Spa 15: Bath’s Hippest Retreat


We all know that the World Heritage City of Bath has been famed for its rejuvenating spa waters since the Romans fell in love with the place and the Georgians built glamorous holiday homes attracting wealthy victims of gout for entire seasons. And, despite cases of gout being few and far between nowadays, the trend for ‘taking the waters’ remains an integral part of attracting visitors, with many inspired to try this renowned cure for themselves, minus the toga or wig, at a whole host of venues. When in Bath…

From the popular Thermae Spa, attracting droves to the rooftop pool overlooking the city’s landmarks from daylight to dusk, to luxury hotels such as The Royal Crescent with its private swimming pool and The Gainsborough Bath Spa’s natural thermal waters, they each hope to entice you with their own take on ‘you time’. As a Bathonian keen to escape crowds the more unique and exclusive the experience the better, therefore the newly opened Spa 15 belonging to my favourite boutique hotel No.15 Great Pulteney, greatly appeals when I’m looking for a day of pampering.

Designed as an intimate spa retreat away from the hustle and bustle, whilst drawing on the incredible Georgian town-house architecture of one of the most prestigious streets in Bath, a stylish place of quietude is precisely what you’ll find when you enter the subterranean Spa 15, from the luxurious wet room changing pods with Dyson hairdryers to the brilliantly lit basement with cedarwood hot tub, a cylindrical sauna and steam room, which couples can hire for an hour at a time. And quite frankly it’s a little bit too intimate to want to share the experience with strangers. None of the other spa venues in Bath offer this possibility, the ultimate indulgence for two and a fantastic surprise present for a loved one (Valentine’s is coming up).

Alongside the hot tub and sauna, four individually designed treatment rooms, ‘The Pottery Room’, ‘The Tapestry Room’ and ‘The Coral Room’ underline the artistic heart of the hotel, and it seems that no space in this wonderland has been overlooked. Spa Manager and Therapist, Sarah, who hails from The Gainsborough Bath Spa, gave me an in-depth consultation ahead of my 60 minute Natura Bissé body massage (£95), which took place in the oddly entitled ‘Sock Room’, featuring hand-knitted socks from artist Akane Ono’s ‘Sock Diary’, each labelled with their own story.

The Sock Room at Spa 15

For modern art lovers it is a welcome expression of personal reflection and mindfulness, and I can imagine requesting a favourite on booking a treatment. Whilst the treatment didn’t feature socks, my lower legs were enveloped in a cooling circulatory-boosting mask, before being wrapped in what felt like a couple of plastic carrier bags. The technical term for this is ‘algotherapy’ so Sarah informs me, ideal for those who have had a hard day’s shopping or sightseeing in Bath, or in my case, need something to pump the old blood due to being so incredibly lazy.

A relaxation room with comfortable sofas and magazines encourages further opportunity to unwind, with a blazing fire in winter and Jing herbal teas (or fizz) to enhance your inner peace. Brunch, lunch or afternoon tea packages can be incorporated alongside a 60 minute treatment and hot tub and sauna time at Spa 15, and what could be more frivolous than a free-flowing Sunday brunch at Cafe 15, featuring a generous buffet, a New York-breakfast-style main and a range of decadent desserts? The only downside is the feeling of not wanting to don one’s swimming costume afterwards, a critical factor in planning your day.

Pulteney Junior Suite

The day only got better when I extended my time at No.15 Great Pulteney by checking into the jaw-droppingly glamorous Pulteney Junior Suite, an expansive four poster room with a fantasy design element in the form of a wall mural that put me in mind me of a Royal Ballet fairytale. Even the tea and coffee making facilities are housed in a dolls house that looks just like the hotel (tea bags can be found in the attic), while the romantic floor to ceiling sash windows overlooking the stately Great Pulteney Street furthered my impression that this was one of the loveliest rooms I had ever spent the night in.

Spa 15 at No.15 Great Pulteney, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4BR is open 7 days a week from 10am until 7pm. For more information and to book please visit the website.