Bath hotels are not generally given to fun. By and large, they are a sedate bunch, where if you spied an Austen-esque character in bonnet and petticoats slipping through their Georgian front doors, you wouldn’t be too surprised. The Abbey, by contrast, delivers, not least because its owners Ian and Christa Taylor have forged close community ties, including with Bath Rugby Club and local art students, some of whose work adorns the walls. With a city centre location, relaxed, sassy looks and affordable prices, the place has energy and a great mix of guests: you might encounter an Austrian walking party, a visiting choir or a clutch of Radio One DJs. An animated year-round pavement terrace with sofas, tables and trees in tubs stretches the length of the three townhouses that make up the hotel, and the vaulted Igloo bar is just the place for a private party. As for the romantic Allium restaurant, it’s now the province of local talent Rupert Taylor – watch this space. Doubles from £120.
Name to Know: Beverage manager Tim, who is passionate about booze in all its forms and is pretty handy with a Boston tin.
See: Lingering in the famed Thermae Bath Spa’s rooftop pool for a couple of hours should be at the top of your to-do list, or you can book a Bath Abbey Tower Tour to see the city from a new perspective.
Eat: With a new head chef, Rupert Taylor, behind the stoves, Allium’s menu has had an exciting shake-up. Try the almost-too-pretty-to-eat dressed crab with avocado, lemongrass, pink grapefruit and a squid ink crisp and don’t forget to pop down the road for a Sally Lunn Bun.
Buy: A quarter of Kola Cubes, Rhubarb and Custards or flying saucers from the Bath Sweet Shop on Abbey Green (just around the corner) will be enough to have you grinning from ear to ear.
Want to find out more? Visit the hotel's website.
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