THERE are, for most of us, three types of hotel. There’s the budget chain, where you go when you’re cash-strapped or just want somewhere clean to sleep.

Then there’s the city break hotel, somewhere that feels nice and is in a great location for a weekend away.

Then there’s the destination hotel, where from the moment you check in, you feel you might not want to go back out again for the duration of your stay. The Roseate Villa in Bath is, quite definitely, the latter.

We arrived still feeling the remnants of the working day and a harried by being later than planned. But when we opened the door of the Victorian house, we stepped into an oasis of calm.

Within the hour, I felt my shoulders start to drop. By the time I left after two nights sleeping in the huge Hypnos bed and soaking up the quiet luxury of the boutique hotel, I felt more peaceful than I have done in months.

South Wales Argus: The beautiful Roseate Villa Hotel in BathThe beautiful Roseate Villa Hotel in Bath

After a nourishing sleep in Egyptian cotton sheets – where I woke to find my beloved husband’s face a pleasing distance away instead of bunched up by my pillow in our small bed at home – breakfast was a treat. In the bar, with its high ceiling and big sash windows, you’re spoiled for choice from a menu of pastries, cereals and fruit, and cooked breakfasts. Don’t expect a yoghurt in a plastic pot here – everything is made from scratch with fresh ingredients and tastes like it.

Knowing we both have dietary restrictions, the chef thoughtfully made that day’s pancakes gluten free. They came drizzled with honey and a choice of blueberries, bacon, or grilled banana on top. Delicious.

Lunch most definitely wasn’t needed but we did, a little reluctantly, leave the hotel to explore.

As well as being absolutely lovely, The Roseate Villa – which has repeatedly won Tripadvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Award – is in a cracking location. Overlooking Henrietta Park with its beautifully gnarled 125-year-old trees, it is surprisingly quiet, and only a five minute stroll from Pulteney Bridge, one of the city’s many famous attractions.

By day, we mooched in the independent shops that line the bridge, and enjoyed the glow of cosy restaurants along it by night. We walked along Broad Street, where we later had dinner in The Pig & Fiddle, and up to The Circus – one of my favourite areas. Having never been to the Museum of East Asian Art before we were tempted in by the small but fascinating Dragons, Dragons, Dragons exhibition and spent a happy couple of hours enjoying the collection of Buddhas, ceramics, jade and bamboo carvings in the rest of the museum.

Eager for an excuse to stay in our suite for the evening, we bought new books; me from Persephone, him from Topping. Then we went back, got in the huge bed with a cup of tea and read – oh, the joy of not going out.

The following day we walked up to the Holburne Museum – admiring the architecture and door knockers on the way – through Sydney Gardens to the canal, and then returned to the hotel for afternoon tea; one last ‘hurrah’ before we broke the spell and returned to normality.

And what a wonderful experience it was.

We chose the Roseate Blend of tea, formulated by Gillards of Bath from a 100-year-old recipe, and the Bath City Blend, developed in 1888 to complement the city’s hard water.

South Wales Argus: Afternoon tea at the Roseate Villa was a delightAfternoon tea at the Roseate Villa was a delight

Then there were finger sandwiches with fillings such as red pepper hummus and avocado, smoked salmon with beetroot and horseradish chutney, and pulled pork with hoisin sauce. Those were followed by warm scones with excellent homemade jam, and more miniature cakes then we could manage.

It was one of those moments where our differences made us the perfect couple – I ate both of the raisin scones while he had his preferred plain ones, and I graciously gave my tiny chocolate torte to my husband so he had two and then ate two lemon macarons myself (let’s pretend that was a sacrifice). We both enjoyed the white chocolate and blueberry bomb – a marvel of patisserie work, and the frangipane tarts and remainder of the sandwiches were packaged up in little boxes for when we arrived home.

Having had a celebratory afternoon tea in one of Bath’s tourist spots a few years ago, I would wholly recommend skipping the queues, bustle and people snapping selfies with their Victoria sponge, and booking a table at tranquil The Roseate Villa instead. With a small team, everyone pitches in to make it perfect and the friendly staff make time to chat if you want to.

It’s the attention to detail that elevates a stay at The Roseate Villa into something memorable, an experience you daydream wistfully about when you’re back at work staring out the office window; the Penhaligon’s toiletries in the bathroom, soft white bath towels that are big enough to wrap around you without falling off, somewhere to sit and dry your hair in front of the mirror or an armchair by the window where you can have a cup of tea (with fresh milk, of course), and flowers in your room. The tulips that were on the coffee table when we arrived were replaced by sunny daffodils – always a welcoming sight when you’re travelling from Wales.

We simply couldn’t fault our stay even if we’d wanted to. Our luxury park view room was gorgeous, with a light-filled bathroom, shutters at the grand bay window that meant you could wake up with the morning sun, and a separate dressing area where we kicked off our shoes when we came in and felt like we were home.

We hope to be back one day. In the meantime, you’ll find me sitting here, staring out the window, daydreaming about how lovely it all was.


*Our visit to the dog-friendly Roseate Villa, Henrietta Road, Bath, was courtesy of the hotel. A stay in a classic garden view double room starts around £137.

*Afternoon tea is open to non-residents. Starting from £35, you can add Prosecco, cocktails, or Moet & Chandon. Visit or call 01225 466 329 to book.