Tucked away near Henrietta Park, just five minutes’ walk into the centre and around the corner from Pulteney Bridge, on quiet and attractive Henrietta Street.
Georgian features have been conserved and the large reception rooms at the front of the house are now superior double rooms with the requisite high ceilings and canopied four-poster beds. One man’s brash is another man’s treasure and at The Kennard Hotel the striking decor is certainly divisive. I love the cheeky little twists in the bedrooms– Union Jack cushions and crisscrossed wallpaper are my favourites. Standard doubles range from understated design to fussier floral drapes and are more compact. There’s free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and tea and coffee making facilities in all bedrooms. Ten of the 12 rooms have en suites, with twin and family (triple) options also available – the two single rooms share a toilet and shower.
The Kennard is not everybody’s cup of tea as there’s lots of antique bling around the hotel. I was mildly horrified by the decor at first, but it soon wins you over. A small reception alcove is part of the grand main hallway and halfway up the stairs, next to a golden urn, are two chaise longues to rest on. Outside there is a beautiful Georgian garden that has been lovingly recreated with plants and styles from the elegant age – ask for a leaflet from Mary to learn more about the flowers and its history.
Eating and drinking
Downstairs the bright cobalt blue breakfast room, festooned with golden mirrors and a Venetian chandelier, might put some off their breakfast, but for others it will be a real feast for the eyes first thing in the morning. Cooked and cold breakfasts are served up here on fine china in the lower garden dining room.
Owners Mary and Giovani are friendly and helpful and have even won awards for their service – although called a hotel, it’s really more like an upmarket b&b in terms of personal service.
Who stays there
International guests, Brits and Americans, no children under eight are allowed and it has a very adult ambience so is popular with couples on city breaks.
If you’re planning on seeing certain attractions then a package might work out well: as part of the Jane Austen deal a three night stay in a superior double room includes a voucher for two tickets into the Jane Austen Centre, Afternoon Tea in the Regency Tea Rooms and a souvenir. Romantic packages include three night’s accommodation in a superior double, a bottle of Italian fizz, chocs and roses (both packages run Sunday to Thursday nights). Mid-week and Thermae Bath Spa packages are also available.
- High-Speed Internet
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Beautiful Georgian garden
- Free parking
- Heavy decor
- No lifts