Pros: Lovely countryside, cool, great family rooms, great service
Cons: Super expensive, members club as well, pain to get to.
Babington House is a private members club plus hotel and spa nestling in rural Somerset just south of Bath. It boasts 32 rooms of which 5 are family rooms located in the stable block.
Having been stuck in traffic on the journey west from Surrey, we were relieved to turn into the long sweeping drive leading to the hotel, and delighted by the look of this grand country manor, which on the day in question was bathed in early Autumn sunshine. We parked, unpacked, and entered the impressive reception hallway, only to be told that our room wasn’t quite ready. We took the opportunity to get our bearings and dragged the kids off for a walk around the grounds. The hotel felt very busy with the tail-end of the lunchtime crowd – a mixture of hotel guests and members as well as a wedding party.
We had booked a family room, located behind the hotel in the stable block. It was extremely impressive, with a spacious downstairs living space containing comfortable sofa, chic hanging chair, great audio/visual equipment and easy access to tea and coffee making facilities. The ground level also housed a children’s bunkroom, and one of the biggest wet-rooms I have ever seen, complete with 12 inch showerhead positioned in the middle of the ceiling. It’s a novel twist, but not ideal for the body conscious as you can’t fail to see yourself showering in the mirror. The adult’s bedroom was located and contained a large double bed and a massive family sized bath! All very romantic.
We headed to the crèche pretty quickly, however unfortunately our son, who was eight months at the time, wasn’t able to go in, creche facilities only being available for children older than 12 months. Our two year old daughter seemed happy enough however, and was greeted by friendly girls who whisked her off to play in the well appointed (and clean) space.
We didn’t take the children swimming this time, but did see a pool that looked lovely and well maintained. Holidaydaddy had a lovely massage, although it was a little pricey for rural Somerset.
Kid’s tea was held in the kitchen dining area, just off the main conservatory dining room. The menu choice was excellent, although at £7.50 per meal plus 12.5% discretionary service charge it is rather expensive.
We booked a babysitter via the hotel, who arrived promptly and with great credentials. We felt very relaxed leaving our children with her. We then went to dinner in the main restaurant, which served high quality, modern British cuisine. Unfortunately midway through our meal one of the girls from reception came to our table to say that one of our children was unwell. When we went back to the room we found that our daughter had developed croup, and the babysitter was trying to help ease the cough with steam (what a star!). It was at this point that we realised we had come away with no medicines (a mistake never to be repeated again!), however the hotel very kindly volunteered to send a member of staff out to the nearest 24-hour supermarket to get Calpol. We were certainly impressed by this gesture.
Babington house was one of our first foray’s into the family-friendly hotel market and at the time we were very unsure what to expect. It is certainly expensive, (it cost us well over £1000 for a weekend), but you get what you pay for – great rooms, delicious food, and excellent service. And how many hotels would send a member of staff out at 11pm at night to get medicine? All in all we rated Babington House very highly, and would relish the opportunity to go back.
Holidaymummy rating: 4/5