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Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin
Photograph: Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin/

The 13 best hotels in Bristol

Boutique townhouses, five-star luxury and rooftop caravans (yes, really): these are the best hotels in Bristol

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver
Rosemary Waugh

Like the best of places, Bristol is a patchwork of contasting neighbourhoods. Looking for unapologetically bougie vibes? Head to Clifton Village. Want to get your fill of a distinctly ‘Bristol’ aesthetic? Try Stokes Croft or Gloucester Road. Also worth are visit are newly established areas like Wapping Wharf (for all your hipster shipping container foodie needs) and Paintworks (a mini so-called ‘creative district’).

All of which leads to the question: where should you base yourself when visiting this city? To help make that decision a little easier, we’ve come up with this list of the best hotels in Bristol, so you can start planning your trips to the city’s museums and attractions. Ready? Here’s where to stay while you’re in town.

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Best hotels in Bristol

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This hotel is housed across two former Victorian banks. It features a host of period touches and is a luxe establishment in a great location between the harbour and town centre. Its rooms and suites are sumptuously decorated with colourful textiles, and all offer free wi-fi, iPod docks, tea and coffee-making facilities, and – best of all – decanters of gin and sherry. A basement spa has been added to the already impressive services; it includes a stylish cocktail bar and an eye-popping banquet hall.

Number 38 Clifton
Photograph: Number 38 Clifton/

2. Number 38 Clifton

This elegant boutique hotel on Belgrave Road places you right next to the Downs and just on the edge of the busy Whiteladies Road area and Clifton village. The interiors are classic British heritage – as befits a Georgian townhouse – but filtered through a modern lens. So while there’s a whole lotta velvet, there are also clean lines, uncluttered spaces and a general feeling of airy spaciousness.

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Possibly Bristol’s most iconic hotel (or certainly, drinking spot), the Avon Gorge Hotel is where you’ll find *those* views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Sadly, it was once a little too happy to trade solely on that virtue while the rest of the building was left a little lacklustre. But happy days are truly here again thanks to a thorough revamp by Hotel du Vin which has turned the rooms into the plush, vintage-inspired abodes they deserve to be and significantly improved the restaurant and bar areas. We say: well worth a visit – and now not just for the view of the bridge.

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If you want to bag some seriously cool, seriously offbeat Bristol accomodation, head to the rooftop of this boutique hotel. There, you’ll find a series of 1950s aluminium caravans updated for the twenty-first-century with free wi-fi, flatscreen telly and DVD players, along with tea and coffee-making facilitie. The white, wood-panelled rooms below them are fresh and bright, and all come with free breakfast, access to an honesty bar, courtyard garden and lounge.

Mollie’s Motel and Diner
Photograph: Mollie’s Motel and Diner/

5. Mollie’s Motel and Diner

The first thing to note about Mollie’s Motel and Diner is that it is outside the city centre. It’s actually just north of Bristol, close to the Cribbs Causeway shopping complex and the brilliant Wild Place Project. Don’t be dissuaded though – this is a fun, modern and bright place to stay which is easy to access from the M5. The selling point is all in the name: while the plain-and-functional rooms won’t set Instagram on fire, the American diner and retro exterior are delightful. Book in here if you’re a fan of proper burgers, extra-large shakes and all things Americana.

Berwick Lodge
Photograph: Berwick Lodge/

6. Berwick Lodge

Fancy pretending you’re a member of the aristocracy? This highly affordable nineteenth-century redbrick villa could just be the place. It’s set amid an 18-acre stretch of woodland and landscaped gardens, and has 14 traditional and individually-styled rooms. They feature ornate furniture, rich textiles and opulent marble bathrooms with heated mosaic floors, some with clawfoot, free-standing tubs and fireplaces. Our favourite? The Troya room, whose elevated superking-sized bed is created from a church pulpit. Breakfast and wi-fi are complimentary.

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You should know what to expect with a branch of the Hotel du Vin chain: chic, classy decor in an interesting building. Bristol’s certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s set across a series of restored, Grade II-listed eighteenth-century warehouses, and boasts some curious features, like a loft mezzanine and a rolltop bath here and there. But whatever room you find yourself in, upscale amenities abound: free wi-fi, flatscreen TVs, iPod docks, rainfall showerheads and Nespresso coffeemakers are all standard. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Hotel du Vin without a beautiful bar and bistro restaurant.

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This pretty little hotel is housed within a Georgian townhouse close to Clifton Village. If its own changing displays of artworks get you in the mood, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and the RWA are just a short stroll away. Prices are reasonable for fresh and fuss-free rooms with free wi-fi, a decanter of sherry, tea and coffee-making facilities, fruit and homemade biscuits. Guests also have access to a members’ club with a pretty cocktail bar in the basement, and a breezy restaurant with outdoor terrace.

Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel
Photograph: Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel/

9. Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel

The Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel is a bit like Bristol itself: a mash-up of old and new with an eye on whatever seems to be the most fun. The hotel itself is housed in a Grade II-listed building but the design inside is inspired by the city’s famous street art scene. Right in the centre of Bristol, the location gives you great access to the waterfront, Cabot Circus and the lovely shops and bakeries of Christmas Steps. It’s also easy to walk (or bus it) up Park Street towards Clifton Village and its boutique shops and artisan cafés.

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The elegant exterior of this handsome Victorian villa set on a Georgian square in leafy Clifton is matched inside by its cute-and-cosy rooms with views over the square. The high-ceilinged rooms are en suite and feature free wi-fi, flatscreen TVs and tea and coffee-making facilities, but don’t forget that you’re only a minute’s walk across the square to some of Clifton’s best brunch spots.

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