Immerse yourself in luxury

October 2015

Four derelict buildings have been transformed into the stunning five stars Gainsborough Hotel at Bath Spa.

The hotel, situated in the famous city, has had a modern update combining renovation, restoration and rebuilding of the four aged buildings.

Originally built in the 1800s, The Gainsborough Bath Spa occupies two Grade II Listed buildings with distinguished Georgian and Victorian façades in the heart of the World Heritage Site. Named after the artist, Sir Thomas Gainsborough, the hotel is centered around Spa Village Bath and, uniquely in the UK, has the exclusive privilege of having access to the natural thermal, mineral-rich waters.

As a leading hotel of the world, The Gainsborough Bath Spa is YTL’s first hotel in the United Kingdom. Paying homage to its colourful history, the hotel is designed by New York based Champalimaud Design to be welcoming, elegant, vibrant and social – a modern interpretation of a classic design which will provide a meaningful and enduring contribution to the life of the city.

The project has taken New York based designers Champalimaud Design five years to complete, with the initial process starting in November 2010 and the hotel officially opened on 1st July this year.

Champalimaud Design connected the four remaining buildings with a brand new building and left the centre for a sky lit atrium area.

Speaking to Premier Hospitality Magazine, Jon Kastl Director of Champalimaud Design said:

“The thing that’s most exciting about this project is the lovely history.”

The company were given a brief which requested the design celebrated the history of the building as well as respecting the existing architecture all while creating a contemporary destination to meet and exceed the expectations of a modern day luxury spa.

Jon added:

“What we were looking to do was to create a lifestyle building which was really centred on health and wellness.”

Following the new build, which connected the four existing premises, the designers created a number of luxurious elements in keeping with the history and the original purpose of the location. Under the glass atrium roof there are three separate indoor swimming pools each a different temperature. The basement level also comprises a steam room, ice room and sauna.

Upon entry on the first floor, visitors and guests enter a beautiful lobby and reception area leading on to the lounge area, the restaurant or the bar. The restaurant has a separate door away from the hotel for those who aren’t guests of the hotel should they want to use the dining facilities.

Jon said:

“The restaurant has another door away from the lobby which is a great way for the locals to experience the hotel. There’s an elegant bar area close by which overlooks the indoor swimming pools.”

The buildings vary in size with the tallest being six storeys and the remaining buildings being slightly smaller. The hotel features a historic chapel which has been renovated and turned into the hotel’s trademark ball room. The hotel also plays home to a number of rooms which will be used for business events, meetings and weddings ceremonies.

The lengthy project ran smoothly, and since opening on 1st July feedback has been ‘fantastic’. During the building process the project team found ancient Roman remains from the building’s original purpose, expected to date back to 500AD. The designers covered up the ruins in order to protect them but did create modern replicas for the rooms; a subtle nod to the building’s heritage.

And it seems as though Champalimaud Designs were thrilled to have been able to work on the historical project across the pond from their New York head quarters. Jon concluded:

“The Gainsborough really is an exceptional property; it’s something the community and the locals of Bath are very proud of. Getting to work on such beautiful historical buildings, for us, is an honour. We worked on the project for five years and so it became a sort of home from home and we got to know the locals and the shopkeepers and we’re able to fall completely in love with Bath. We were given a series of derelict buildings which have been dated for a number of years and we gave them a lot of love. It’s truly an honour for us to be given such great responsibility and for it to have been such a success.”

Gallery 2c

Gallery2c provide photographic artwork – printed, mounted and framed – sourcing interesting and innovative pieces to meet the clients brief. As a successful company, Gallery2c suggests artwork that is always relevant to the specific theme or location and compliments the overall design brief. The establishment contributed to the Gainsborough project, delivering creativity and high quality services.

Simon Whitehead, Director of Gallery2c commented:

“We are very pleased to have supplied artwork to the Gainsborough Bath Spa. We sourced art on behalf of the client which included talented and renowned local artists such as photographer Charles Emerson. We used a piece of printed verse from the Punch magazine in the early 1900’s. It was titled The Somerset County Song.”

He added:

“The Gainsborough Bath Spa is a unique and beautiful hotel for Bath and we wish it every success.”

Gainsborough Hotel - Pool Picture