Hotel review: The Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath

Continuing our occasional series on the world's hippest hotels and the stars who frequent them, Sarah Turner checks out the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath.

STAR QUALITY: Kylie Minogue, Russell Brand, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench.

Royal Crescent, Bath

Elegant: The Royal Crescent in Bath is one of Britain's most recognisable streets

VITAL STATISTICS: A series of 18th century buildings housing a collection of 45 rooms and suites, ranging from palatial to petite. The grandest is the Duke of York Suite - a first-floor room overlooking the entrance and named after the son of George III, who once rented the building.

In the garden, one path leads to the Bath House, a vaulted former stables that now comprises a health club with a swimming pool heated to a suitably bath-like temperature, treatment rooms and a small gym.

Another path, lit by lanterns at night, takes guests to the Dower House, a restaurant that serves up rich, precisely executed food - such as red mullet poached in red wine, local game and chocolate presented in myriad ways. Behind a gate is the hotel's most private area - a threebedroom house with its own entrance, the hideaway of choice for celebrities tied down with kids.

LOCATION REPORT: In the middle of the most beautiful street in Britain's most elegant city, this hotel harks back to Regency England, when the 18th Century glitterati - from George III's sons to Jane Austen - all turned up to take the waters.

The Pump Rooms, Bath Abbey and the very 21st Century Thermae Spa are a short walk down the hill. In summer, the hotel has its own boat, the Lady Sophina, that cruises along the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Michelle Pfeiffer

Star appeal: Michelle Pfeiffer is a fan of the Royal Crescent Hotel

KEY ATTRACTION: There's a museum quality to the Royal Crescent - the Sir Percy Blakeney Suite features a portrait by Joshua Reynolds and the staircases are grand and suitably marble-clad.

There's a lived-in element, however. Some of the furnishings have clearly been kicking around since the 18th Century and rooms are currently being refurbished. It all has the feel of a BBC bonnet drama - but with fluffy towels and flatscreen TVs. And it's old-fashioned enough still to put the names of guests on the doors to their rooms, which is how I learned that actor Tim Pigott-Smith was staying in the room below mine.

IN THE NEWS: Russell Brand delighted staff and guests alike by skipping through the garden to the spa recently. His delight will soon be enhanced by a new herb garden for guests to relax in before and after their treatments.

Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath

Swish: The hotel offers considerable luxury and more than a hint of 18th century atmosphere

GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE REST OF US? Doubles start at £195, including breakfast, but --at this price - you'll probably be in the former servants' quarters. One of the master suites starts at £740 a night. Afternoon tea, which you can take in the garden in summer, is something of a bargain by comparison at £22.50.

MORE INFORMATION: 01225 823333,

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