The Bird

Bristol, Bath & Somerset, United Kingdom Book from Book from £104 per night

In Bath's historic centre, a flamboyant boutique hotel filled with art, wit and colour
There's a new style of hotel emerging in this post-pandemic world: the feelgood hotel. Whimsical, inventive, spoiling, comfortable (of course) - but, above all, fun - this new opening epitomises the trend. Perched on the greener edges of Bath's wonderful Georgian city centre, "The Bird, Bath" (ho ho) carries its light-hearted wit and its avian theme into two unashamedly colourful and art-packed lounges, a buzzy bar and homely restaurant, 31 playful bedrooms; and outside into a courtyard garden furnished with swinging loveseats and bubble-friendly dining domes. The vibe is crafty cocktails and succulent Sunday lunches, afternoon tea on tiered cake stands, free larders and cookie jars to raid, drench showers and private hot tubs, handpicked paintings and vibrant fabrics in the bedrooms.

It's actually a reinvention of the old 'County Hotel', and the couple behind its transformation - Ian and Christa Taylor - are experts at breathing new life into old bones. They nailed it with two hotels in Chipping Camden, then another two in Bath, so they know their market. Service is by all accounts super-smiley and positive, breakfast delicious, and rates reasonable - especially for such a prime location in such a handsome and historic city.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • A great spot for a romantic break: lavish breakfasts-in-bed, private hot tubs, a birthday drink on the house
  • Some rooms have open views over the Recreation Ground to the Abbey's spire
  • The hotel restaurant gets rave reviews for its creative recipes and low food mileage
  • The terrace, with its outdoor dining domes and pavilions, is a great spot for celebratory meals and cocktails
  • Easier to reach (and to park) than most Bath-centre hotels, yet only 10 mins' walk from the Abbey, Pulteney Bridge etc

Lows

  • There can be noise from the terrace at night (from locals and residents alike), so avoid terrace-side rooms
  • Not ideal for those seeking sober décor, or a quiet night out, or coming with kids
  • If you want to dine in a dome, you'll need to book it well ahead

Best time to go

Bath buzzes with life all year round. Come in spring or summer for flowering parks and riverside picnics, or choose winter for lots of festive cheer (the city's Christmas market is renowned). 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

Take some time to enjoy the bespoke artworks around the hotel, much of it loaned from the owners' private collection. In the blue lounge, you can't miss Graham Knuttel's dramatic tiger-striped Red Cat, set well and truly among the pigeons (and the finches and robins). Elsewhere there are works by young artists from Falmouth Art School who are sponsored by the Taylors, as well as bird-themed china sculptures in the bar, colourful glass plates in the restaurant and zany light installations throughout.

Great for...

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

Rooms

The hotel’s 31 bedrooms are spoiling and arty in equal measure. Packed with colourful patterned fabrics, eye-catching lamps and handpicked contemporary paintings, they are a feast for the eye. As you'd expect, no two are the same - but all come with top-notch mattresses (generally kingsize), stacks of pillows, a Nespresso machine and tea facilities, Malin & Goetz toiletries and a Dyson hairdryer.

The entry-level Comfy Rooms are compact (10-13m²), with a shower (no tub) in their ensuite. We think Splendid Rooms and up are better for couples. Feature rooms come with a theatrical touch, maybe a chandelier, oversized artwork or copper bathtub. A few of them even boast a private outdoor hot tub, perfect for that special romantic break.

West-facing rooms - there are a few in most categories - have open views over the Recreation Ground to the Abbey. The rest have no special views, but we hear that it's worth avoiding the terrace-side rooms because of evening noise.

Features include:

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

Eating

The hotel’s restaurant, named Plate, is getting rave reviews for its super-friendly service, its high quality cuisine, and it's farm-to-fork ethos. Locals love to celebrate here, which is a sure sign. Chef Leon Smith works closely with local suppliers, including Beeswax Dyson (for beef and lamb) and New Macdonalds Farm (for organic eggs and veg) - all within 10 miles of the city - and sometimes forages his own herbs.

Current menu standouts include braised lamb shoulder, or pan-fried sea bass with roasted cauliflower and samphire. There's always a veggie option - maybe wild mushroom and goats cheese tart with purple sprouting broccoli and pesto - and superb desserts featuring chocolate, mousse, caramelised fruit and unusual ice creams.

Best of all, they have set up some glass dining domes and outdoor pavilions, which are perfect for cosy bubbles of 2-8 people; you’ll need to book well ahead, though. If you really want to spoil yourselves, book an indulgent afternoon tea, or check out their inventive cocktail menu. Or both!

Features include:

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

Activities

  • Admire the city’s famous Roman Baths, then treat yourself to a massage and an alfresco rooftop soak at their modern incarnation, the Thermae Spa
  • Or hit Bath’s boutiques for therapy of a retail kind. Our favourites include booksellers Topping & Co and chocolatier Charlotte Brunswick
  • Admire the elegant Georgian architecture, including the sweeping curves of The Circus and the Royal Crescent, and the shop-lined Pulteney Bridge
  • Outside the centre at Bathwick, you can hire punts for a foray on the River Avon, or swim at Warleigh Weir
  • Take in some culture at The Holburne Museum (whose striking glass extension makes an excellent spot for lunch), or catch a play at the ornate Theatre Royal
  • Head out of Bath to explore the rolling Mendip Hills or the pretty market town of Bradford on Avon, a short train ride away

Activities on site or nearby include:

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

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, though we think the vibe is more grown up and couply.

Family friendly accommodation:

All but Comfy rooms have space for a cot, while Feature rooms can fit an extra child or two on a (single or double) sofa bed.

Children's meals:

The kids menu here is an upscale version of the classics, like Cornish fish and chips, beef stew with mash, burgers, and sticky toffee pudding.

Kid Friendly:

Location

The Bird is in the historic city of Bath, just off Pulteney Road (South) in the Bathwick district of the city.

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 (extra cost) - book ahead.

Detailed directions will be provided when you book through i-escape.

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

Rates for The Bird

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