From its legendary beginnings around a thermal spring with waters that healed a swineherd prince to a magnificent Georgian playground that catered to both aristocracy and commoners alike, Bath has endured for over 2,000 years as a leisure and wellness destination.

The city and its stories reveal an intriguing insight into Bath and its many historical influences. Discover a city shaped over centuries by warrior-kings and merchant corporations, reimagined by the vision of unconventional gamesters and eccentric architects; all of which culminated in its global recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.

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 luxury hotel is centred 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.



Embracing the city's treasured spa history, The Gainsborough Bath Spa has put a modern spin on a long-forgotten tale. According to ancient legend, Bath was established in 863 B.C. by Prince Bladud, father of Shakespeare's King Lear. Afflicted by leprosy, the prince was banished from his kingdom and forced to live in exile. Looking to soothe his inflamed skin, he bathed in the area's surrounding muddy springs, miraculously curing himself of all afflictions. Returning to court joyful and entirely healed, the prince founded Bath around the springs as a token of his gratitude.

In 43 AD, the Romans constructed a grand collection of buildings surrounding the springs which were worshipped by the residing Celts. Forming a temple dedicated to the Goddess Minerva, they erected a social complex, including a gymnasium, wine bar, massage area and gaming palace. At the heart of these social houses sat the Roman thermal waters.

Reviving the ancient practise of social bathing, The Gainsborough Bath Spa offers a one hour 'Bath Circuit' for guests who book any spa treatment at Spa Village Bath. A ritualised tour of the thermal baths, saunas, steam room, ice chamber and elegant relaxation rooms, visitors will embark on a bathing journey reminiscent of ancient Rome.


It is believed that the waters come from rain falling approximately 10,000 years ago which seeped to a depth of approximately two kilometres under the earth's surface. There it is continually heated by hot rocks before rising up through the three famous hot springs in the centre of Bath, including the Hetling Spring which supplies the mineral-rich water to The Gainsborough Bath Spa.

The exact source of Bath's thermal water still remains a mystery to this day. Many believed the water came from the Mendip Hills, 30 miles from Bath, however, more recent evidence suggests the rainwater entered through limestone located in the Avon Valley. The natural thermal waters contain around 42 minerals, including sulphate, calcium and chloride known to aid muscular relief as well as softening and nourishing the skin.


The beautiful city of Bath hosts some of the finest museums and attractions in Europe, including the Roman Baths, Thermae Bath Spa and Bath Abbey. There is also a thriving arts and entertainment scene throughout the year, including theatres, festivals, music and events.

There are a number of vibrant shopping districts in the city offering everything from high end brands to small independent boutiques. For a festive shopping experience, the Bath Christmas Market is not to be missed and should you need a little break in between visiting the shops and many attractions, Bath also hosts a fine range of cafés, restaurants, bars and traditional pubs.

Set in the heart of Bath, The Gainsborough Bath Spa is perfectly placed to explore the city and its surrounds. Beyond its walls, a wealth of history, stunning architecture and beautiful countryside await.

Our guest services and concierge teams will also be happy to provide further local information during your stay.