Christmas service at Notre Dame – ✔️
Mother’s Day service at Westminster Abbey – ✔️
Easter service at Bath Abbey – ✔️
Adventure 2022 kicked off with a “Welcome Home” trip to London, England.
Wow! Two years is a long time to be away with no chance to visit. Thank you COVID!
I began planning my trip the very moment the UK announced they were lifting COVID restrictions for vaccinated travelers. Whoo-Hoo! I booked my tickets later that night.
I decided to spend most of my time in Bath, England. I was originally scheduled to visit in May 2020, but we all know why the trip didn’t happen. Thanks again COVID.
The reason for my extended stay in Bath was exactly the same for my extended stay in Bruges. I’ve visited Bath on numerous day trips, but each trip never allowed enough time to truly explore Bath. So a ‘K’night or two was needed.
My flight from Frankfurt to London was smooth and uneventful. However, I did mess up by not selecting my seat 48 hours prior to departure. This resulted in my being given a seat in the last row of the plane near the galley and the lavatory.
Ugggh! Thanks to this experience, I did purchase a seat on my return flight, although I feel this is another increase-the-profits ploy by airlines.
Arrival in London was uneventful and no issues with customs or immigration. I scanned my passport, got my picture taken, grabbed my checked luggage and proceeded to the London Underground for my 60-minute tube ride into Central London. Yes, the Heathrow Express takes only 20 minutes, but costs twice as much.
I so love my Oyster Card.
Before long, I was on my train to Bath, England, one of my favorite World Heritage Sites. The journey took about 90 minutes from London Paddington to Bath Spa.
What I didn’t know was that Easter weekend is one of the busiest travel times for England. My train was not just full, but crammed. It was so crammed, Great Western Railway, the train operator, offered refunds to people who didn’t get to sit in their paid reserved seats. Wow!
However, my main concern was this wasn’t a comfortable atmosphere, particularly with people not wearing masks or using hand sanitizer. Nevertheless, I took precautions, wore my mask throughout the journey and frequently used my travel-sized hand sanitizer.
COVID would not ruin this trip!
The train arrived at Bath Spa at 11:03 a.m. Shout out to the city’s free public Wi-Fi for saving me $11 on a taxi. I was able to use Google Maps for step-by-step walking directions to the Apex City of Bath hotel, my lodgings for the next two nights.
The Apex City of Bath was my chosen hotel for my planned 2020 excursion that didn’t happen. Thanks again COVID. I selected this hotel via my Diamond Resorts International exchange program with our Interval International partner. I could’ve selected Hilton’s DoubleTree or Hampton Inn hotel, which were a bit cheaper and still met my standards.
Honestly, it was the Apex’s rubber duckie that won me over. Sometimes it’s the small things that make all the difference when selecting a hotel.
APEX CITY OF BATH HOTEL – Rating 2 out of 5 stars
I normally enjoy my stays at Apex Hotels. The rooms are cleaned and I have no issues. However, on this occasion, Apex didn’t live up to its 4-star rating. I was looking forward to my stay at the Apex City of Bath. The initial reception was warm and welcoming. The reception staff were amazing, and continued being so for my 2-night stay. They are the reason for the two stars, otherwise I would rate this hotel 1-star. The room was a nice size and I was happy to have a bathtub in the room.
However, housekeeping needs some serious managerial oversight or some additional training. Upon entering the room, I was met with a sewage smell, which I discovered came from fecal matter in the toilet. This is a clear indication that housekeeping DID NOT clean the room. Further inspection uncovered dirty bed sheets, dust on the desk and other furniture and a yellow-ish liquid substance left in the teapot that was most certainly not water. I also didn’t receive my complimentary rubber duckie initially, but the reception staff did ensure I received one later in my stay.
Yes, I did mention the lack of cleanliness of the room to reception, but unfortunately nothing was done at the time due to the staff being busy with two large tour groups checking in. I did find one of the housekeeping staff on her rounds and she did replace the bedsheets, so I didn’t sleep on dirty sheets during my stay, and removed the teapot.
Nevertheless, the bathroom stank for my entire stay, and I refused to use the tea kettle or any dishes in the room even though they were replaced. And I’m very happy I travel with Lysol wipes. I’d already paid for the room, so I didn’t demand a refund or make too much of a fuss because that isn’t my nature.
My rating and review received the following response from the hotel:
Thank you for reviewing your recent visit at Apex City of Bath. Our aim is to provide our guests with a memorable APEX experience and I regret to see that on this occasion your expectations were let down.
