Breathing New Life into an Historic Building

The Fragrance Group propose to repair, convert and extend the Mineral Water Hospital to provide a new 4/5*hotel for the city of Bath. The hotel will provide guest rooms, a multi-level Restaurant, Mineral Water-led Spa, a private garden, Lounge and Bar area with associated plant and back-of-house facilities.

Fragrance Group Limited

Fragrance, founded by Koh Wee Meng, of Singapore, acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (The Min) in mid 2017 following its disposal by the NHS. Fragrance develop and own hotels throughout Singapore and Australia and entered the UK hotel market in early 2017, purchasing around 10 existing hotels to develop or extend in the past 24 months.

The Fragrance Group recently secured listed building consent and planning permission for a new 185 bed luxury four-star hotel at the former office of Liverpool City Council (pictured below). This Grade II* listed former Municipal Buildings is on Dale Street, in Liverpool’s Castle Street Conservation Area and World Heritage Site

185-bedroom Municipal buildings - Liverpool – Grade II* Listed
The Crown Hotel, Harrogate – Grade II Listed
Townhouse Hotel in Manchester – Grade II Listed
The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool – Grade II Listed

Project Team


Stride Treglown, St George’s Lodge, 33 Oldfield Road, Bath, BA2 3NE


Global Hotels & Leisure Consultancy

Heritage Consultant

Ashley Davies Architect, 15 Pickwick Close, Thornhill, Cardiff, Glamorgan, CF14 9DA

Civil & Structural Engineer

Integral Engineering Design, First Floor, Riverside South, Walcot Yard, Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BG

Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

Hoare Lea 155 Aztec West Business Park, Almondsbury, Bristol, BS32 4UB

Landscape Architect

Lavigne Lonsdale, First Floor Stable Block, Newton St Loe, Bath, BA2 9BR

Traffic & Transport Engineer

Peter Evans Partnership 21 Richmond Hill, Clifton, Bristol


Cotswold Archaeology, Building 11 Kemble Enterprise Park, Cirencester, GL7 6BQ


JP Associates, 46 St Peter Street, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 6NR


SLR, Suite 5 Brindley Court, Gresley Road, Shire Business Park, Worcester, WR4 9FD

Planning Consultant

Planning Sphere, Coworking Bath, The Guild, HighStreet, Bath, BA1 5EB

How should it be Redeveloped?

How should a nearly 300-year-old hospital be re-purposed in a way that maintains and conserves this Grade II* asset for the nation? What alternative use for the hospital would serve the city and community of Bath best?

Another Hospital? – Offices? – Student Accommodation? – Private Apartments? – A Hotel? – A Mix of Uses? – Community Use?

We propose that hotel use is the most compatible re-purposing for ‘The Min’. As a new hotel it would facilitate greater public access, make best use of the spa mineral water connections, permit a cohesive new use for the entire historic asset without subdividing ownership, as well as generate the funds for ongoing repairs and renovations to conserve this significant historic building.

Why is it being Redeveloped?

‘A sensitive restoration and refurbishment to create a contemporary hotel in the heart of Bath which respects the rich history of the building and the city ‘

The Royal United Hospital chose to centralise and rationalise its services to the community and build a modern facility at it’s centralised hospital in Weston, Bath. By releasing capital through the sale of the Mineral Water Hospital it was able to fund the new facility patients can now enjoy.

RNHRD Brownsword Building

In support of a new hotel use for The Mineral Water Hospital:

Hotels provide bedroom accommodation as do the original hospital wards. Inserting bedrooms into the historic interior is possible as much of the original features and character have been removed or altered over the centuries.

Reconnecting to the mineral waters as a Spa, which a hotel would manage rather than subdividing ownership would support the City of Bath’s application to be recognised as a World Heritage Spa City.

As a Lifestyle hotel, which are typically situated in historic, characterful buildings, it will create unique guest experiences that work with the fabric and layout of the existing historic asset and an interior design that will encourage sharing the narrative of the Mineral Water Hospital in an intentional way.

With a change to commercial use, the necessary means to sustainably maintain this valuable asset for future generations is secured.

Hotel use encourages significantly more public access than the secure hospital allowed.

New Hotel use within the city centre is supported by Planning Policy.

Spatial compatibility allows the retention of some wards as social meeting spaces/bedroom suites.

The hotel provides a new restaurant for Bath that is accessible off-street enlivening the Parsonage Lane frontage.

Brief Outline of Proposals

Following two pre-application scheme designs submitted in December 2018 and June 2019 and in ongoing consultation with Historic England and Bath & North East Somerset Council the 3rd iteration of the proposals have now been developed.

Fragrance UK-Bath propose to repair, convert and extend the Mineral Water Hospital to provide a new 4* Lifestyle Hotel for the city.

The hotel will provide a total of approximately:

  • 169 guest rooms including nine accessible bedrooms, three bedroom suites
  • Thermal Water Spa, Treatment Rooms and fitness room
  • Meeting & Lounge space (potentially for a contemporary style informal meeting and remote working space)
  • Public Bar with Restaurants over two levels including a glazed conservatory
  • Associated plant and back-of-house facilities
  • No car parking is provided but 14 secure cycle spaces are provided with guest and service drop-off to Upper Borough Walls.
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