The Bristol Hotel Doyle Collection is right on the harbour, and any regular visitor to Bristol will know that the very best place to stay in town is as close as possible to the harbourside. This is the most attractive and vibrant part of town, now largely pedestrianised, where luxury flats sit comfortably alongside converted warehouses and workshops.
These house a wide variety of bars, restaurants and clubs and are joined by cultural venues, such as the Arnolfini gallery, the Watershed arts centre, M Shed museum, Antlers Gallery as well as Brunel’s iron ship, the SS Great Britain, now a wonderful floating museum that is Bristol’s chief must-see destination.
The same visitor will also be well aware that there a distinct lack of hotels around the harbour. Fortunately however, The Bristol Hotel is one of the few that has managed to secure a spot in this desirable area, sitting a next door to the Arnolfini, opposite the Watershed and a short stroll to a host of dining and drinking options.
We were initially drawn to the Bristol following our stay in The Dupont Circle in Washington DC (see our review here), one of the Doyle Collection’s US hotels. We enjoyed a wonderful stay that was accompanied by the Doyle speciality, a high quality level of service with a super-friendly attitude.
We looked forward to the same level of can-do service in Bristol and weren’t disappointed. Right from our greeting at the kerbside to breakfast service every member of staff was exceptionally welcoming, professional and cheerful.
There are many Bristol Hotels worldwide, mostly named after the notoriously demanding 18th century globetrotter, Frederick Hervey, Earl of Bristol. This particular Hotel Bristol is an exception, naturally named after the city, and rather than being housed in a grand historic building, it’s home is an austere Brutalist concrete edifice.
It’s a landmark that splits local opinion, but once through the door everyone will appreciate the calm and classy atmosphere. There are no overly fancy touches, bright colours or edgy lighting.
Cutting edge design is eschewed for modest tones of brown, maroon and grey. There are marble tiled floors, cream leather, dark woods and subtle lighting. It is elegant and businesslike.
The same themes extend to the rooms which also have plush carpets and rich fabrics. The big beds are wonderfully comfortable with duck-down duvets and plush bedspreads. The bathrooms are suitably smart with Temple toiletries. Upgrade to the harbour view rooms for more space and the best views.
The River Grille (why the ‘e’?) serves modern English bistro food and is located adjacent to the waterfront, making the most of the fine view with lofty ceilings and huge picture windows. There is outdoor seating when weather allows.
We tried the delicious new season asparagus with poached egg and parmesan shavings followed by cod fillet which came perfectly cooked together with warm new potato and crab salad and a lemon aioli dressing.
We also enjoyed the Friday night jazz piano that accompanied the meal, Saturday a jazz band takes over. A substantial and good quality breakfast buffet is also served here with plenty of choice and nice extras. Lighter meals can be taken in the Shore Café Bar, whilst the hotel also has its own juicery.
When it was time to check out we stored our bags with the concierge and stepped out of the waterfront door. Outside we crossed the distinctive Pero’s footbridge, named in honour of a 17th century slave, and enjoyed a delightful stroll along the waterfront. A perfect end to a perfect stay.
To book the Bristol Hotel at the best rates visit The Bristol Hotel Doyle Collection
To book any Bristol hotels at the best rates visit Bristol Hotels
CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of The Bristol Hotel Doyle Collection
All images by CELLOPHANELAND* and The Bristol Hotel Doyle Collection