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New British hospitality brand, GuestHouse - with three brothers at its helm - is on a mission to inject colour and creativity into best-of-British cities – via a series of heritage hotels enlivened by a modern outlook.
The brand's first debut venture is established Bath charmer, No.15 Great Pulteney, which reopened this month under new ownership – and with an important addition to its name: 'by GuestHouse'.
GuestHouse's hotel family will grow to include outposts in York (opening autumn 2021) and Brighton (opening autumn 2022), with others in the planning. Each of its properties will have its own unique character and appeal, reflecting the city it's set in, but a shared sense of bonhomie and five core values – indulgence; happiness; wonderment; hereness; and realness. Each hotel will breathe new life into a handsome, historic building, cherry-picked by the owners, with interiors that are inspired by the locale and shine a spotlight on local makers and creators.
Step inside No.15 Great Pulteney by GuestHouse
Taking proud custodianship of this beloved Bath beauty, GuestHouse has lovingly preserved much of the hotel's original charm. Of course, the setting needs no improvement: Great Pulteney Street is one of the UK's most sophisticated streets.
Likewise, the gracious, Grade I-listed building maintains all its Georgian glory. Inside, however, things have been given a joyful refresh, with the brothers calling upon acclaimed designer, Martin Hulbert, to reboot the artful interiors he originally conceived.
Hero interiors from Martin Hulbert
Drawing inspiration from the city's racy past, Hulbert has given rooms and communal areas a swoon-worthy rethink, riffing on saucy 17th-century society, the powdered chalky complexions of the Georgian gentry, and Jane Austen's favourite colour, powder blue.
Four former hotel rooms have been reconfigured to form two decadent suites, perfect for families seeking space to relax in, or couples and friends wanting extra space to play with.
The aptly named Henrietta Suites survey Henrietta Park and the city beyond, starring four-poster beds worthy of a period drama, raw-plaster borders and curios galore.
Bathrooms are adorned with blush-inducing mirrored walls and marble-topped washstands with bespoke hand basins. In keeping with GuestHouse's fun-loving ethos, there will be plenty of playful extras: from vinyl record players to handmade Georgian doll houses and nearby help-yourself pantries, stocked with tempting local goodies.
Take a bite out of Bath
Reflecting the owners' love of great British dining, the hotel's relaxed restaurant sparkles from its Hulbert-masterminded makeover and showcases Chef Matt Gillard's delicious 'Wild British' cuisine. Chef's refined comfort food champions the best local produce, meat and fish; sample dishes include line-caught sea bass with lentils and spring greens with hedgerow oil, and dry-aged Somerset fillet steak with watercress, fresh horseradish, pancetta and baby onions. Sweet-tooths can't fail to fall for GuestHouse's signature dessert (also the nation's unofficial favourite), strawberry Eton mess. The fun begins again with breakfast: an odyssey of flavours, served with a pot of fresh tea (or a spiced Bloody Mary), delivered to guests' bedroom doors, if requested– along with the daily papers. Here, staying in bed all day isn't frowned upon.
Raise a glass
Guests and locals alike can convene in the sociable bar for morning coffees, afternoon liveners, crafted cocktails and cosy fireside night-caps. While hand-painting the walls, Martin discovered original, hand-block-painted sections of wallpaper; these have been lovingly left exposed for all eyes to admire.
Unwind like Jane Austen
Make like the Celts and Romans and unwind in a Bath spa – conveniently housed in the hotel's basement. The six tranquil treatment rooms include the new Copper room, set in an original vaulted cellar and starring a beautiful round copper bath, used for specialist rituals and couples' treatments. Having read that Jane Austen favoured powder-blue as the shade for her undergarments, Martin Hulbert followed suit and bedecked the relaxation room's floor with this elegant hue, reminiscent of a spring sky in Bath. Wellbeing-and-mood-boosting treatments star eco-conscious, made-in-Britain products from Pinks Boutique.
Drawing upon its philosophy of 'hereness', GuestHouse's Bath hotel champions its city. Local makers, bakers and creators have helped to shape the experience, from the artworks on the walls to the help-yourself pantry treats and ingredients in the restaurant. Guests are encouraged to explore the city with the help of the Guest List: an in-the-know edit of city tips and illustrated maps. In fact, hotel staff will even meet guests at the station with a whimsical pink cargo bike so as to whisk away luggage and allow guests to explore Bath, unencumbered, from the moment they step foot in the city. GuestHouse will also offer a range of signature experiences (tailored to tastes such as food, nature and history) to help explorers get the best out of Bath.
The full package
Guests can take advantage of a fleet of celebratory packages, designed to coincide with the hotel's GuestHouse relaunch. Options include 'Basking in Bridgerton' for lovers of the decidedly spicy costume drama to discover the Georgian spots where it is shot in Bath; 'You Time' to revitalise the body and mind; and 'Flavour Hunters' for foodies to take a bite out of Bath and uncover some of the city's specialists in deliciousness.
Rates & Packages
· Room rates start from £162 on a room only basis.
· Basking in Bridgerton starts from £726 including a two-night stay in a Pulteney or Henrietta Room, breakfast on both mornings, afternoon tea on one of the days, dinner one of the evenings, and the two-hour walking tour.
· You Time starts from from £826 including a two-night stay in a Large Guest Room, Pulteney Room or Henrietta Room, breakfast on both mornings, a picnic or afternoon tea on one day, and dinner on one evening. A No.15 Spa treatment, an hour-long sound bath at Soul Spa, an hour-long yoga/Qi Gong/Cardio session at one of the partner studios, and a Shinrin-Yoku experience.
· Flavour Hunters starts from £760 including a two-night stay, breakfast on both mornings, dinner on one evening with a wine flight, afternoon tea on one afternoon, a gin or whisky tasting flight and an immersive experience with one of the local makers.
Check out www.guesthousehotels.co.uk