Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice
Athole Guest House, Bath, England, United Kingdom
Nominated By: Lisa Lubin, Chicago, Illinois, USA, February '09
Price Range: £58-£93 (breakfast included) # of Rooms: 4 Kid-Friendly: yes
What makes the Athole Guest House so Darn Good? Housed in a lovingly and beautifully restored Victorian home, the Athole Guest House stands out as a true gem in my two and half years of traveling. From the moment they picked me up at the bus station, I enjoyed my chats with the Athole’s extremely friendly and down-to earth innkeepers, Wolfgang and Josephine. Plus, I indulged in some quality purring time with their cat, Moth.
Location: Bath, a small city one hundred miles west of London, is famous for its millennia-old Roman baths and stately Georgian architecture. Bath’s bevy of honey-hued classical façades, all built from local limestone, give the city its distinctive appearance, and are just one reason the city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Athole Guest House is a fifteen minute walk uphill from the center of town in an upscale and very safe neighborhood.
Rooms: The Athole has two deluxe rooms and two standard rooms, all of which are spacious and named after writers who lived in Bath. I splurged on a deluxe room which was huge, bright, and immaculate. It was a cheerful yellow and had a sitting area with sofa and armchairs, a super comfy bed, and a flat screen TV. Guests can also unwind in the lovely outdoor garden or Victorian conservatory.
Food: Breakfast is made fresh daily using mostly local and/or organic ingredients and is absolutely scrumptious! The menu includes traditional English specialties such as smoked salmon & scrambled eggs with horseradish cream and welsh rarebit with bacon & poached eggs. In addition, your hosts set out a fabulous breakfast buffet featuring Wolfgang’s original Swiss-style muesli, home-made blueberry yogurt, freshly baked breads, buttermilk pancakes, and fruit salad.
Vibe: Staying at the Athole is like staying in a big lovely home. Wolfgang and Josephine are wonderful hosts and all around great people. They turned on the heat in the conservatory so I could read, provided me with a big plush towel for the nearby spa, and gave me a ton of great ideas for things to do in town.
Things to Keep in Mind: The Guest House is not in the heart of town, but is still within walking distance. If you are coming by bus or train, the innkeepers will pick you up and drop you off at the station.