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Ten West Country Hotels of Character

by Adrian Mourby (January 2013)

For me, the West Country begins in Bath and extends down to Bristol and into Somerset. It’s an area of beautiful cities and gentle countryside framed by the M4 to the north and the M5 to the west. As soon as you leave either, you’re into a gentler way of life, a landscape where every hotel was formerly a coaching inn or rectory. But then when you get to Bath itself, there are some fascinating conversions of town houses and, in Bristol, a former sugar refinery. Meanwhile in Taunton, the Castle Hotel really used to be a castle... These are hotels of great character.


Showing below are all 6 records in "Ten West Country Hotels of Character"

Hotel du Vin - Bristol

The Sugar House, Narrow Lewins Mead, Bristol

Hotel du Vin - Bristol, The Sugar House, Bristol

A lot of Bristol merchants made their fortunes refining sugar from the Caribbean in the eighteenth century. The new Hotel du Vin in Narrow Lewins Mead was one of Bristol’s 20 sugar factories. Today it’s a great bistro in the classic HDV style of distressed brickwork and eclectic furniture. Resident chef, Marcus Lang is held in high local esteem. There’s also a comfortable library and 40 bedrooms, including several loft suite duplexes.

The Mount Somerset Hotel & Spa

Lower Henlade, Taunton

The Mount Somerset Hotel & Spa, Lower Henlade, Taunton, Somerset

The Mount is a gorgeous Italianate house built between 1805 and 1815 for John Proctor Anderson and his uncle. Proctor Anderson was one of Wellington’s officers at the Battle of Waterloo and he subsequently retired here to enjoy hunting and shooting in the Quantock and Blackdown Hills. These days hotel guests can enjoy that same sense of getting away from it all at The Mount.

The Queensberry Hotel

4/7 Russel Street, Bath

The Queensberry Hotel, 4/7 Russel Street, Bath, Bath & Northeast Somerset

The Queensbury is located in a fine, steep terrace of Bath stone houses just above the Assembly Rooms. Some of the 29 bedrooms retain their original eighteenth-century cornices and the views over Bath from the back rooms are splendid. For many the Queenbury is best known for its Olive Tree Restaurant where chef Nick Brodie is famed for his Asian fusion menu.

Homewood Park Hotel & Spa

Abbey Lane, Freshford, Bath

Homewood Park Hotel & Spa, Abbey Lane, Bath, Bath & Northeast Somerset

An abbot’s house stood here, south of Bath, back in the thirteenth century but the current building is Georgian with some Victorian additions by the Davies family. Twenty-five years ago Homewood was turned into a hotel but its dramatic new spa is distinctly twenty-first century. The hotel’s restaurant is one of Bath’s best out of town places to dine and the garden has frequently won the ‘Bath in Bloom’ competition.

The Castle at Taunton

Castle Green, Taunton

The Castle at Taunton, Castle Green, Taunton, Somerset

The Castle Hotel is 300 years old but it was originally part of the inner ward of Taunton Castle, a building that dates back to the twelfth century. That castle has seen a lot of history, including civil wars in the twelfth and seventeeth centuries. Today however under its owners, the Chapman family, it is best-known for its brasserie, Brazz which features great food, a starlit dome and a cobalt blue fish tank.

Beechfield House

Beanacre, Melksham, Bath

Beechfield House, Beanacre, Bath, Wiltshire

On the Wiltshire side of Bath, sturdy Beechfield House is a privately-owned Victorian house in its own grounds. The modern extension, around a heated outdoor swimming pool, has been sympathetically designed and there is a small arboretum of rare trees in the grounds. While the restaurant lacks decorative flair, it sources its food from local farms and has garnered one AA rosette.


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