Francis Hotel Bath – MGallery by Sofitel
What We Love
- Bath’s most iconic sights are right on the doorstep
- The rich history of the hotel is evident at every turn, from the blue plaques to the original black-and-white photography
- Taking a traditional afternoon tea in the buzzy first-floor sitting room
- Duncan McKellar’s 12 hand-drawn illustrations of life in the 1800s were created especially for the hotel
What To Know
- There’s no spa or gym on-site
- The room service menu serves only light bites after 11 p.m.
- Parking is an additional charge of $23 per day
- The hotel’s name comes from Solomon Francis, a local builder who first opened a hotel within the Francis Hotel's original townhouses
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Running the whole length of one side of Bath’s historic Queen Square, the Francis Hotel is comprised of seven Georgian townhouses. Built by renowned architect John Wood the Elder between 1728 and 1735, it was restored to its former glory and reopened in May 2012 after a multimillion-dollar refurbishment. Caroline Martin headed the design team and has kept the Regency feel in the interiors, from the heritage wallpapers and rich colors to the grandfather clock that chimes in reception. Brightly colored petunias fill the window boxes, and the hotel’s relaxed atmosphere gives the place a home-away-from-home feel.
Bed and Bath
The divisions of the former townhouses are marked by different wallpaper, and blue plaques on the walls recall former residents. The 98 guestrooms range from the modestly sized Classic Rooms to the rather large Feature Rooms. Each has been carefully tricked out with modern touches without taking away any of the original Regency elegance, and many look out over leafy, green Queen Square. Feature Rooms are dressed with black-and-white striped wallpaper and intricate gilt mirrors, and heavy drapes frame the floor-to-ceiling windows. Four-poster beds dominate the rooms, while old-fashioned gold telephones vie for attention. In contrast to the vibrant colors in the bedrooms, the bathrooms are gleaming white with black and white floor tiles, and they’re equipped with showers (decorated with murals of the Bath Spa) and plenty of sweet-smelling Roger & Gallet products.
The large oak-floored dining room on the ground-floor serves a full English breakfast and an impressive buffet spread. It’s decked out with wallpaper panels of grasses and bird prints, burnt orange balloon-backed chairs and a brick-red fireplace. Up on the first floor, the lounge is filled with plush velvet Chesterfields and is a top spot for afternoon tea. The chic 116-seat Brasserie Blanc is located within the hotel; it has a French menu put together by Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc. For an alfresco tipple, head outside to the teeny patio of wrought iron chairs for a late night cocktail.
In the Area
A five-minute stroll will find you at the Thermae Bath Spa (Britain’s only natural thermal spa). Work your way through the state-of-the-art facilities on each floor before hitting the roof, where you can swim in the hot, mineral-rich waters, looking out over the rolling Mendip Hills. Visit Bath’s most iconic landmark, the Royal Crescent; Number One Royal Crescent is open to the public. The original Roman baths are a World Heritage Site. Designed by John Wood the Elder, they opened in 1897 and still flow with natural warm waters. Call in afterward at the Pump Room restaurant for a traditional afternoon tea.
How to Get There
We chose the Francis Hotel for our one night stay principally because of the location and good reviews. It is a short walk to the Baths and shopping area, with the train station and The Forum also walkable (about 10 mins). One of the sightseeing bus tour stops is a stone's throw away and a great way to get a feel of the city in a limited time. We loved the hotel décor - a modern twist while in keeping with the traditional. The staff were pleasant and helpful - with special mention to the young gentlemen on the check-in and in the bar. The classic double room was plenty big enough for a short stay and the bed, bedding and pillows rivalled the best comfort of any hotel we have stayed in. The buffet breakfast was also good - particularly impressive cereal bar and great to have carrot juice. I'm not a fan of making my own toast, but not a major problem. On the downside, our room was not available until over half an hour after check-in time. The room overlooked a side street and there was quite a lot of rowdy Saturday night disturbance well into the early hours. I'm sure this doesn't happen every night, but when booking, if this matters, I would ask for a rear view. The windows are single glazed (listed building). Our window rattled when a fairly light wind got up. This was solved with an envelope. However, the bathroom window was very draughty and the bathroom was cold. We also felt the bar was expensive and food choice rather limited. A simple sandwich at a reasonable price was not on offer. Decaf breakfast teabags not available in room either - not unusual, but would be good to have in addition to the herbal varieties. We enjoyed our stay and would stay there again - and probably ring to make the booking rather than doing it online..
Great little hotel tucked away in a quiet square in Bath. Lovely facilities and staff very accomodating. Room was clean and spacious and bed very comfortable. Excellent breakfast and would love to stay agian for pleasure.
This hotel is in a great position. The decor is lovely and the bedrooms quirky and spacious with some squeaking floor boards which is lovely from this old building. The staff and breakfast were lovely, can’t wait to visit again.