No.15 Great Pulteney has been collaboratively reimagined by the hotel’s owners, innovative hoteliers Ian and Christa Taylor, together with Martin Hulbert Design – one of the stars of the UK interior design scene. The Taylors’ have spent the last few months scouring antique fairs to graduate degree shows, sourcing and commissioning everything from vast pieces of art to bespoke wallpaper, intriguing collections and artistic features to display within the hotel. They’ve also invited local interior designers, Rossiters, Woodhouse and Law and Eton Design to put their own creative stamp on some of the bedrooms, ensuring every one is individually-designed, imaginative and conducive to a restful night’s sleep.
Ian and Christa Taylor
No.15’s owners, Ian and Christa Taylor, are well known for their love of the idiosyncratic when it comes to their unique interior design style. The transformation of No.15 Great Pulteney has given them an opportunity to bring their love of creativity to the fore, to create interiors which have verve, vibrancy and a sense of fun at their core.
“I think that people’s tastes in interiors have changed so much over the years,” says Ian. “Twenty years ago people were all about schemes with marble and fine furniture and now it’s much more relaxed. You’ve got to create those ‘Instagrammable’ moments that make people really remember their stay. In order to do that, we’ve added features – often in unexpected places – that will make guests talk about their experience, and created spaces that we hope will inspire them.
“Sourcing all the items and visiting a lot of the exhibitions has been one of our favourite parts of this process, and we love working with the creators of these wonderful items who are so passionate about what they do. While we’ve commissioned experts in the fields of art and design, and couldn’t have completed the project without Nick Mizen and the team at Kennick, we’re also avid supporters of giving new and emerging artists an opportunity to get their work in the public eye and we’d like to do much more of that.”
Martin Hulbert Design
Martin Hulbert and Jay Grierson of Martin Hulbert Design are known for their work at Coworth Park, Chewton Glen and The Grove, Hertfordshire. While every project is completely unique, and No.15 is no exception, their style is unfailingly elegant and grown-up, with that all-important added layer of drama, curiosity and detail.
“There aren’t many projects where one could be so personally involved in a very creative way,” says Martin Hulbert of No.15. “We’ve hugely enjoyed the sense of discovery.
“It wasn’t until we started to see the building stripped back that it really gave us a real vision as to what we would like to do. The building began to reveal itself and all the wonderful, individual colours in the plasterwork and cornicing and the detail started to come out. We picked up with those and they have informed the colours and the thoughts behind the interior we’ve created.
“It’s not a look that exists anywhere, really. It’s artistic and creative and yet it’s not out of character with the beauty of the original building. We’ve looked closely at the history of Bath, its architecture and interiors and the chalky colours that we’ve used are reminiscent of the Georgian period. It’s not an overtly contemporary juxtaposition and I think it fits beautifully within the existing framework.
“We were inspired by Bath and its wonderful facades that are like little chocolate box buildings or doll’s houses in that wonderful stone; but then you open the door and they all reveal themselves to be quite different and unique inside.”
Martin Hulbert Design are responsible for the transformation of both the Pulteney View Junior Suites and our Superior King Henriette View rooms, the best rooms at No.15 Great Pulteney, which feature four-poster beds and large coffee tables, which have a collection of objects inside that offer a fun sense of place, as well as being connected to the history of Bath.
“The space, scale and proportions of the rooms are really quite special for hotel bedrooms,” says Martin. “They’re in possession of really good ceiling heights, generous windows and lovely views. It’s a wonderful opportunity for a designer to be able to work in rooms with these proportions and so we didn’t want to interrupt that space too much.”
The design in the hotel’s guest areas is similarly dictated by the surrounds and the city’s renowned architecture. “When you look around Bath, you really notice the detailing around you,” explains Martin, “so we’ve echoed some of the same motifs in our designs. It doesn’t matter if no-one really sees it, it’s about creating atmosphere and a feeling.”
Martin Hulbert Design have also commissioned some very beautiful, very modern pieces that really make a statement in our Georgian building; such as a long plexiglass table to sit at the front of the bar, a contemporary gold-plated light fitting with the appearance of one long sculpture that links the sitting rooms and, of course, the Lost Earring chandelier, crafted from thousands of lone earrings.
While the overall feel of No.15 is very comfortable and elegant, it’s these joyfully intriguing and unexpected touches throughout the hotel that add excitement and drama and create a unique personality all of its own.
Local interior designers
Alongside the modern glamour brought by Martin Hulbert and Jay Grierson of Martin Hulbert Design, we’ve also looked to local design talent, in keeping with our vision to give our guests an extensive choice when it comes to intriguing, one-of-a-kind rooms to stay in. Woodhouse and Law, an interior and garden design company based on Bathwick Hill, have three rooms at No.15 Great Pulteney – including the covetable garden suite – to put their unique creative stamp on. While Rossiters of Bath, a design-led furniture, home interiors and gift emporium in the centre of Bath, and Eton Design, a destination interiors showroom on Walcot Street, are each creating two room schemes.
Woodhouse and Law
“Our design approach is understated, playful yet luxurious,” explains John Law, one half of the duo behind the business. “Each scheme references the city of Bath and its rich history as well as the city’s current and future status as a vibrant, creative and entrepreneurial hub. We hugely value the work of local craftsmen and designers and have combined individual pieces by local artists and designers with international makers.
“What our ground floor room doesn’t boast in size, it makes up for in elegant proportion and charm. The room has views out over the hotel gardens and generous high ceilings, giving us the perfect canvas to create our scheme.
On first visiting the hotel, we were taken by the beauty of the raw, stripped-back plaster exposed throughout the building and the patina generated over the centuries. It was this which inspired our bathroom scheme, where we looked to combine the paired down with the luxurious.”
Rossiters of Bath
Open in the city since 1961, Rossiters of Bath, which occupies three Georgian townhouses in the centre of the city, is known locally as the Liberty of the West Country. Their rooms, which take their inspiration from Henrietta Park, both during the day and in the evening have been created to have instant appeal to guests arriving full of anticipation of luxury, comfort, glamour and fun.
“No.15 Great Pulteney is set in one of Bath’s most elegant streets and has the luxury of looking out to the sensory gardens of Henrietta Park – this has been a major source of inspiration for us,” explains Ann-Marie James, buying director and owner at Rossiters. “We were also very inspired by the phrase ‘luxury for the curious’, used to describe the overall style of No.15, and we loved the idea that guests stepping into the hotel would discover a slightly more eccentric beauty within, compared to the classical beauty outside.
“To reflect Rossiters’ signature style, the rooms feature pleasingly rich textures and colour, with some unexpected details too. For us, it’s very exciting to take part in the creation of an incredibly unique and beautiful hotel and it’s an opportunity have fun expressing our own unique style, knowing that it’s going to be enjoyed by so many different people.”
Positioned at the top end of the market, Eton Design is synonymous with understated elegance and luxury and as such, specialises is producing timeless interiors.
“Eton’s guest rooms are calming, seductive, opulent and utilise a gentle palette, but are also combined with a sense of fun,” says design director Peter Higgins.
Their two rooms are some of the most dramatic in house, with one based around wartime Bath, featuring hand-drawn maps of the city created by local resident Lynne Bridge, and an opera room which epitomises decadence, performance and glamour by incorporating sumptuous fabrics together with mirrors and chandeliers to ensure a supremely sumptuous night’s stay.