Travel review: Luxurious hotel for city stay
Bristol Harbour is a wonderful example of an industrial area modernising to survive.
From the range of eateries and bars adorning the waterfront offering quality treats to fill you up or make the edges of life a little blurry, to the attractions springing up to entertain kids of all ages such as the aquarium and the We The Curious science centre – there is plenty to enjoy.
Museums, ethical businesses housed in shipping containers, a vast collection of escape rooms - a really modern phenomenon – and, of course, the SS Great Britain are all within a short walking distance across bridges with lovely views or a teeny tiny ferry boat taking you back and forth for just £1.
And, of course, there's the iconic and star-attracting Bristol Hippodrome theatre just up the road and drinkers' haven King Street a little inland.
So it makes sense a luxurious hotel would land slap bang next to the hustle and bustle of a destination that hums with life all-year-round – particularly in summer when events are being beamed live out of Big Screen Bristol in Millennium Square for people to enjoy.
That hotel is called The Bristol, which oozes class and lavishes guests with nice touches to make this inner-city stay a doddle from start to finish.
That includes parking. An NCP is situated next door, which you do have to pay for but at a reduced rate. But that's not all. Each alternate floor of the car park is directly attached to the hotel and accessed through a door with your room key. So when you've checked in and grabbed your card just move your vehicle to the floor which matches your room and emptying the car is a breeze. With a toddler in tow, this is a luxury we didn't know we needed until now.
Once in your room, the ease continues and you can retract into your laziest self. The bathroom is a good size complete with a powerful shower that washes the pitifully weak efforts of some hotels down the plughole. They even leave each of you a soft, comfy dressing gown in which to relax and enjoy your surroundings. Copying Mummy and Daddy brings a real smile to the little'un's face.
In our Deluxe Room – extended with a nice living area complete with sofa and table so you didn't feel stuck on top of each other even with a travel cot in the room – you can find tea and coffee making facilities including a top-notch coffee maker, but strangely no fridge to keep milk, alcohol and baby snacks cool.
The king size bed was firm but comfortable, the type where you and your partner can drift off to sleep and roll around almost to your heart's content without even touching each other during the night. The lighting, too, gave the room a lovely feel. If you switched your main light off and sat with just the bedside lamps on the room had a warm, dimmed glow to help tiring eyes ease off to sleep.
And the ultimate in holiday relaxing – our giant Samsung smart TV complete with Chromecast meant we could put Netflix on for Little Man's cartoons without even standing up.
Downstairs waiting to fill you up is the nice and open The River Grille, complete with unhindered views over this section of the basin leading up to Cascade Steps. You could sit here, or the bar upstairs, and watch the world go by during British weather as the rain pounds the glass. So if you're feeling extra immobile during your stay, you don't even have to venture outside to fill up.
We enjoyed breakfast here on both mornings of our stay and the quality of the food on offer - both a cooked and continental buffet – was gorgeous.
And one final mention for the staff. Always alert, always noting you enter their vicinity and always asking what your plans were and if you needed any suggestions or help finding places. They were the final welcoming touch that made us not really want to leave when check-out arrived.
Luxury can be found without really going that far to find it, and The Bristol began to feel like a home from home we could frequent often.
Rates at The Bristol start from £95 for two sharing a double room on a B&B basis; book online at https://www.doylecollection.com/hotels/the-bristol-hotel.
Extra info if needed for the fact box:
- 187 rooms: 101 Superior, 85 Deluxe and one Suite
- Complimentary WiFi
- Complimentary residents-only gym
- Subsidised car parking for residents costing £7 per exit ticket
- 25 minutes to Bristol International Airport
- A 10-minute walk to Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station
- 30 minutes by road and 15 minutes by train to Bath
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