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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.

Hotel Indigo Bath review

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.

The hotel website is here.

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.

Hotel Indigo Bath review

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:

Hotel Indigo Bath review

….. or the floor of the lift:

Hotel Indigo Bath review

…. or the TV cabinet in your room:

Hotel Indigo Bath review

…. or some of the artwork in the residents lounge:

Hotel Indigo Bath review

Don’t panic – it’s not all that extreme. Here is a broader photo of the sitting area just off reception:

Hotel Indigo Bath review

Rooms at Hotel Indigo Bath

As the eyes follow you down the corridor …..

Hotel Indigo Bath review

…. the door numbering gives you a good idea of the sort of place you’re in:

Hotel Indigo Bath review

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.

Hotel Indigo Bath review

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.

Hotel Indigo Bath review

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 …..

Hotel Indigo Bath review

…. 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:

Hotel Indigo Bath review

…. 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.

Conclusion

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 Rewards update – August 2021:

Get bonus points: The current IHG Rewards promotion is ‘Triple Your Points’ – our full article is here. It runs from 15th May to 16th August. You receive double base points on your second stay and triple base points on your third and subsequent stays. You can register on this page of ihg.com.

New to IHG Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG Rewards points worth?’ is here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards points, you can buy them here.

There is a 75% bonus when you buy IHG Rewards points by 13th August.

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (63)

  • Benilyn says:

    Wanted to book for August but redemption prices just ran away from me whilst I was saving up points….

    • Rob says:

      …. which is the big problem with this stupid new redemption pricing system ….

  • Amy says:

    How long is it meant to take for the points from the ihg Mastercard to transfer to my ihg rewards account and become usuable?

    • Jonny says:

      They should get transferred on the statement creation date (usually around 23rd of the month for me) and show up in your account the same day (or possibly the day after)

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I checked out just yesterday from one of the Vault Suites temporarily listed for redemption. Overall very impressed. We’d definitely stay again if we returned to Bath. We had stayed at University Arms Cambridge a couple weeks before and it comfortably benchmarked.

    First impressions weren’t great. I’d emailed ahead with a few questions, one of them a request to organise a restaurant reservation at the Elder. They declined and gave me the email address for the Elder. I’d be disappointed to be left to my own devices to make a local restaurant reservation, let alone the in-house restaurant! When we got there though, all the staff (front desk, concierge and Elder) were friendly and helpful – very polished.

    Suite was a decent size and well laid out. Although it was in the basement they’d designed it into a neat cave aesthetic – cosy not claustrophobic (and it sounds like there’s not much view to miss out on anyway). We did have a massive rolltop bath in our bathroom. Our free minibar came with a couple mini bottles of wine and was topped up mid-stay.

    • meta says:

      Did you manage to negotiate late checkout?

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        Yes. 1pm, pushed to quarter past with about an hour’s notice with no fuss at all.

  • High Grade says:

    We booked a suite last year when they were released for 30k points. We had 2 nights last month. The service we received at the hotel was great and seemed genuinely warm and friendly. The room was pretty nice too. The only small complaint (didn’t even bother to mention to the hotel) is the height of the shower. I couldn’t stand upright under the shower head in the ceiling. Had to bend to fit under the head but there was a perfectly good handset to use as alternative. Worth stating I am reasonably tall at 190cm. Hotel served a really nice breakfast too. We asked for late check out and got offered 2pm which we gladly accepted.

  • KJ says:

    We stayed 3 nights in the Vault Suite a fortnight ago using points (thanks HfP). Overall, Indigo Bath was more form rather than function. The bathroom was huge but the (single) hand basin was tiny and there was almost no space for own toiletries. There were teething problems too. The loo didn’t flush because the handle was lose and water trickled out of the shower. These were fixed asap. Mini bar was good. As Andrew said, it includes soft drinks as well as mini wines and beer. We ate in The Elder. Food and service was excellent. Prices are about right for that quality (they will get a Michelin star). Decent wine list. As Spire, we got 2 coupons for drinks which was anything from their drinks list. We chose cocktails (£12-15 each). We had breakfast every morning. Superb, although a bit steep if you had to pay (£20 per head). Parking is across the road. £15 from 8am to 8pm Mon-Sat. Free otherwise. It was easy enough to pre-set the start and end of parking using the MiPermit Parking App. Overall, an excellent stay. I did see some of the other rooms. Next time, I’ll go for a Superior room – the Architecture room in particularly was devine. 1st floor rooms have higher ceilings (hence called ‘Superior’). So the Superior Architecture room would be my choice. Great location for tourist sites and Bath is such a walkable city anyway. Yes I would recommend the hotel. Just bear in mind that there are none of the usual ‘big/modern’ hotel facilties. Common areas were small and few. No pool, spa etc. But that would not deter me from staying at the Indigo again.

    • Diydegsy says:

      Hi KJ was breakfast included as I see you booked on points?

      • KJ says:

        No, it was not included. We were lucky enough to receive it complimentary because of various issues ahead of us turning up about room allocation.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Our suite had a big double basin in the bathroom, so lots of space. No beer in the fridge though!

    • Mitpat474 says:

      Sorry elder won’t get a star it was decent when we went but not Michelin worthy.

  • G says:

    Have a points stay coming up at the end of August. Any recommendations for decent breakfast nearby as £20 a head seems steep at the hotel

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Rosarios is about a five minute walk away. £15 each would be generous and it’s in shop small too. We liked it so much we went back the next day.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Here in Bath now and can recommend a place called The Heard steak restaurant about 8-10min walk away. Great steaks. Off to try Rosarios this morning for breakfast

  • meta says:

    This hotel accepts hens and stag dos so best to avoid unless you want a sleepless night.

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