I really am being picky here but this is a Relais & Chateaux Hotel, it's restaurant carries a Michelin Star and the lowest price a room is around £300 a night which, by any standards, is a great deal of money.
The absolute plus is that the price includes breakfast - either in the restaurant or your room - a newspaper and water. Fresh apples are placed in the room each day.
The bedrooms are country comfortable and well decorated. The lounges have an air of the old Manor House. They are delicious and wonderful to sit in. Paintings from the personal collection of the Hotel's owner adorn the walls - and they are fantastic.
Tea and coffee making facilities in the room (and milk is to be phoned down for to ensure it is fresh).
The staff are wonderful and nothing is too much. (Food review at the end - worth reading) ... There is a spa, and indoor and outdoor pool. Glorious gardens, outside seating. It has much going for it.
So what is the downside - firstly we had a room overlooking the hotel entrance. It was above a back of house doorway which was not on a soft closing mechanism. The constant banging of the door left to swing closed by staff members with their hands full drove us mad. Yes, we told a member of staff, no, nothing was done.
There was no evidence of any Air Conditioning. We were offered a fan which was excellent, but I can't image how uncomfortable a stay here might be on one of Englands horrendous hot nights (rare as they are).
And the thing that irritates me more than anything with hotel design is the distinct lack of a dressing table with adequate mirror. It is (wrongly) assumed that women can apply their make up and dry their hair in the bathroom. How short sighted that assumption is.
If you're getting ready its safe to assume that the bathroom is generally being used by a partner - and if it isn't it is so unbelievably hot and steamed up (either from recent use, or by virtue of the fact that it is always internal) that you can't see to put you face on. Worse than than, you are so hot and sweaty that both hair and make up ruins in any event.
What is wrong with a mirror and dressing table in the bedroom?
The quality of the tissues was really poor. They fell apart almost instantly - certainly when damp.
The bathroom taps are the lovely old fashioned 'pillar' taps. Nothing wrong there except the water was very hot. Wonderful for a good soak in a bath but I think a warning is needed. I scalded my hand in the basin.
The bed was one of the most comfortable but the pillows were far too soft. Choice options (or more pillows) should be in the room.
And please get a different blend of English Breakfast Tea leaves. The tea was distinctly grey and pasty tasting. Couldn't drink it. A cardinal sin in my world. I love a good cup of strong tea.
As for eating here, however, it is joyful. The restaurant is gorgeous and stretches the length of the hotel. It overlooks the very beautiful gardens. We selected the 'seasonal' tasting menu (friends joined us to eat). It was truffle based and heaven sent.
We waiting for our table with a glass of bubbly and a tray of canapés which gave us the taste for what was to come: Delicately fried fish cake balls - so light you almost couldn't taste them. Cheese puffs, tartare of curried lamb and a home made hummus.
A beautiful Amuse Bouche which, for the life of me I can't remember.
Capaccio of scallops with lime, a slither of truffle and radish. Delicious.
The finest Fois Gras terrine with truffle I can remember in a long time.
Turbot in a truffle sauce. Sublime.
South West rare beef - more truffles - more groans of delight.
We then elected to have the extra course of whipped brie with truffle followed by dessert which I could not finish.
Expensive wines but with a section of the list offering less expensive options. Generally drinkable and good but not the best.
Great bread and plentiful.
Services was clean, efficient, warm and unobtrusive. Perfect.
In truth I would recommend the hotel to anyone and will return. How good it would be to see some correction in the small imperfections.
If you value silence ask for rooms overlooking the gardens NOT the entrance.
If you 'overheat...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Wow, Wow, Wow what a review, i cannot thank you enough for all the kind words and high praise you have bestowed upon The Bath Priory. I also take onboard all your comments regarding our "small imperfections" as you call them, and can assure you we are working on those the points raised.
I can only apologise for the team member you informed regarding the noise from the door as this information was never passed on. We have since created a slow closing mechanism which has rectified this issue. The tea's have also been reviewed and we are looking at changing them in the new year. The air conditioning is somewhat of a harder challenge to overcome what with the age of the building and the structure we have, however we are investing in hi tech cooling fans for those rare hot days we might be lucky to get in the summer of 2014.
I agree with your comments regarding the mirror and dressing table, and im delighted to inform you all rooms that do not have a stationary dressing table with mirror has a portable mirror in the room for use, we are also investing in long wire hair dryers so they can be used in multiple areas of the room for ease of use.
We would of been happy to provide more pillows should you have requested, although since your comments we have added to our guest preference form so the guest has the option of adding should they wish.
Sam and his team in the kitchen are delighted with your comments about the food and
we really do look forward to your return.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.