On the hunt for a hotel in Bristol? There’s certainly plenty to get up to here. You might be in town for the attractions of the historic harbour, or a great gig at one of the city’s great venues, an exhibition at the excellent Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, a trip to a museum, or an architectural pilgrimage to the engineering magnificence of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, but whatever you’re doing here, the best hotels in Bristol offer some of the most unusual accommodation imaginable. And some of it’s none-too-expensive either. Here’s our run-down on the best hotels in Bristol.
Bristol's best hotels
We’re big fans of the Bristol Hotel’s brutalist-style exterior – and the interiors are rather fetching too. Contemporary, chic, well-appointed and with modern art and minimalist styling, they’re really rather swish. The hotel’s setting is perfect: it’s right beside the harbour and not at all far from all the centre has to offer. Try to bag a room with a harbour view for the best experience. Wi-fi, parking and a fitness centre are all included.
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 with iPod docks, and all come with free breakfast, access to an honesty bar, courtyard garden and lounge.
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 42 rooms and suites are sumptously 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 lushly-styled cocktail bar and an eye-popping banquet hall.
This pretty little hotel resides in a Georgian townhouse close to Clifton Village. The Berkeley is a spot that clearly prides itself on its artistry, from the bold interior styling to the regular art exhibitions (if it gets you in the mood, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is just a two-minute walk away). Prices are very reasonable for simply styled contemporary 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 the well-regarded restaurant has an outdoor terrace.
The elegant exterior of these handsome Victorian villas set on a pretty Georgian square in leafy, residential Clifton are matched inside by 41 fresh, bright rooms featuring period touches, and lovely big windows with views over the square. High-ceilinged rooms are en suite and feature free wifi, flatscreen TVs, and tea- and coffee-making facilities, and a free buffet breakfast is included. Best of all, prices are peachy-keen for such a nice area, with rooms from less than £70.
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 sugar 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.
It might be more of a self-catering hostel than a hotel, but we had to include the Kyle Blue for the simple fact that it’s actually a Dutch river barge, docked on Bristol’s harbourside. Fun, eh? The various configurations of modern marine-themed cabins (from four private cabins through to a seven-bed dorm) sleep 30 people in all, and are as quaint as you’d expect – and just as comfortable too. There are portholes to peep out of, but if you want better views, the top-deck lounge is the spot to head to. Bathrooms are shared, and there’s a self-catering kitchen, so definitely one for community-minded folk.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel fans should definitely make the Avon Gorge their base in Bristol. This handsome Victorian building overlooks the engineer’s Clifton Suspension Bridge and is a stunner in terms of location – but it’s not purely about the fabulous views and proximity to Clifton Village. Rooms are spacious and come with free wi-fi, TVs, and tea and coffee-making facilities. Note that not all rooms have gorge views; if yours doesn’t, make for the hotel’s large heated terrace to do take your snapshots. There’s free access to a nearby fitness centre, too.
This once-grand, still-imposing Victorian-era hotel has some of the grandest interiors in Bristol – among them, a Grecian-style swimming pool and some gorgeous architectural features. Its 242 en-suite rooms and suites all feature the standard (in other words, slightly corporate) Marriott styling, and come with tea and coffee-making facilities and access to a fitness centre. Note that for wi-fi, you’ll have to pay a little extra each day.
A handsome eighteenth-century manor set amid gorgeous landscaped gardens, and one for those who prefer to be away from the city centre – though given the excellent value of rooms, you’ll have lots left over to spend on taxis to take you on the two-mile journey into Bristol. Spacious rooms, some with whirlpool baths, are fittingly kitted out with classical decor, and come with free wi-fi, flatscreen TVs, and tea and coffee-making facilities.