Although Bath is a fairly small city, it is worth giving some thought to where to stay. Depending on your requirements – short romantic break? leisurely holiday? flying visit? – your choice of location and hotel can make a big difference to your stay in Bath.
Many of Bath’s elegant Georgian buildings still fulfill their original function of housing visitors to the city. Charming traditional hotels can easily be found in the town’s most attractive streets. Accommodation is available at a range of prices and standards, from luxury to budget, although mid-range three-star hotels predominate.
Bath also offers a very good choice of bed and breakfast options, from luxurious boutique hideaways to traditional rooms in pubs. These tend to be located further from the town centre – it’s always a good idea to check the map and read reviews to get an idea if the location is convenient. If you have limited time to see the city’s sights, or you’re planning excursions from Bath by public transport, a central hotel will be most convenient. It’s even possible to stay right opposite the railway station for convenience.
For a longer or cheaper stay, B&Bs usually offer better value. Self-catering can be a convenient option if you want to stay independently, enjoy more privacy, or save money by eating in, and there are some good choices in the centre of town. If you’d prefer to enjoy a countryside getaway, see our selection of rural retreats and country house hotels.
Car-parking, stairs and historic buildings
Bath’s city centre is not a good place to take a car, as narrow historic streets, terraced buildings, one-way systems and pedestrianisation mean both driving and parking can be tricky. If you are travelling with a car, check carefully whether the accommodation you choose offers its own private, free parking. Most don’t. If not, you may need to park some distance away at additional expense.
Many of the best hotels, B&Bs and apartments in Bath are located in attractive historic buildings. Bath’s Georgian architecture is heritage listed, meaning that significant alterations to the buildings are not permitted. While this maintains the architecture’s historic integrity, the downside is that hotel room sizes and facilities don’t always match those expected by international travellers. For example, there may be no lift (elevator) to reach upper floors. Air-conditioning is not always available, and gyms and pools are rare. A couple of modern purpose-built chain hotels are included on the hotels page, but these are the exception. If you find stairs difficult, be sure to check that your chosen accommodation either has a lift or can offer accessible ground-floor rooms.