Bristol is one of the UK’s most vibrant and creative cities, with plenty to offer a weekend visitor. It’s full of history, bright street art and mirror-like canals that reflect candy-coloured houses and intriguing architecture. For families, there’s plenty to explore: the Aquarium is a deep blue treasure trove of learning and fun, the SS Great Britain is as educational as it is impressive, and with a festival calendar to rival that of the nation’s capital, it’s no wonder more and more tourists are flocking to Bristol every year.
The food scene is well established, and with plenty of famous west country cider to go around, it’s a destination that’s popular in summer when you can sit with your feet dangling over the water’s edge, pint in hand, and watch the world go by. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay when you visit this unforgettable city, here’s my guide to accommodation in Bristol for those weekenders among us…
Historic restaurant: DoubleTree by Hilton Bristol City Centre
The first thing you’ll love about this hotel is its convenient location. Just a five minute walk from Bristol Temple Meads station, it’s one of the most convenient hotels to reach if you’re travelling by train. From there, it’s an easy ten to fifteen minute walk into the city centre.
The second thing you’ll love is the cookie you’ll be given when you arrive. Warm, gooey and chocolatey, you feel right at home almost the moment you walk in the doors. The rooms are clean, comfortable, and minimally chic, and you’ll find all of the amenities you need.
But the real highlight is Kiln, the hotel’s restaurant built inside a 17th Century glass kiln that’s now a listed building. The food is great and the setting unbeatable. Don’t miss my full review of DoubleTree Bristol here.
Outstanding value: Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel
A weekend break wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of luxury, and you’ll find it here at the stylish Mercure Bristol Holland House. It’s just a ten minute walk into the city centre, and has views over the canals on one side, and the pretty St. Mary Redcliffe Church on the other.
As far as accommodation in Bristol goes, this has to be one of the best value hotels in the city, especially if you love a spa break. With rooms starting at just £69 per night, your money goes far here. There’s an indoor pool, gym, a spa offering a range of treatments, the airy and modern Urban Bar & Kitchen, and comfortable, well-appointed rooms.
If you want a hotel that has everything you need for your stay in Bristol without breaking the bank, then this is the place for you. Don’t miss my full review of Mercure Bristol Holland House.
Proper luxury: The Bristol Hotel
If you’re looking for truly luxurious accommodation in Bristol, then look no further: The Bristol Hotel, which is part of the Doyle Collection, is a 4-star hotel that has all the elements of a boutique property, but with all the amenities of a much bigger hotel.
From the moment you step inside, you’re treated to impeccable service, huge smiles and a gleaming lobby that’s filled with beautiful, fragrant flowers. The rooms are stunning and comfortable, the breakfast is served in a bright conservatory overlooking the water, and the location is practically unbeatable.
You’re in the heart of the city here, and there’s plenty to see, eat and drink within a few minutes’ walk, if you can manage to drag yourself from your luxury room. Don’t miss my full review of The Bristol Hotel.
Urban glamping: Brooks Guesthouse Bristol
For quirky and boutique accommodation in Bristol, try one of the retro Airtream-style trailers at Brooks Guesthouse.
This bed and breakfast is located right beside the thriving St. Nicholas Market, which makes it an ideal base for a weekend of exploring the city, and offers free wifi, an incredibly tasty (but also very nutritious) breakfast and an honesty bar for a social nightcap.
All of the rooms here are beautiful, but the real feature is the property’s four trailers – called Retro Rockets – perched on the building’s rooftop, each one ready to welcome you with heating, fluffy towels, and views over Bristol’s skyline.
Self-catered: Cleyro Serviced Apartments Finzel’s Reach
Bristol’s food scene is packed with a variety of dining options, but if you’d rather cook your own meals, an apartment is often the best option. Cleyro serviced apartments are brand new (Finzel’s Reach is a sparklingly fresh urban development) and offer all of the comforts of home – a well equipped kitchen, spacious living area, comfortable bedrooms – but with the luxury of a hotel.
Wifi is free throughout, there’s a flat screen TV for relaxing in front of at night, and the modern interiors are flooded with lots of natural light thanks to the apartment’s big windows. The location is conveniently close to both the shopping area of Broadmead and the creative Waterfront, and with views over Castle Park and St. Peter’s Church, I recommend booking one of the apartments that features a balcony.
Now that you’ve sorted your accommodation in Bristol, it’s time to plan the rest of your visit. Follow The Travel Hack’s guide to the best Caribbean food in the city, as well as this 48 hour journey through Banksy’s Bristol.