From today Bathonians get a chance to look into the future and see one of its most historic buildings re-imagined as a luxury hotel and spa.
I have been up to the Assembly Rooms to look at proposals to convert and extend the now redundant original Mineral Water Hospital to provide a new 169 bedroomed 4/5 star hotel.
The Grade 11* listed building was sold for redevelopment with a new purpose built unit opening at the RUH hospital site.
Now the new owners of what was a city based hospital opened nearly 300 years ago have plans which they say will be ‘ a sensitive restoration and refurbishment to create a contemporary hotel in the heart of Bath which respects the rich history of the building and the city.’
There’s a long planning process ahead but this public consultation – which has now opened on line – will give people some idea of what the Singapore-based Fragrance (Hotel) Group have in mind for the building.
One important plan sees a reconnection to the natural hot springs – through an existing tunnel – to bring spa water back to the building.
The proposals also include: “A considered approach to improving access to this historic asset, a strategy is being developed to formalise how the unique features and story of the Mineral Water Hospital are best told to reach a wider audience.
This includes supporting the Bath Medical Museum relocation from the hospital, interactive opportunities for discovering more about the hospital, opportunities to display some of the original fixtures and fittings on loan and how best to display its unique attributes and features within a hotel use.”
Apart from a spa and treatment rooms, there will also be a new multi-level restaurant for Bath. The existing car park at the rear will be covered with a new bedroom extension annexe but there will be a drop-off service.
It is very early days. There will be much to discuss with planners – as well as the public consultation – and the hotel group doesn’t get full possession until next year to really get down to business.
Is there enough thermal capacity to send spa water up to a new hotel? What about the design of the modern extension? Lack of parking? Will the guilded Mineral Hospital Sign stay in place? Just some of any questions to be considered.
You can reach the on-line consultation via