a fee), and on-site hair salon
The hotel's common spaces can accommodate an intimate birthday dinner or a weekend corporate retreat. The John Wood Room can fit as many as 100 people, while the adjacent (and smaller) Ralph Allen Room can be configured as a boardroom or classroom. Audiovisual equipment is available, and there's a business center that offers copy and printing services. Brasserie Blanc has a French-inspired menu and offers room service, but the food is expensive. Other amenities include free hotel-wide Wi-Fi, on-site parking (for a fee), currency exchange center and car rentals through the front desk.
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