Bristol has no shortage of high-quality hotels, no matter what your budget. If you’re looking to splash out, there are some brilliant luxury options to choose from. From former stately homes to modern glass-fronted towers, there are numerous high-end accommodation options available to the discerning traveller. Here are eight of our favourites.
Once an Edwardian mansion, Berwick Lodge is now a beautifully designed hotel on the northern fringe of Bristol. There are only 14 rooms, but each has its own distinct feel, although all are outfitted with vintage furniture and fixtures, as well as open fireplaces. When you tire of all this opulence, the South Welsh countryside is there to be exploited, and the Hattusa restaurant is a masterclass in fine dining, as well as afternoon tea and full-English breakfasts.
Equidistant from the harbourside, the Old City, the Watershed and more, Hotel du Vin is about as central as it’s possible to get. If you want the formative Bristolian experience, this is the place to stay. The hotel itself is exquisite, utilising a set of 18th century sugar houses to build a post-industrial masterpiece. For a touch of class, each room is named after a wine, port, champagne or whiskey. Every single room has a king-size bed and monsoon shower, but the suites have full mezzanine bathrooms . One even has twin tubs. The hotel also sports a cosy, candle-lit French style bistro.
Owned and operated by The Doyle Collection hotel chain, The Bristol has a very bauhaus feel on the outside, with heavy, blocky architecture. If that isn’t to everyone’s liking, the inside more than makes up for it. The rooms all have classic wooden furniture and duck down bedding, as well as specially selected bathroom products made by local business, Temple Spa. The River Grille offers British bistro food, and is particularly reputable for its steaks, which you can eat in the company of an in-house pianist on Fridays and a jazz trio on Saturdays.
The fact that two hotels by Hotel du Vin appear on this list speaks to the quality of its work. Avon Gorge is something of a Cinderella story. Despite being perfectly situated to overlook the eponymous gorge and the Brunel-designed Clifton Suspension Bridge, this hotel site was known as a spot to miss for many years. Hotel du Vin took over management and transformed it into one of Bristol’s top hotels, retaining the character the building had as a spa when it was first opened over 120 years ago, adding layers of both luxury quirkiness in the decor. The bathrooms are all tiled and the windows are all floor-to-ceiling. If you want the best view in the house, head to the terraced bar and restaurant.
If you want a luxury feel with a degree of autonomy, book into Berkeley Suites. This high-end aparthotel complex sits right between Clifton and the city centre, mere yards from Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. The apartments themselves are sleek, replete with high-end furniture and stylish design choices, and fully kitted out with bedroom and sitting room areas as well as spacious bathrooms. The building itself is Grade-II listed, so you can expect some unusual design choices, including lots of fireplaces, not necessarily where you’d expect them. There’s no restaurant on site, but you can get 20% off at The Square Kitchen and use of the supplied minibar is totally free.
With only nine rooms, Backwell House might be small in terms of capacity, but it more than makes up for its small size with 120 acres of grounds. Formerly an Edwardian stately manor, it is now one of the jewels in greater Bristol’s tourism crown. Sitting a few miles east of the city proper, it is surrounded by idyllic countryside. The grounds contain a herb garden, woodland walking routes and a rose garden, while the hotel itself has a cinema room, a restaurant specialising in small plates and afternoon tea, and for those inclined, massage therapy which can be ordered straight to your room. As to the decor, regal is the name of the game. Each room is named for a family who previously owned the manor and feature fun quirks like old school bakelite telephones, as well as huge copper free-standing bathtubs and four-poster beds.
Who says you can’t have a high-end experience at a pub? The Wellington is run by Bath Ales, and while the pub aspect feels just as honest and down-to-earth as any other, the rooms themselves conceal an extra layer of extravagance. They’re well insulated to keep out the match-day roars and the general bustle of the city (The Wellington is located on tourist favourite Gloucester Road), and the beds are huge, with 100% cotton sheets, and rainfall showers. Head downstairs for a huge selection of local beers and ciders, and plenty of hearty, locally sourced dishes.
Looking for something a bit more affordable? Take a look at our guide to the best cheap hotels in Bristol, or for something more arty that reflects the soul of the city, book a stay at one of Bristol’s top boutique hotels.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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