Local voices: Spa time - Bath's rich history brought to life

Peter Rollins is proud the ancient city has revived itself as a well-being destination

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Peter Rollins

Peter Rollins is Director of Marketing for Thermae Bath Spa and the Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel. He lives in Bath.

June 5th, 2019

You’ve lived and worked in Bath for a long time, making it your home. What drew you to the city – and what keeps you here?

I have always worked in travel and tourism and I moved from another spa town, Cheltenham, to take up a job as Marketing Manager for Bath Tourism & Conference Bureau. It was like moving up from the First Division to the Premier League of tourism destinations! I can honestly say that it has been a privilege to work in Bath and to make a small contribution to its economic well-being.  It is still a great place to live and I love the fact that I can walk virtually everywhere and make use of all the facilities that are on offer.

Peter Rollins at The Cross Bath, Thermae Bath Spa
Peter Rollins at The Cross Bath, Thermae Bath Spa

Developing a contemporary spa has been central to Bath’s continuing success as a destination for relaxation and indulgence. What do you think the Romans would make of this modern city?

I am sure that the Romans would approve as they established Bath not as a garrison town, but as a place for rest and relaxation. We are simply continuing that tradition. From 1978, for almost 30 years, there was nowhere you could bathe in the Bath waters, so it gives us huge satisfaction to see residents from Bath and Bristol enjoying the natural thermal waters and sharing them with visitors from all over the world.

In a city blessed with many splendid hotels, the Gainsborough Bath Spa is said to be one of the finest. What makes it so special?   

The Gainsborough was particularly proud to be named as the AA Hotel of the Year in England in 2018. It was a testament to the hard work and major investment that has been made in restoring the three historic buildings in the heart of the city. The Gainsborough may be a five star hotel, but it is not stuffy and we go out of our way to provide a professional and friendly service. For me, two of the highlights are its Spa Village, which is fed by Bath’s natural thermal waters, and its restaurant, Dan Moon at The Gainsborough. Non-residents are welcome to indulge themselves with a Spa Day which includes a choice of treatments, or they can try one of Dan’s Tasting Menus, which are full of beautiful flavours.

Minerva Bath, Thermae Bath Spa
Minerva Bath, Thermae Bath Spa

When you’re not at work, you love going to gigs and concerts. What tips would give you to a visitor to Bristol and Bath who’s interested in music?

I love all forms of music whether it be rock, folk, jazz, classical, buskers or world music. What’s great in Bristol and Bath is the diversity of venues, from the larger spaces such as Colston Hall (when it re-opens) in Bristol and The Forum in Bath to the amazing selection of smaller venues. Some of my own personal favourites in Bath are Chapel Arts, Widcombe Social Club and The Bell, and in Bristol, St George's, Thekla, Fiddlers and The Fleece. We are also so lucky to have some great theatres including the Theatre Royal and Ustinov Theatre in Bath and the wonderful Bristol Old Vic.

Can you give three words to describe Bath to someone who’s never been here?

Beautiful, creative and characterful.

Don’t leave Bath without…

Bathing in the open-air rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa, seeing the Roman Baths by torchlight, going to a Bath Rugby match and enjoying the views from Beechen Cliff.

What’s Bath’s best kept secret?

The Kennet & Avon Canal from Widcombe to Bathampton, Dundas Aqueduct and beyond.

For more details about staying at The Gainsborough Hotel, see their website www.thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk, or if you want to experience the Thermae Bath Spa for yourself, head to www.thermaebathspa.com.





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