The Bristol sits in a slightly brutalist 1960’s building, but inside its chic, airy spaces are bang up to date, with subdued lighting, cool colour and contemporary furnishings. The rooms match that theme, smart cream and red with Nespresso machine and a giant flat-screen TV. Looking out of the window, I see the city’s harbourside attractions are right on my doorstep, and I take breakfast looking directly onto the water.
The hotel works well for business travellers, with nine meeting rooms which can accommodate up to 400 people, and convenient for all Bristol amenities. But it’s also perfect for weekend breaks, weddings and special celebrations and offers stunning harbour views. Environmentalists will like its green tourism credentials, as it’s a winner of a prestigious Green Tourism Gold Award and committed to sustainability.
The 187 rooms and suites are among the most luxurious in the city, with the deluxe rooms and junior suites additionally offering media hubs and Nespresso coffee machines. All have large screen LED TV’s, USB charging ports, tea and coffee making facilities, plus bundled bathrobe and slippers. The marble bathrooms offer Temple Spa toiletries, and there’s complimentary mineral water.
The front desk is available 24/7 with plenty of staff on hand. There’s a business centre and extensive conference and banqueting facilities, including a 1000 square-meter Grand Ballroom and seven separate function spaces. Alfresco functions can also be arranged at the pool terrace or palm garden.
Recreational amenities include a fully fitted fitness suite, complete with treadmills and cycle. For that early morning jog, the hotel provides a free map showing the local running routes. Car parking is available for a reduced fee of £9 per night in the adjacent NCP.
Food and drink
The River Grille restaurant, right on the quayside, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner looking over the water, Next to it is the River Lounge & Bar, the perfect spot for a morning coffee, light lunch, traditional afternoon tea or evening cocktails. The Shore Café Bar is a stand-alone informal bar, with big screens for watching sports, and offers live music at weekends.
Is Wi-Fi available?
The Bristol offers affordable luxury with rates starting at just £99 per room with breakfast included. All who arrive by train receive a 15 per cent discount in The River Grille restaurant.
Just a couple of minutes’ walk away is the contemporary arts centre known as the Arnolfini, with M Shed, the museum for all things Bristol, just over the bridge. The new development here is home to numerous bars and restaurants.
Walk a little further into Spike Island to visit the award-winning, fully restored SS Great Britain, the world’s first ocean-going steel steamship, built in Bristol by Brunel and recognised as one of the country’s finest tourist attractions. There’s a glorious exhibition about the life and times of its builder, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
North from the hotel are Broadmead and Cabot Circus, with many of the streets pedestrianised, home to over 100 shops, including well-known brands such as Reiss, Harvey Nichols, Topshop and House of Fraser. Quirky individual shops can be found on Park Street, which climbs steeply up into Clifton.
Bristol Temple Meads railway station is a thirty-minute walk away or a ten-minute taxi ride. Bristol Airport is around twenty minutes away.