No.15 Great Pulteney

Bristol, Bath & Somerset, United Kingdom Book from Book from £162 per night

A fun-filled boutique hotel in the heart of Bath, with an intimate restaurant, spa, cocktail bar and 37 designer-crafted rooms
Sitting on one of Bath's grandest avenues, between the iconic Pulteney Bridge and the gorgeous Holburne museum, this trio of handsome Georgian townhouses has been reborn as a beautiful boutique escape under the new Guesthouse brand. Their mantra is to create "wonder-filled, happy hotels", so expect a sense of theatricality - sweeping curtains, crystal chandeliers - combined with humorous artworks and super welcoming staff.

In the ground-floor reception rooms, after collecting your key from an oversize doll's house (something of a theme in the hotel), you'll find inviting leather sofas, jewelled sculptures and a giant portrait of a chiselled young man gazing benignly down. A buzzing bar offers innovative cocktails using British spirits, shrubs and syrups, while downstairs is a calming restaurant for lingering breakfasts, all-day snacks and trad Sunday lunches. There's also a small spa - of course - with organic vegan treatments and a copper tub-for-two.

Upstairs, extending Tardis-like over six floors, are 37 bedrooms. These range from affordable, attic-level "Small Guest Rooms" to a huge Pulteney Room with high ceilings and twin casement windows. And there are more options out in the Coach House. Kids and pets are warmly welcomed, so there's something for everyone here. In a city which for centuries has made visitors feel rejuvenated and uplifted, this hotel is a worthy and most welcome addition.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • Smiling young staff keep the mood light
  • Beds are supremely comfy, with downy duvets and Hypnos mattresses
  • Some rooms have free-standing bathtubs for sociable soaking
  • We thought the guest pantry was a nice touch: help yourself to soft drinks, snacks maybe an ice cream
  • Having a spa in the building is a good fallback if the city's Thermae Spa is busy, or you want more privacy

Lows

  • With such a wide range of rooms, we advise checking the options carefully when booking
  • Entry level rooms are compact, and come with shower only (no tubs)
  • Some top-floor rooms have slightly lower ceilings
  • Parking is limited, as you'd expect in Bath

Best time to go

Bath buzzes with life all year round. Come in spring or summer for flowering parks and riverside picnics, or in November - early December for the renowned Christmas markets. Annual events worth catching include the Literature Festival in March, the Comedy Festival in April, the International Music Festival in May, and the Jane Austen Festival in September.

Our top tips

If you want to keep your cocktails local, try their Somerset Old Fashioned, which combines a local 10-year-old cider brandy, Bristol Syrup Company's No. 3 Demerara, plus bourbon and house bitters, all served with an orange twist and dehydrated apple. Yum.

And if you get the munchies after hours, you'll find free snacks, soft drinks and ice creams in the hotel's pantry on the first floor corridor.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Romantic
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 37
  • Restaurant & bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

There are 37 rooms, and all are one-offs. They vary from 'cosy' top-floor boltholes to sumptuous suites with high ceilings, free-standing bathtubs and tall windows over Great Pulteney Street. Where you pick on the scale will depend on budget and availability.

We liked the restrained elegance of the Henrietta Rooms, with their khaki palette, cut-glass chandeliers and playful stencils; patches of deliberately unplastered wall "tell the building's story". A touch grander are the Pulteney Rooms, with bold artworks and extra sitting area (whose sofa can be made up as a bed). And in the huge, garden-level Hideout, half the space is a private marble mini-spa, with 3-foot-deep hot tub and a glassed-in steam room.

At the other end of the scale are the Small Guest Rooms, up in the attic in what were once the servants' quarters. These are somewhat low-ceilinged, but very cosy and cleverly designed courtesy of Martin Hulbert - the man responsible for the cabins aboard the QE2. Indeed, the beds reminded us of a ship's berth (albeit a very comfy one), and we liked the views over the city's rooftops. Some of these rooms interconnect for families.

