The Best Hotels to Book Near SS Great Britain

Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa offers a refined restaurant to enjoy post-pamper
Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa offers a refined restaurant to enjoy post-pamper | Courtesy of Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa / Expedia
Katharine Sellers

Cider, ships, the suspension bridge: Bristol has them all. These hotels are the best you’ll find near the SS Great Britain. Plus, they’re within easy walking distance of the town centre and are all bookable on Culture Trip.

If you’re big on nautical history, you’ll know that Brunel’s SS Great Britain is one of the most important historic ships in the world. If you’re not, you might know that some of Bristol’s best bars, restaurants and must-visit attractions have sprung up in the area around this iconic vessel.

1. Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel

Large double bed with gold-toned sheets and Chesterfield-style headboard at Bristol Harbour Hotel
Courtesy of Bristol Harbour Hotel / Expedia
This boutique hotel offers eclectic elegance by the bucketload, from its plush rooms (featuring complimentary gin and sherry) to its decadent speakeasy-style Gold Bar. But before you order your cocktails, steal down the circular staircase to the left of the main entrance. An underground spa winds underneath the hotel, set in the atmospheric vaults of the site’s former bank. Around each corner is a jacuzzi, sauna or comfortable day bed to relax in – perfect after a day climbing Bristol’s hills.

2. Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin

Hotel, Luxury

Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin
Courtesy of Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin / Expedia

If you like your rooms stylish and with a view, they don’t get much better than this. At the front, you’ll look over the quaint Georgian rooftops of Clifton Village. From the back, you’ll drop jaw at Brunel’s suspension bridge and the Avon Gorge below. Wander down to the expansive outdoor terrace bar to enjoy a pint of local cider with the Bristolians who still can’t get enough of the view, no matter how many times they see it.

3. The Bristol Hotel

Hotel, Luxury

Comfy sofas, armchairs and a low coffee table under an abstract image of a house in an ornate lounge area at Bristol Hotel
Courtesy of The Bristol Hotel / Expedia

Ask any Bristolian what they’re doing on a sunny weekend and they’ll almost certainly mention having a drink at the harbourside. The Bristol Hotel is the closest you can stay to this relaxed and sociable part of the city, overlooking the Floating Harbour. Head out to see the sights on the Bristol Ferry from the jetty opposite the hotel, then come back for excellent seafood at the River Grille Restaurant on the ground floor. Once you’ve stuffed yourself, the only thing left to do is flop onto a big comfy bed in one of the contemporary guestrooms.

4. Number 38 Clifton

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Number 38 Clifton
Courtesy of Number 38 Clifton / Expedia
You can step right into Bristol’s trading history at this unique little hotel – while also enjoying contemporary interior styling and modern amenities. Situated at the top of the city, its 12 rooms were once a Georgian merchant’s house, offering views all the way down to the harbour at the front and across the leafy expanse of The Downs at the back. The dual-aspect Loft rooms are said to be the best in Bristol for both situation and comfort.

5. Brooks Guesthouse Bristol

Boutique Hotel, Hotel, Guesthouse

Chrome-panelled campervan stationed on rooftop terrace at Brooks Guesthouse, with nearby historic spires visible
Courtesy of Brooks Guesthouse / Expedia
You might walk right past Brooks on your first visit. It’s hidden in the heart of St Nicks, a quaint historic covered market that now is known for some of the best street food in Bristol. But what a treat once you’ve found your way inside – a calm haven amongst the hustle and bustle with cute and cosy rooms, and picnic breakfast baskets delivered to your door. For extra adventurous guests, there’s one more surprise: swap your room for one of their gleaming rooftop retro rocket caravans, overlooking the city.

6. Berkeley Suites

Apartment, Luxury

Berkeley Suites
Courtesy of Berkeley Suites / Expedia

Remote working and travel are an ideal combo, but working while away sometimes needs a different set-up than a traditional hotel room. Enter Berkeley Suites. These apartments offer a luxurious hotel stay with a few extra perks. The wardrobe opens to reveal a mini-kitchen, allowing you to cook independently, while a digital projector doubles as both a TV for entertainment and a conference call helper. While you stay, you can also access the Square Club, a co-working space next door, and when work is done you’re perfectly placed in the middle of the city for exploring and adventures.

7. Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel

Hotel

Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel
Courtesy of Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel / Expedia

Take a grand Victorian building in the oldest part of the city, renovate it and ask local artists to cover the walls with colourful prints – and you’ll get the Bristol Grand. Colourful, retro furniture in rooms and the lounge areas mix with industrial elements to create a modern vibe while also nodding to the hotel’s historic surroundings. The in-house bar and restaurant, Keepers, is a destination worth visiting in itself: the imaginative menu incorporates honey from the urban beehives kept on the roof.

8. Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel

Chain Hotel

Bristol Marriott Royal
Courtesy of Bristol Marriott Royal / Expedia

This impressive hotel is part of the architecture of Bristol, occupying a prominent spot next to Bristol Cathedral. From arriving in the sweeping driveway to checking out, the guest experience is exceptional – which is no surprise, as they’ve been welcoming guests for 150 years. A recent restoration means that the rooms feel modern and clean, overlooking some of the city’s key landmarks. And the best ice cream shop in Bristol, Swoon, is just across the road – check the queue from your window and rush over as soon as it diminishes.

9. Berkeley Square Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Sandy-coloured exterior of Berkeley Square behind trees and hedges
Courtesy of The Berkeley Square Hotel / Expedia
The Berkeley Square is a sister hotel to the Berkeley Suites, and affords the same central yet calm experience, with well-equipped rooms looking over a leafy square. Inside is an arty affair: walls boast a rich assortment of works by local artists, and guests can enjoy access to the quirky members club below, which celebrates creative industries. A meal at The Square Kitchen is a must for its seasonal menus and intriguing flavour combinations.

10. Mercure Bristol Brigstow Hotel

Hotel

Mercure Bristol Brigstow Hotel
Courtesy of Mercure Bristol Brigstow Hotel / Expedia

Let’s be real. As you approach this hotel you might be put off by its high-rise concrete appearance. But we all know that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and this couldn’t be more true here: characterful rooms offer riverside views and thoughtful features. What the exterior lacks in looks, it makes up for in location: not five minutes down the cobbled street you’ll find a barge selling what’s rumoured to be Bristol’s best burger, as well as a converted cider boat where you can sample a sip from almost every local maker. Trust us, there’s a lot of them.

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