In Bath's historic centre, a flamboyant boutique hotel filled with art, wit and colour”
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.
- 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
- 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
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 31 rooms
- Restaurant & bar
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
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 Dinky and Cosy Rooms are compact (10-13m²), with a shower (no tub) in their ensuite. We think King Rooms and up are better for couples. Deluxe rooms come with a theatrical touch, maybe a chandelier, oversized artwork or copper bathtub.
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.
- Central heating
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!
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Vegetarian menu
- 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
Children of all ages are welcome, though we think the vibe is more grown up and couply.
Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Most rooms have space for a cot, while Roomy Kings can fit an extra child or two on a (single or double) sofabed.
The Bird is in the historic city of Bath, just off Pulteney Road (South) in the Bathwick district of the city.
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.
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.
The hotel has a few off-road parking spots (extra cost) - book ahead.
Detailed directions will be provided when you book through i-escape.
- Bristol 32.0 km BRS
- London Heathrow 165.0 km LHR
- Beach 55.0 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km