The chicest hotel in Bristol is this stylish boutique property in upmarket Clifton. Overlooking The Downs on one side and the city on the other, Number 38 is an attractive double fronted Georgian townhouse which has retained its family home feel. There are just 12 guest rooms, so you’ll need to book ahead for holiday weekends, but it’s well worth the forward planning.
The interior designers who created Number 38 have done a superb job: they’ve mixed the best of the building’s period features with contemporary artworks, dramatic colours, and some exquisite pieces of furniture. You’re scarcely aware of the presence of other guests or staff (except at check-in and breakfast time), so it’s almost as though you have the place to yourself.
Number 38 is a romantic escape for couples. Children under 12 aren’t permitted, so adults can enjoy the peace and quiet, the king and super king size beds, and, depending on which room you choose, a free-standing copper bath tub which is easily big enough for two.
The hotel has two large reception rooms, one with an open fire place, both of which are adorned with an eclectic mix of art works antique and modern. When the weather is fine you can also sit out on the terrace, which has superb views across the rooftops of the city.
We climbed to the top of the house to reach our room, passing intriguing works of sculpture and brightly coloured oil paintings along the way. The West Loft Suite takes up half the floor, and it’s a room which makes you say “Wow!” as soon as you step through the door.
First of all, it’s a double aspect room and natural light therefore floods in all through the day. On one side you overlook the downs, and the other the coloured houses and rooftops of Clifton. The deep blue walls are striking, and perfectly offset the brilliant white linens on the super king sleigh bed. It’s a bed for long and dreamless sleeps. The furniture is retro chic, and includes leather trunks and funky Union Jack radio. A table and chairs are well positioned for you to sit at the window and have a cup of tea or coffee.
The bathroom is easily as large as the bedroom, and it is dominated by a copper bath tub, itself a work of art. There’s no privacy, so you’d better be sharing the room with someone you like, but your first instinct is certainly to run the hot water and jump right in. The shower and toilet are hidden behind wooden panelling, so are rather more discrete.
Food and drink
Breakfast at Number 38 is a hearty affair, and is included in the room rate. As many ingredients as possible are locally sourced, and hot breakfasts are cooked freshly to order. The smoked salmon and scrambled eggs was particularly good.
If you are peckish when you return to the hotel from sightseeing, they serve up a fine afternoon tea in the reception room or out on the terrace. Coffee, wines, and cocktails are always available, and especially welcome when you are sat cosily by the fire in the evening.
Staff will provide local restaurant recommendations on request. Our favourite finds were the Bravas tapas bar and the River Cottage Canteen.
Is WiFi available?
WiFi is available for free throughout the hotel.
Rooms at Number 38 start from £115 and include breakfast. It’s incredibly good value for money.
Bristol is buzzing, and Number 38 is only a short bus ride (or moderate, downhill walk) from the city’s museums and attractions. Culture vultures should check out temporary exhibitions at the Royal West of England Academy and the diverse collections of Bristol Museum. The Georgian House Museum and M Shed are also well worth a visit. You can walk straight out from the hotel onto The Downs, and through them to Bristol Zoo. Gin lovers should pay homage to their favourite beverage at the Psychopomp Microdistillery.