Brooks Guesthouse is in Crescent Gardens, which consists of a row of b&bs on the Bristol road, close to the centre of Bath. It’s not a particularly attractive street, but it is really close to Royal Victoria Park and only about five minutes' walk from the Royal Crescent.
Decor is bold here and quite heavy in places with ultra-hip red, silver and purple shiny floral wallpaper in some of the rooms. Although all bathrooms are newly decked out with Italian fittings and travertine stone tiles, not all of the 21 rooms come with a bathtub, so double check if you enjoy a soak. There are single rooms, doubles and family rooms – some doubles have king-size beds. I like the fact that furnishings and furniture are locally sourced as much as possible from Bath’s antique dealers and interior shops. There’s a high-tech injection with TVs, radios with iPod docking and DVD players (available on request if one is not part of the TV). Opt for a room at the back of the house for a quieter night’s sleep and views over gardens rather than the main road.
Hallways are quite tight and warren-like, but public rooms are sunny and spacious. Inside the yellow lounge there is a plush leather sofa, which was lovely to relax on and read some of the daily papers and magazines that were strewn across the coffee table. There are also board games and a laptop, free for guest use, in the comfy lounge.
Eating and drinking
Downstairs is the dining room, which despite being in the basement is a light and airy room. There are wooden tables, exposed brickwork and a chalkboard with daily specials written on it – it was eggs Benedict with spinach when I was there. Cooked breakfast is made from locally-sourced meat and eggs and there is a lighter option of cereal, fruit and yogurt. Outside the breakfast room is an alcove with a well-stocked honesty bar and smart Smeg fridge, where guests can store their own stuff.
There’s a mini hotel style reception just inside the door, which is manned all day and into the evening. Staff members are polite and cater well for kids, with a toy box on hand and a babysitting service that costs £8 an hour.
Who stays there
Mixture of American and English visitors, as well as Europeans, families and visiting businesspeople – especially those in the creative arts such as actors and comedians.
Breakfast and WiFi are included in the price; look out for special offers for groups, families, last-minute bookings and Sunday night spa packages.
- High-Speed Internet
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Families with younger children
- Celebrity spotting
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Free WiFi
- Locally-sourced food
- Heavy decor might not appeal
- Busy street