Built in 1835 as a private residence, on land once owned by The Priory of Bath Abbey.
The Bath Priory Hotel blends into a row of 19th century houses on the west side of Bath, Somerset. The hotel is built from traditional honey coloured Bath stone fashioned in a gothic style, discreetly situated behind high walls on a tree lined residential road giving the feeling of a country house hotel.
The house was a private home until the 1960s when it was converted into a dormitory wing for The Park School two doors down. It was then changed into a private boy’s prep school. It remained as a school until 1969, when the house was bought and converted in to a seven bedroom hotel – using its former name and becoming the Bath Priory Hotel and Restaurant. Soon after it was bought by John Dupay where he saw eight more bedrooms added. John Dupay was Chef-Patron and his wife Thea Dupay was Maitre de Maison – during this time the restaurant continued to receive special mentions and awards, with a constant high rating by Egon Ronay, the AA restaurant guide and the British Industry. John and Thea still visit us yearly to see how the hotel is faring.
The restaurant was set in two different rooms, one an imposing Gothic room with Georgian furniture and period paintings; the other a terrace overlooking the courtyard with a small fountain.
After 10 years, in 1979 the hotel was sold to John Donnithorn, who introduced six new bedrooms designed by Hugh Clifford-Wing. Records show that dinner in the hotel would have cost around £18.05 for two people and breakfast costing £1.50! Then in 1988 that hotel was sold to Select Country Hotels.
The hotel continued to prosper and was purchased in September 1994 by Bath business man Andrew Brownsword and his wife Christina. His long-term plan was to upgrade and extend the hotels existing accommodation and introduce an exclusive health facility. Work began in 1996, and by October 1997 Brownsword’s refurbishment program was complete. The project resulted in nine new bedrooms and an indoor leisure complex with swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, steam rooms and solarium all housed in the new wing which was built with local Bath stone and in keeping with the design of the original property. We held a One Michelin star at the Priory Restaurant from 1997 – 2007.
Complementing the property is the award winning gardens, which conceal the original heated swimming pool, sun terrace, which have been matured over the last 100 years to provide a four acre haven away from the city. Giving particular pleasure to the guests is the Victorian kitchen garden, which was developed from the original plot and still supplies the chef with seasonal herbs, fruits and vegetables.
Today, all 33 bedrooms are of the highest quality and provide state-of-the-art telecommunication, facilities and amenities. The public and dining areas are tastefully decorated with Mr and Mrs Brownsword’s personal collection of painting and antiques giving the hotel a personal country house feel. In late 2011 we were awarded our fifth star, best chef and best fine dining wine list at the Bath good food awards.
2012 was a big year for us. With a complete refurbishment of the Linden suites creating six magnificent Crescent suites that were opened in June 2012. We also scooped double gold in the south west tourism awards winning gold for Best Small Hotel and gold for Taste of the South West. In May 2012 we were awarded small hotel of the year 2012. In October, we received our One Michelin star for Executive Head Chef Sam Moody.
2013, has started off very well with our Head Gardener Jane winning Relais and Chateaux garden of the year, shown from over 500 properties around the globe.
We have also now become part of the Brownsword hotels collection consisting of six luxury hotels and six ABode City hotels. Our sister hotels are Gidleigh Park, Lower Slaughter Manor, Buckland Manor and Amberley Castle, as well as The Slaughters Country Inn and ABode hotels situated in Canterbury, Chester, Exeter and Manchester along with Sydney House, Chelsea and The Arthouse, Glasgow.