Whilst you have enjoyed our friendly services, I am truly concerned about the cleanliness of the room. Please kindly note that what you have experienced at our hotel is not our usual 4* standards and I would like to send my sincerest apologies on this matter. I can ensure that this has been escalated with the department’s Managers involved and we are going to review this further on our management meetings.
We take our guests’ feedbacks seriously as this allows us to improve and I would kindly ask you to contact us directly for a further feedback and details.
I do hope for an opportunity to welcome you back with us and bring your faith back with Apex City of Bath while providing our usual high 4* standards.
Thank you for your kind feedback.
At least they acknowledge the issue instead refusing to accept or believe my review like some hotels do.
SQUARE GRILL HOUSE — Rating 4 out of 5 stars
I decided to have a nice meal before Easter Service. I’d skipped breakfast so I could take the early morning train from London to Bath, so by now I was hungry. I chose the Square Grill House because it was close to Bath Abbey.
I’m glad I did because I had a nice meal. The customer service was awesome and there wasn’t a long wait for a table. Inside was nice & relaxing given the touristy atmosphere right outside.
The fruity non-alcoholic Mojito I gulped down was delicious.
I debated between the fish and chips, and the fish cake. I chose the fish cake. It was good, but needed a bit more seasoning to bring out the flavor. Overall, not bad and I would eat here again.
Bath Abbey had multiple services for Easter Sunday. I managed to make the 1530 Festal Evensong Service. Evensong is a church service traditionally held near sunset focused on singing psalms and other biblical canticles. I chose this service over the Informal Service because the informal service was at 1830 and I unfortunately still had homework to complete.
Bath Abbey is lovely, simply lovely. So full of history and just something to enter and see in person. Visiting is more than just walking in and taking a photo or two. Attending the service was amazing, and really added to the experience.
No visit to Bath is complete without a stroll up to the Royal Crescent, and No. 1 Royal Crescent. The Royal Crescent is a row of 30 terraced houses laid out in a crescent in the city of Bath, England.
No. 1 Royal Crescent is the first building at the eastern end of the Royal Crescent, and is a heritage museum decorated and furnished just as it might have been during the period 1776-1796.
The rooms feature historic furniture, pictures and objects that reveal what life was like for Bath’s fashionable residents – both upstairs and downstairs. The tour experience brings the house to life through film and sound to give a real sense of what it would have been like to live there.
Luckily, the museum was open Easter Monday, thus I could get an early booking instead of dealing with the large Easter Sunday crowd of tourists.
My favorite room was the kitchen. The No. 1 Royal Crescent kitchen detailed the cramp and compact nature of an 18th-century town house. It was also hot and poorly lit compared to country house kitchens.
Overall, a very interesting museum with great interactive content that really shows a slice of Georgian life. I enjoyed the self-guided aspect, allowing you to walk through at your own pace. This was worth the walk up the hill, especially given the nice view of the Royal Crescent.
TEA WITH MR DARCY
Get the Mad Hatter on the phone cuz I’m having a tea party!!
Yes, I indulged myself with a £19.50 tea at the Jane Austen Centre Regency Tea Room. I’m not a Jane Austen fan, but I did want to check out the Tea Room because it was something different and adds to the Bath experience.
And I’m glad I did. I enjoyed every moment. Customer Service was great and the atmosphere was quite fancy without being pretentious. The tea was delicious and the scones were lovely and warm. Loved all the sandwiches. The teacakes weren’t to my taste, but they didn’t bring down the meal.
A nice ‘City Life’ photo safari followed my Afternoon Tea. Had to walk off all those calories right? 🙃
SALLY LUNN’S HISTORIC EATING HOUSE
Just like the Royal Crescent, no Bath visit is complete without a meal at Sally Lunn’s. I’ve been to Sally Lunn’s on three separate occasions on day trips, so I never had dinner there.
And you know what? I won’t visit for dinner again. The food just wasn’t good. I really felt like I was eating food from the 15th and 16th centuries. Despite its fanciful name, the Boneless Chicken Trencher with classic ‘Hunter’ sauce was nothing more than chicken stew on bread.
And the Spinach Soup looked like rotten sewage, and tasted worse.
I was so hungry after the meal that I stopped by KFC and bought a meal to eat in my hotel room.
My Easter in Bath Adventure came to an end and I returned to London to finish out my one-week vacation.
Bath is a very lovely city and deserves to be more than a ‘day trip.’