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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.


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 – July 2024:

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Comments (62)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Tracey says:

    If you are looking at alternatives, the Apex hotel deserves a mention. Reasonably priced, ultra modern and spotlessly clean.

    • Rob says:

      True. I’ve had lunch in there and it looks more than acceptable.

  • Degsy says:

    No problems with the form or function of the King Suites in the Vault (booked courtesy of the intern error and HFP last year) – very high spec and quality. The bathroom in particular was exceptional.

    • s says:

      when did you stay? They downgraded me from the vault suite during a stay couple of weeks ago because they were apparently not open

  • Adder says:

    The Milsom Street police station is no longer a police station – the university bought it a couple of years ago (to many jokes regarding the use of the cells!). That makes no difference to the view of course, but there (shouldn’t!) be as much activity, particularly at night.

  • Sideshowbob says:

    Manvers Street police station is now a University of Bath Student Services building. The cells are now counselling rooms.

  • Jonny says:

    Echo all the positive comments. Had a lovely stay here a couple of months ago, and was fortunate to be upgraded to one of the Vault Suites, which were very impressive. Wouldn’t hesitate to return.

  • HughM says:

    A review, when you’re not even there to do a review, is the more appreciated.
    Artwork at Indigos: hoping to stay at Grand Hotel des Arts, Verona, if things get easier in the autumn. Other artsy lounges? The Zuleika Dobson series in the Randolph, Oxford, famous and fun. Last sampled over afternoon beer for three on the MacDonald Club, a tip from HfP but now defunct.
    Hotel Castell in Zuoz, Switzerland: a modern art collection. Some day.

    • David says:

      I know it’s down to personal taste, but that looks awful. Has given me a migrane.

  • Amy says:

    There is an Accor points option M Gallery hotel on St Francis square. Was similar vibe and decor to the pics of Indigo. We were upgraded there as silver members although the rooms were in a modern extension. Very handy location for some good pubs!

  • RussellH says:

    This hotel managed to get some significant publicity a few months ago by having an episode of MacDonald and Dodds (comedy-ish crime series on ITV) set in the hotel.
    The murder itself was not in the hotel, but all the suspects were staying there before and after – an ” old friends” reunion which turned out to be a group who now all hated each other.
    Shots of some of the rooms, bar, restaurant etc, and when the guests first arrived, the camera focussed on the “Hotel Indigo” sign for several seconds.
    Must have been far more useful than any paid for TV ad.

    • Jonathan says:

      If the sign is featured in shot (especially if more than a quick pan across) then they’ll have paid, in cash or kind, for the coverage.

      • Rhys says:

        Once you know how to recognise product placement it’s easy to find anywhere. A fun drinking game is watching James Bond and drinking every time there’s product placement 😉

        • AJA says:

          You’ll get very drunk watching James Bond with all its product placement. It’s basically an advert with a film built around it.

    • RogerC says:

      We were staying there during filming. It must be said that although it was interesting it did detract from the experience a bit since the staff were focused on giving the crew the access we needed and guests were expected to work around them.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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