Bath hotels

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expert-rated hotels in Bath
Best for On a budget -
Expert overall rating:3.9 (out of 5)

Budget waterside Bath hotel, ideal for families and groups.

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Price from: £67
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expert-rated hotels in Bath
Best for Families -
Expert overall rating:3.8 (out of 5)

Family-friendly budget chain hotel on the outskirts of Bath.

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Price from: £66
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First the bad news: Bath is notorious for having the most expensive hotel rooms in the UK and ‘budget’ options here often mean just under £100 per room on weekends. Now for the good news: there are lots of excellent b&bs that blur the lines between boutique hotel and guest houses and have the added bonus of filling you up with breakfast in the morning. Bed and breakfasts tend to cluster on certain streets – Crescent Gardens near Royal Victoria Park, Upper Oldfield Park up the hill from the centre and Pulteney Gardens near the cricket ground are all hotspots.

At the moment there’s an epic battle for planning permission to convert a disused building in the centre (Green Park) into a 190 bed budget hotel and there are whispers of other similar ventures in the city. Guest house owners are keen to keep Bath exclusive and there are worries that budget hotels will attract the riff-raff. Central Bath’s hotel scene is posh and proud with decidedly upmarket trendy and traditional options for visitors – the city’s reputation as a special occasion haven and Georgian wonderland of Jane Austen flavoured loveliness means that many hoteliers feel the need the layer on the chintz and up the price accordingly.

Things to consider when booking

  • Look out for free parking – Bath is an expensive, frustrating nightmare in a car. I’ve indicated when hotels include parking, offer a reduced rate (anything under £10 a day is a bargain), or are near the train/bus station.
  • Weekends book up really quickly in Bath and most b&bs have a two night stay minimum on weekends (Friday/Saturday) or a three night stay on Bank Holidays. Prices drop mid-week and most hotels and b&bs offer special deals, especially for stays longer than one night. Winter time is the cheapest, but prices hike up around Christmas, especially during the Christmas Market weeks in December when rooms book up really quickly.
  • Room prices include VAT and are usually per room, not per person. Hidden extras to look out for are breakfast, internet and parking charges. Be careful about accepting cups of tea in upmarket hotels without checking if you’ll be charged.
  • Access for disabled guests is not great in Bath hotels – mainly because so many are in listed Georgian buildings that have ridiculously strict planning permission rules, so even putting in a ramp can be difficult. I’ve highlighted hotels that have good accessible rooms.
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Bath is my hometown and so I frequent the restaurants, bars and spas of the local hotels on a regular basis. I selected my shortlist by choosing places that friends recommended; hotels that I knew from personal experience and ones that had good reputations online and in the media. I also threw in a few wildcards to check out.

My final 20 are the best from different sections – I’ve mainly considered leisure travellers, but there are also options there for budget and business travellers, larger parties, wedding guests and honeymooners. Budget wise I’ve tried to get a spread of chain hotels that are more likely to have special offers, independent boutique hotels, small b&bs and luxury options that are once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Geographically I’ve tried to stay central and all can be reached easily with public transport, are within walking distance of transport hubs or have good parking. Those on the outskirts are all within a 30-minute walk or 10-minute bus ride of the centre.

Simonseeks has given star ratings out of five for all accommodation recommendations. With hotels, these will tally with the hotel's official star rating where it exists. Where a hotel has no official star rating, and in the case of b & bs and hostels, the experts have made a judgment as to how many stars the accommodation deserves, in terms of comfort, level of facilities and so forth.

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