Iconic Francis Hotel reopens after £6m transformation

May 23, 2012

Bath’s Francis Hotel officially re-opens to guests tomorrow following a £6m investment which has transformed it into one of the UK’s best high-end hotels.

The iconic hotel recently became the newest member of the 50-strong MGallery global collection of unique hotels – the group’s second in the UK and first outside London.

The refurbished Francis Hotel on Queen Square now features 98 individually-styled bedrooms, a sumptuous lounge and bar, as well as a snug, front parlour and breakfast room.

Some of the bedrooms have four-poster beds and glorious views over Bath, with elegant Regency furnishings and specially-designed artwork.

Bath MP Don Foster officially re-opened the hotel yesterday saying the transformation gave the city a hotel to be proud of.

“The Francis Hotel is an important part of Bath’s heritage and a prime example of John Wood the Elder’s magnificent architectural influence on the city.

“The commitment of £6m in the hotel’s refurbishment is a notable local investment story and the fact that Bath is the first city outside of London to offer an exclusive MGallery hotel is a reflection of the city’s standing as one of the UK’s most treasured tourism destinations.”

The new interior design and décor of the hotel offers eclectic elegance in a Regency townhouse setting with vivid and vibrant colours reflecting the boldness of the period – ultramarine blue walls with bold geometric floor tiling and gold lighting.

There are also peacock-patterned fabrics and wallpaper, gilt-framed mirrors, beaded panelling and bespoke table lamps and lampshades.

The hotel will also offer its own take on the quintessentially British tradition of afternoon tea, in the elegant setting of its Regency-style lounge. The exclusive late afternoon treat boasts an impressive selection of delectable sandwiches, freshly-baked cakes and locally sourced ingredients.

The Bar will offer classic and signature cocktails and the hotel’s unique champagne.

The refurbishment also shows the boundaries of the seven original houses that were combined in 1894 to create the hotel by the use of different colour, while blue plaques explain who was in residence at specific dates.

These include celebrated architect John Wood the Elder, who was responsible for much of Regency Bath, including Queen Square itself.

Hotel manager Karen Bassett said: “When John Wood the Elder developed his grand vision for Bath’s Queen Square, the south side comprised nine private townhouses, united by a single façade. Seven of these survive – seamlessly interconnected to form the new restored Francis Hotel Bath. Today, we are delighted that the Francis, an iconic local landmark, is entering an exciting new era. While celebrating the vivaciousness of the Regency period, the restoration has transformed the hotel in terms of style, comfort and service, and will put her back on the map for local, national and international guests.”

The hotel’s interiors were designed by international architectural and design firm Househam Henderson.

Tomorrow’s hotel opening coincides with the launch of Brasserie Blanc in Queen Square.

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