The Dunstane Houses
For the ultimate relaxing hotel stay, you need a hotel room with a bathtub – and these are some of our favorites.
For many of us, hotel stays are the only time we actually have time to take a dip, which is why this is often an important feature when deciding where to book.
At Drakes in Brighton, you can spot seagulls swooping past while enjoying a few bubbles in a bay window overlooking the seafront – the iconic British boutique hotel was a pioneer in bringing bathtubs out of bathrooms and in the bedroom.
For tub action in a stately living room, book into the Grade II-listed Miter opposite Hampton Court Palace, where rosé flows on a riverside terrace and copper tubs are fit for kings and queens. Or take your rubber ducky to Malmaison Newcastle, which has an open-plan suite with twin tubs for side-by-side bathing.
Read on to discover some of the best hotel rooms in the UK with baths – your muscles will thank you.
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The Miter sits on the banks of the River Thames opposite Hampton Court Palace, with suites fit for royalty – rooms with baths include the regal Royal Room and the stately Catherine Parr Suite, which has particularly good copper. The latter also has a four-poster bed and a view of the river through its bay windows.
The Grade II listed building was commissioned by Charles II in 1665 to house his courtiers. Today there is a dewy riverside terrace, delicious afternoon teas and gourmet dinners a king would approve of. You can also paddle board and kayak on the water.
For a bath with a sea view, book a stay at Drakes in Brighton, one of the UK’s original boutique hotels and still the proud owner of a celebrity following today (among rumors of guests include Kylie Minogue and Cate Blanchett). The hotel is spread over two Georgian townhouses, with wood paneling, cornices, and art deco accents.
If a freestanding tub in the bedroom is a deal breaker, book a King Sea View Room and watch the seagulls swoop outside as you relax.
Why share your bathtub when you can each have one in the Signature Suite at Malmaison Newcastle? You can relax side by side in this open-plan room, which has a living room and a king-size bed in both directions twin baths. In case you don’t feel sufficiently cleaned, the suite also has a walk-in rain shower.
The hotel has a signature brasserie Chez Mal on the town quay, serving seasonal classics and a daily special – and guests can also enjoy cocktails, afternoon teas and long Sunday lunches .
The Elcot Park Retreat, Berkshire
A sister property to The Miter in Hampton Court, The Retreat Elcot Park has an equally impressive heritage – the mansion once belonged to Lady Shelley, mother of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. This newly refurbished country hotel is in the Berkshire countryside, just outside Newbury.
Large suites in the main house, such as the Percy Shelley Suite and the Sutton Suite, are expansive, with freestanding tubs filling part of the space. And you can continue to relax in the heated outdoor pool or in the spa’s hydrotherapy pool, salt sauna and flotation chamber.
Britain’s quintessential boutique hotel, Barnsley House, is near Cirencester in the Cotswolds. Rooms with tubs include the Junior Suites — but for the ultimate indulgence, book a split-level suite, which not only has two floors, but a shiny metallic tub at the foot of the bed.
Further relaxation awaits at the spa, hidden within the estate’s beautiful gardens, once tended by famed gardener Rosemary Verey.
King Street Townhouse, Manchester
This Manchester hotel features a superb spa, infinity pool with views of the Town Hall clock and a basement cinema. It’s right in the city center so you can enjoy all that Manchester has to offer (after some time with your rubber ducky, of course). Guests of the King Street Townhouse can also enjoy cocktails and classic British dishes without leaving the hotel.
Rooms with freestanding tubs include Deluxe Junior Suites and Suites; and some of the cozy rooms have slipper tubs under sloped ceilings.
The Double Red Duke, Cotswolds
The Double Red Duke is in the Oxfordshire hamlet of Clanfield, which has all the British staples (namely: a bakery and more than one pub). The messy public house has creaky hallways, narrow staircases, and original beams in some rooms. More recent additions have included copper tubs, patterned headboards, and equally eye-catching wallpaper. There are rooms with bathtubs in every category, including the medium room, pictured.
There’s a garden serving up frozen margaritas in the summer and plenty of cozy nooks to enjoy hearty gastropub fare in the colder months.
The Dunstane Houses, Edinburgh
This pair of Victorian villas are in West Coates, a residential area a short drive from the center of Edinburgh. Period details include coved ceilings, gables and grand proportions, but interiors have also been updated with velvet sofas, Persian rugs, printed wallpaper and, of course, freestanding copper bathtubs, black and engine blue – the most impressive of which is in the Dunstane Suite.
True to its roots, Dunstane Houses offers over 100 whiskeys to choose from. Enjoy a few drinks after sampling some of the restaurant’s Scottish small plates.
The Artist Residence, Oxfordshire
Things get cozy in the Stable Suites at Artist Residence in Oxfordshire, which feature a free-standing bath right next to the fireplace. These adjoining rooms have retained the original sloping ceiling, as well as a private terrace. The Barn Suites are another option, with freestanding tubs, four-poster beds, wooden floors, and a wood-burning stove.
And if you’re ready to give up your tub, reserve one of the shepherd’s huts in the park for novelty (if cramped) value.
The Pig in the Wall, Southampton
Bathtubs in bedrooms are something of a Pig staple and Southampton’s Pig in the Wall is no exception. Deluxe King Rooms — such as Room Four, pictured — have a tub next to the bed that’s set on another Pig trademark: pretty patterned tiles.
The hotel is in the heart of Southampton, inside the medieval walls (the name of the hotel does not lie) and close to the quays. There are just 12 rooms and it’s the most urban offering of the bunch.
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