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 returned again this year though for one night only. We were upgraded to a feature room which was well equipped and comfortable. The staff were both friendly and helpful. Caution - our room had floor to ceiling windows (it was a feature ie Georgian style) room and overlooked the square so keep the blinds drawn if you don't want peeping toms.
Fantastic nights stay, staff extremely welcoming and helpful. Stayed for a birthday and chocolates were left in the room as a nice surprise.
Brasserie Blanc was lovely for dinner with a huge choice for vegetarian and vegans included.
We had a lovely dinner at the Francis Hotel’s restaurant many years ago, for our first anniversary, though we did not actually stay there. This time we booked a room for the night during our travels in the UK this summer. We were not disappointed. As guests, we received a souvenir packet of charming and amusing postcards depicting hotel scenes from past centuries. Our room was on the second floor, in the corner of the building, with a great view of the town center from the windows. The room was spacious and beautifully furnished with a very comfortable bed. The wall of the large walk-in shower in the modernized bathroom had a mural of the Roman baths...a nice touch. The restaurant connected to the hotel is not the same one that we had gone to previously, but we did enjoy the dinner and (next morning) an awesome breakfast buffet.