Stay Here: Homewood Park, BathBy Angelica Malin
Homewood Park is, quite simply, a little slice of heaven on earth. I didn’t know such peace and calm existed – and we stumbled on it quite by accident. Tucked away just outside Bath – about a 15-minute drive from the city centre – this quiet, boutique hotel has the most incredible spa and outdoor pool, stunning secluded bedrooms in the garden with their own terrace, and the comfiest beds in the world. If you’re looking for a very special weekend break in the UK, here’s why you need to visit Homewood Park:
Expect country house charm, beautiful gardens and lots of space for al fresco dining on the lawn. The setting of Homewood Park is just stunning; the hotel is surrounded by 10 acres of award-winning gardens and grounds. The hotel has an incredible sense of serenity about it – perfect for escaping the hectic nature of city life.
The hotel is small, with only 21 bedrooms and suites, it has a distinctly home-away-from-home feel. This may be down to the building itself – the hotel has many of the original features of the 13th-century building, with log fires, wooden floor and antique paintings peppered around the place. It’s not all old school in style though, they’ve really modernised the place with a bold, modern dining room, contemporary feel bedrooms and a great state-of-the-art spa.
Why visit? Well, for one, it’s the perfect location for both a city break to Bath and a spa holiday. The location of the hotel is just ideal – 15 minutes outside of Bath city centre, away from all of the hustle and bustle, but close enough to enjoy all it has to offer. You can really make a holiday out of a trip to this hotel, as it has a two-Rosette restaurant, luxury spa with a hydrotherapy pool and a heated outdoor swimming pool for the warmer summer days. Lying by the pool, with a book in hand, you’ll feel like you’ve travelled a million miles away from your busy weekday life – just so peaceful.
The bedrooms are, without a doubt, some of the nicest I’ve ever discovered in an English countryside hotel. There’s something about the air and space of them, that really gives you room to breathe. The design is modern and slick, which compliments the old-world feel of the rest of the hotel so well. Each of their 21 bedrooms and suites are unique in character; with rich fabrics, deluxe beds and antique furniture, you can see why Homewood Park is one of the top luxury hotels in Bath. They also have stairlifts for people who find it hard to move.
I loved the views from our outdoor suite; with a stunning aspect across the gardens, and direct access from our own terrace, you feel like you’re staying in the wilderness – in a good way – and it brings you closer to nature. The room had the comfiest bed I’ve ever stayed in, and you can spend hours lazing around in a dressing gown, watching TV or dining on your own terrace, which is so lovely. Basically, bedroom perfection.
The spa is really what you come for. Surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and grounds, the spa at Homewood Park will make you feel restored and truly relaxed. The facilities are simple, but very good, with a hydrotherapy pool, thermal suite, sauna, steam room and heated outside swimming pool. They’ve also got a range of treatments on offer, from facials to massages and champagne manicures, that can be enjoyed on spa days, tranquil overnight spa retreats or full memberships. The spa is open until 8pm every night, so you can spend a whole day here, enjoying the pool and the comfy sun loungers. Heaven.
The spa is not the only thing that the hotel boasts. Homewood Park’s restaurant is known to be one of the best in spa, and is well-respected for its quality-focus and seasonal menus. Head Chef Simon Addison and his team create food with the seasons in mind – finding only the best produce, and sourcing as locally as possible. The restaurant has been awarded 2 Rosettes from The AA for culinary excellence, and it’s well worth a visit.
Because we were in a totally comatose state from a glorious day at the spa and pool, room service was all we could muster. But, oh, what room service it was. The food was sensational; honey glazed Goat’s cheese salad with capers and sundried tomatoes, seasonal tomato soup, butternut squash arancini, which simply burst with flavour, and the best fresh Caesar salad with chicken. And homemade focaccia, which tasted like pure heaven. Eaten in dressing gowns to the sound of birds chirping, and with a view of the setting sun, there can be simply nothing finer in life.
The following day, we indulged in an al fresco lunch by the pool, dining on more goat’s cheese and probably one of the best-smoked salmon and cheese bagels I’ve ever had. The food here cannot be beaten.
Homewood Park has it all; this is one hotel in England that simply *needs* to be on your radar. The hotel’s country house feel creates an incredible warmth and ambience, and with a spa, bedrooms, food and service to match the stunning setting, you’re guaranteed to have an exception mini break here. I can’t recommend the hotel highly enough – if you’re looking from a break from city life, and need to get yourself back to you, you simply must visit Homewood Park.
Rooms from £130 bed and breakfast. Book your stay at Homewood Park online here.