In between come the Guest Rooms, five of these in a separate coach house across the rear courtyard. Some have in-room bathtubs (if you're travelling with a less-than-intimate friend, take note), or striking patterned wallpapers by Rossiters of Bath. Others boast marbled bathrooms or copper handbasins.

All rooms have superb Hypnos mattress (generally kingsize), toasty duck-down duvets, and Dyson hairdryers, as well as superfast WiFi.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Phone
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

A generous continental breakfast with additional cooked options is served in the hotel's restaurant, whose calming cream walls are adorned with assorted portraits, antique soup ladles and a pair of beautiful paper wigs. Superior touches include silver cutlery, loose leaf teas, goji berry granola, shakshuka with sourdough, and spiced Bloody Marys if you need a pick-me-up.

For lunch and dinner, Bath abounds with brilliant eateries - over 30 within 15 minutes' walk. When we last visited, we enjoyed Sotto Sotto (Italian), Cau (for steak), Porter (upscale British), The Mint Room (veggie) and Acorn (veggie).

Or you could happily stay put at the hotel's intimate and imaginatively named Restaurant, which serves an all-day menu of fresh, seasonal dishes. Starters might include a salad of Somerset mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes & hand-foraged wild garlic; mains could be Old Spot shoulder steak with crispy pork belly, summer slaw & chimichurri. We applaud their preference for local suppliers, such as Buxtons (for sustainably reared meats) and Bertinets (for artisanal breads and pastries).

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • You're in the heart of Bath's handsome Georgian centre, surrounded by stately mansions, grand curving arcades, soaring churches (including the fan-vaulted Gothic Abbey), and the Roman Baths which gave the city its name
  • The city also excels for retail therapy: we love the bohemian outlets of Walcot St (try the Fine Cheese Co and Avenida homewares), the Victoriana of the Guildhall Market, and the brilliantly bespoke bookshop, Topping & Company
  • Just along Great Pulteney St is the superb Holburne Museum: small but packed with eclectic portraits, maiolica, sculptures, silver and china, plus leafy gardens outside
  • Sample the hotel's excellent spa: our 60-minute body and neck massage was expertly delivered
  • Alternatively, the city's Thermae Spa offers multiple steam rooms and a rooftop pool, but can get crowded

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Shopping / markets
    • Theatre and live music
    • Well being
    • Wine tasting

Kids

Children of all ages are warmly welcomed. There are connecting rooms and the lift is handy for parents with a pushchair. There is a library of bedtime books to choose from, and you can ask for a play tipi to be set up in your room, as well as an Instax camera to borrow for your kids to capture some snaps of their time in Bath.

Family friendly accommodation:

Families of 4 should book 2 Small Guest Rooms and ask for connecting rooms (2 doubles, both ensuite). For smaller families, some larger Guest rooms have a sofa which can pull out into a narrow double bed - best for 2 younger children or 1 older one. All Guest rooms and larger can fit a cot.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chair

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

There's a healthier-than-average kids' menu

Kid Friendly:

Location

No. 15 Great Pulteney is in the historic city of Bath, midway between Pulteney Bridge and the Holburne Museum, and in easy walking distance of the Abbey, Roman Baths and other key sites.

By Air:
Bristol (32km) has limited flights from UK and Europe; otherwise try London Heathrow (165km). From Bristol airport you can take a taxi or bus to Bath; from Heathrow we recommend the train from Central London.

By Train:
Bath has good rail links from London Paddington and from the southwest. From the station, it's a short taxi ride or a 10-min walk.

By Car:
The hotel has a few off-road parking spots and some on-road permits - book ahead.

Detailed directions will be provided when you confirm a booking through i-escape.com.

More on getting to the UK and getting around

Airports:

  • Bristol 32.0 km BRS
  • London Heathrow 165.0 km LHR

Other:

  • Beach 55.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

8/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
8/10
Value
9/10
Overall

We all loved No 15 Poultney. The room was fine. The bathroom was terrific and so well thought out. We had a delicious breakfast which was quick and fresh. The best was the staff; they were all outstanding and happy and helpful. I felt it was value for money.

9/10,

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Rates for No.15 Great Pulteney

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