THE historic Francis Hotel in central Bath is set to return to its former glory after undergoing an intensive £6 million refurbishment.
It will re-open on 28 May as part of Accor's prestigious boutique MGallery collection.
The heritage-listed hotel has withstood the test of time - though, only just. In April 1942, it was almost obliterated when hit by a 500kg bomb from a Luftwaffe aircraft that crashed through the building and destroyed a section of the hotel. Fortunately, the building was sympathetically restored and resumed as a hotel after the war.
The elegant Georgian-style hotel is located on the city's exclusive Queen Square, and perfectly captures the city's grandeur and rich history. Queen Square was built in the 1720s and 1730s by Bath's most famous architect, John Wood the Elder, and the Francis Hotel was developed out of seven of Wood's townhouses in 1884 by local hotelier Emily Francis.
The hotel boasts one of the best locations for visitors wanting to discover Bath's rich heritage and character, with the Roman Baths, Pump Room and Thermae Spa all within easy walking distance of the hotel.
When the MGallery hotel opens in May it will boast 98 individually styled bedrooms with a plush lounge and bar, as well as a snug, front parlour and breakfast room, all finished with an eclectic and elegant mix of traditional and contemporary furnishings to reflect the hotel's distinctive personality.
The hotel's transformation into Bath's unique Regency townhouse hotel will coincide with the much anticipated launch of Brasserie Blanc (the latest addition to Raymond Blanc's successful group of brasseries), which will adjoin the hotel and welcome both guests and the general public.
Francis Hotel manager Karen Bassett said: "The hotel has always had a strong Australian and New Zealand following, and with the refurbishment and inclusion in Accor's MGallery Collection, we expect to welcome even more visitors from down-under. When people come to Bath they really want to get close to its heritage roots, and there's no better way than by staying at the Francis and taking in the centuries of history that surround the hotel."