Proud to be different, the Queensberry Hotel is a characterful townhouse property that merits special plaudits for its eclectic balance of luxury, contemporary and quirky.
Arguably located in one of Bath’s best locations and certainly most prestigious on a quiet street a short stroll from The Royal Crescent, The Circus and high-end designer stores of Milsom Street and characterful courtyards of Milsom Place.
Spread across four beautiful Georgian terrace buildings, originally commissioned and owned by the 8th Marquess of Queensberry, the hotel has a lovely, relaxing feel with a fabulous team, including a special nod to General Manager Joss Roussanne.
The Queensberry’s home-from-home definition is unvarnished; it feels as though you’re staying in a cherished friend’s private city residence, from the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the cosy guest drawing room to the array of fresh flowers and the uniqueness of each of the 29 individually designed and furnished bedrooms.
We stayed in a newly refurbished four-poster suite, and it was exquisite. Complete with an enormous seven-foot square bed, huge double walk-through shower, and free-standing bath overlooking the gardens. There is a combination of Deluxe Doubles, Master Suites, Classic, Superior and Club Rooms to fit all tastes and budgets, each unique, with Burlington Bathroom products, beautiful wallpapers from Cole & Son and lighting from JM Lawrence.
There are no mini-bars in the rooms, a purposeful gesture as instead, a friendly staff member is on hand to deliver freshly prepared, quality drinks direct to your room, 24 hours a day.
Downstairs there is access from the hotel straight into Bath’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, The Olive Tree, serving sensational tasting menus accompanied by carefully curated wine pairings under the helm of Executive Head Chef Chris Cleghorn. Enjoy a cocktail first in The Old Q Bar as you choose from the six- or nine-course menu.
Dishes include Chalk Stream Trout, White Asparagus, Veal Sweetbread, Cornish Lobster, Morel and Aged Woolley Park Farm Duck. Each course is cooked to perfection with the finest ingredients (many from local suppliers), beautifully presented and eloquently described. The attention to detail, creativity, aesthetics and aromas deliver an experience far surpassing a usual evening of dining out. Be certain to try the Wye Valley Rhubarb; it has a mouthwatering and refreshing flavour, the perfect finale for an outstanding meal and unforgettable occasion.
Following in the footsteps of centuries of guests staying in this hip part of town, the success of the Queensberry and Olive Tree restaurant is clear to understand: there’s a real sense of timeless comfort and tranquillity within its Bath-stone walls. Owners Laurence and Helen Beere, who met at the Savoy Group, bought the Grade II-listed property 20 years ago. They have utilised their hotel industry experience (including experience at Claridges, The Savoy, Cliveden, Palace Hotel Gstaad and Bath’s Royal Crescent), sense of flair and meticulous attention to detail in creating their beautifully unique Bath boutique. In recent years they have embarked on an ambitious £1.3m investment, placing the Queensberry Hotel firmly on the map as one of the UK’s finest hotels.
Helen and her design agency Absolute worked with interior specialists Divine Savages (one half of whom hail from the city of Bath) to create a really divine daring design, updating all of its individualistic suites in exquisitely crafted wallpaper and fabrics. Flamboyant, signature papers including Crane Fonda, Deco Martini Arsenic and Portobello Parade Jellied Tea have been used along with fabric design by Casamance, Lelievre and Jean Paul Gaultier, alongside standout furniture from Andrew Martin and Eichholt. Each room has something unique, from fabulous chandeliers from Liang & Eimil to enhanced original period features and high ceilings. There is also a picturesque courtyard garden, making a tranquil spot for an evening sundowner, valet parking, a complimentary shoeshine service, and excellent Wi-Fi.
Someone is always on-hand to impart knowledge about the most intriguing Bath experiences and the hottest new local places and faces – they even have their own recommended social calendar. However, don’t be fooled by stories of The Equerry, the ‘fictitious’ eyes and ears to The Queensberry household and supposed keeper and divulger of all knowledge of the city of Bath. Inspired by Lady Whistledown from the Netflix series, Bridgerton, The Equerry is just one example of the slightly peculiar, light-hearted personality plastered over the hotel’s re-imagined refurbishments, along with quirky anecdotes in the corridors and bar. These include “It’s Bath, ok? With the A pronounced like the A in arm, not the A in bat,” a reminder to “Please remove motorcycle helmets before attempting to drink,” and that “Manners, decorum and kindness are to be shown at all times.”
As I told the doorman upon checking out, I am so pleased I discovered the Queensberry Hotel. As a small family-owned and run business, they pack a serious punch (did I mention the 9th Marquess of Queensberry was a boxer?), and I applaud them for not being afraid to stand out from the crowd. The hotel’s stunning interiors, refreshing personality and staff spirit, not to mention the award-winning Michelin Star restaurant, are more than enough for me to want to give them an exemplary award of my own, if only I could. Instead, I will speak with my feet, making The Queensberry my new go-to abode for weekend breaks in the beautiful city of Bath – becoming one of their many happy returning guests – and a friend made welcome.
Rates start from £135 for room only and £175 for bed and breakfast.
The Queensberry Hotel website
The Olive Tree website