Review: the new Hotel Indigo Bath
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This is our review of the new Hotel Indigo Bath.
Bath’s new Hotel Indigo has attracted a lot of attention from HfP readers ever since it accidentally put all of its suites up for IHG Rewards redemptions, just as Six Senses Douro Valley did a couple of weeks ago. My plan to visit in November to try out one of the suites was thwarted, but a trip to Bath for a meeting two weeks ago gave me a second chance to see the hotel.
Reviewing the hotel wasn’t the prime reason for my trip to Bath and I paid for my own room. I was there on a Tuesday so the fine dining restaurant was closed (it is open Wed-Sun at present). I also missed breakfast the next day and didn’t see any rooms except my own. That said, what it does mean is that my experience is very similar to what yours would be if you booked.
Where is Hotel Indigo Bath?
I was at university in Bath and knew the site of the Hotel Indigo – part of it used to be Pratt’s Hotel. The location is a little odd. The hotel is a typical Georgian building but it overlooks a municipal car park which itself overlooks the side of the old Manvers Street police station, now part of the University. There is a church to one side. You are in a fine Georgian building but you can’t see any others from your window.
On the upside, the lack of buildings in front of the hotel lets in a lot of light and gives views of the hills around Bath in the background.
If you are travelling by train, the location couldn’t be better. Walk out of the station and it is literally two minutes up the road.
In the photo above, the hotel takes up the entire Georgian building on the left.
As a Spire Elite, I was upgraded from my Standard room to a Superior. The hotel website does a poor job of explaining the differences but the Standard room shown appears to be in the roof with a low ceiling and restricted ceiling height in places.
Hotel Indigo Bath has some of the most amazing interiors I have seen
I have seen a LOT of hotels over the years, but I was still impressed by some of the design tricks used here. I mean …. take a look at this Regency themed carpet on the stairs:
….. or the floor of the lift:
…. or the TV cabinet in your room:
…. or some of the artwork in the residents lounge:
Don’t panic – it’s not all that extreme. Here is a broader photo of the sitting area just off reception:
Rooms at Hotel Indigo Bath
As the eyes follow you down the corridor …..
…. the door numbering gives you a good idea of the sort of place you’re in:
Whilst certainly not huge, the room was light and bright due to the two large windows. I’d like to point out the frieze above the bed, the framed antique poster to the right of the bed and the ultra-modern chandelier just appearing in view.
Unfortunately, it was slightly form over function. I never, ever managed to turn on either of the bedside lights. The main lighting was also broken when I checked in, and it required some maintenance work on the control switches before I had any light at all.
As with all Hotel Indigo properties, the mini bar was free. It only contained two bottles of water, a Coke Zero, a San Pellegrino sparkling orange juice and a small carton of milk. The milk was for the Nespresso machine which was also provided. There was a kettle with tea and hot chocolate if required.
The wardrobe contained two robes and slippers. In terms of amenities, there was nothing to complain about. Wi-fi was perfectly acceptable, at least for HfP work purposes.
The bathroom was well done. Toiletries, from Bramley, were in shared bottles (nothing to steal here). There was a shower, not in shot, but – ironically – no bath.
Eating in the bar
The Elder, the fine dining restaurant at Hotel Indigo Bath, is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
It has received excellent reviews (here is The Observer) but isn’t cheap. Main courses are around £30 so a three course meal will be well over £50 per person before you start on the drinks. There is a 3-course set lunch for £35 served between Wednesday and Friday.
I was resigned to eating off the ‘small plates’ menu in the bar. This had 11 options at around £8 – £12 each. Buttered asparagus, steak tartare, St Austell bay mussels, Hereford beef slider etc.
I went for the ‘Engish tomatoes with burrata, olive oil and soft herbs’ for £12 …..
…. and it was exceptionally, surprisingly good.
So good, in fact, that I scrapped my plan of just having one course and followed up with cherry crumble:
…. which was also excellent.
The bar is a small, dark and not hugely enticing place to eat, if I’m honest, but the food was great. It is clearly the same chef and team behind The Elder doing the cooking.
I strongly recommend the Hotel Indigo. Bath is not short of hotels but many are middle of the road. The Gainsborough, reviewed here, is astounding but is priced accordingly – the hotel is built around its own feed from the Bath spa waters, in which you can bathe.
Rhys reviewed the Abbey Hotel last Autumn, which has just joined Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio. For points, Radisson Individuals now has a hotel in Bath and the ugly-as-hell Hilton is now a refurbished DoubleTree – but still an eyesore.
The new 200+ room Hampton by Hilton has just topped out and construction is on track to open in early 2022.
There is also The Royal Crescent Hotel at the top end and the – ‘past its prime’ and a bit out of the way – Bath Spa Hotel run by Macdonald Hotels, as well as literally hundreds of independent options. The Apex is also worth a look if you would prefer a new-build chain four star to a B&B.
I used 31,000 IHG Rewards points for my room. The cash rate was, I think, £131 so I got the expected 0.4p per point.
Interestingly, because the hotel messed up the billing initially, I know that IHG Rewards paid the hotel £32 for my stay. It only cost them just over 0.1p per point – although if the hotel had been 95% full, IHG Rewards would have had to pay the full rate.
You can find out more about Hotel Indigo Bath, and book, on its website here. I do recommend it for a short break, potentially when the Christmas Market is on.
IHG One Rewards update – March 2023:
Get bonus points: Click here for our article on IHG’s ‘2k Every 2 Nights’ promotion, which runs from 9th February 2023 to 14th April 2023. You can register here.
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