Photo of Bristol

About Bristol

Bristol is one of the most vibrant UK cities to visit. Its festival calendar is packed, there’s a healthy spill-over of partying and music making all year round, and the streets are loaded with cutting-edge restaurants, bars, cafes, stills, microbreweries and more. All this, against a backdrop of impressive Victorian and Georgian architecture, including one particularly famous contribution by Brunel: the Clifton Suspension Bridge. But Bristol wears its industrial and maritime history proudly too, in a collection of world-class museums centred around the rejuvenated docks and harbour-side. Some of the best places to stay in Bristol now occupy old warehouses and docklands buildings; our recommendations also include a converted bank, several converted townhouses, a converted paint-making factory, converted manor houses, and even some purpose built hotels — and many are family friendly too.

When the shipbuilding, railways and manufacturing industries moved out, the docks had a used-up atmosphere, but over the last few decades they’ve been injected with appeal. They’ve got the SS Great Britain in dry dock (Brunel's great vessel); there’s a beautifully designed Maritime Heritage Centre; the M Shed Museum, which is a social history museum of Bristol; plus a huge range of places to eat and drink. Many of the best places to stay in Bristol are within a short walk of this part of town, and it’s a great place to start your Bristol exploration.

Bristol is big. And as befits a city this size, it has a zoo, an aquarium, an observatory, and an excellent art gallery. Banksy resides here, so Bristol also has a reputation for street art. We think the best places to stay in Bristol are those that reflect a little of the city’s ‘meaty’ cultural life, so expect art collections, curated decor and design, and fantastic food.

The Best Places to Stay in Bristol

For Bristol Harbour

  • The Bristol Harbour Hotel offers the ideal combination of lavish style and contemporary comforts in the centre of town. Converted from a graceful, Georgian era bank, its bar and restaurant have made excellent use of the gorgeous floors, pillars, and grand open spaces on the ground floor, and there are 42 guest rooms higher up in the hotel. The award-winning restaurant is known for its seafood, and there’s now a cavernous spa in the bank’s former underground vaults. Service with charm. Ideal for sightseeing, or a luxury interlude.
  • The Bristol is a large, contemporary hotel right on the water in Bristol’s Harbour Quarter. Aside from the incredible location, the hotel offers 187 rooms and suites, with a configuration to suit almost any traveller, large waterfront restaurant, a cafe and a bar, plus a gym and onsite parking. The decor is neutral and the service is very good.

For a City Break

  • The Hotel du Vin, Bristol has been imaginatively, and stylishly, converted from a warehouse in the heart of Bristol’s historic centre. With only 40 rooms and suites it’s a smaller incarnation than some of the Hotel du Vins, but it still has the assets the brand is known for: the fantastic wine list, and French bistro. The decor is fairly simple, with emphasis on large beds and bathrooms. The loft suites are large and airy, and there are some rooms that would suit families.

For Cool Design

  • The Artist Residence Bristol is a small, arty offering in St. Paul’s, an up-and-coming Bristol neighbourhood. There are 23 rooms and suites, in a range of sizes — which also correspond to the room rate, but the idea is there’s something for everyone who appreciates cool design — expect upcycled and design finds, and retro and vintage furniture, plus contemporary art and big windows. Our Gurus liked the cocktail bar with its extended menu, and even though it may not seem the most family-friendly of options, there are some interconnecting room configurations.
  • The Hotel du Vin brand has a second hotel in Bristol, this one the Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin, which is in Clifton, with fantastic views overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge — visit the popular steak restaurant for the views even if you opt not to stay in the hotel! This is a larger hotel, with 78 rooms and suites. The decor is bolder, and more colourful than the Hotel du Vin, Bristol — there’s more art, more moody hues, and sexier bathrooms. Our Gurus would opt for the garden rooms, or the balcony rooms.

For Romantics

  • No 38 Clifton is a stylishly converted townhouse in Clifton, overlooking the Green. The owner has created No. 38 as a boutique B&B, so there’s all the design details of a boutique hotel, but without a restaurant. Interiors feature stylishly coloured wood panels, an impressive art collection, and luxurious bathrooms. We love the arty courtyard and charming communal areas.
  • Berwick Lodge is a magnificent manor house, set in leafy grounds just to the west of Bristol. Now converted to a 14 room hotel, the property still has many of its luxurious original features: mosaic tile-work, marble fireplaces, grand doorways, and rooms in generous proportions. The decor also includes some lovely antiques, and artworks in keeping with the house’s heritage. The 2 AA Rosette awarded restaurant is known for its seasonal, British cuisine.

For Families

  • Paintworks, Bristol is a collection of just five loft-style apartments, converted from a paint warehouse in Dunelm, which is just outside the centre of town. The Paintworks building is now an arts centre, and the five apartments are just a side project for the owner. They’re all light, airy, and individually decorated with bespoke art and design furnishings. Fun and funky, some of the apartments are perfect for families needing a super-stylish home-from-home space.
  • Beech House is a collection of self-catering apartments in leafy Clifton. There 16 apartments, in a range of shapes and sizes — but all with well-equipped kitchens, washing machines, living space and simple, contemporary decor. The smallest are set up like studios, and the largest have two separate bedrooms.

For a Pub-with-Rooms

  • The George, Bristol is a charming inn in Backwell, a little village on the outskirts of Bristol. As well as offering hearty British fare in the historic dining room and welcoming pub, The George has seven individually styled and decorated guest rooms. The decor is unfussy, and the bathrooms very contemporary. Great value and a warm welcome.

For Great Value

  • Brooks Guesthouse is a 27 room guesthouse in a super convenient spot, in the heart of Bristol’s Old Town. It’s been converted from an elegant townhouse, but the designers have taken steps beyond just reconfiguring and redesigning the interiors, they’ve added a roof terrace with an Air Stream caravan you can stay in! Decor in the other rooms is milder, with a fresh feel and pale green walls and wallpaper. The breakfasts are excellent, and the hotel has all the bells and whistles when it comes to in-room music. Family-friendly too.

Prefer a Private Apartment or Cottage?

  • If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com

Travel Information

  • Bristol has its own airport, Bristol Airport, which is connected to a wide range of international destinations, plus other major UK airports. The airport is about 15 minutes from the centre of town by taxi or car, or about 25 minutes on the bus. If you’re coming via one of the London airports, or railway stations, Bristol is about an hour and a half away from London Paddington.
  • If you want to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • While Bristol is pretty close to the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel, it’s a city break destination rather than a summer holiday pick. Saying that, Bristol gets plenty of sunshine during the summer, so it is a nice time to visit. Whatever time of year you opt for, the key thing to remember is that the UK’s climate is changeable, and while Bristol is somewhat sheltered by the Mendip Hills, it’s exposed to the Atlantic Ocean on the other side. So there’s rain all year. Winter and spring are usually slightly rainier than summer and autumn. If you’re considering what time of year to visit based on Bristol’s Festival Calendar you have a lot to look through! The Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in the summer draws an international crowd, the Harbourside Festival celebrates everything marine, and there’s a huge urban art festival. Bristol also hosts regular foodie festivals, a carnival, Pride, a craft-beer and cider festival, a poetry festival, a folk music festival, a collection of music festivals in fact, and several literary festivals.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Bristol

Best Hotels in Bristol

  • Brooks Guesthouse Bristol (Somerset) 27 rooms from £89

    Local exploring  -  Right in the thick of it, you are walking distance from some of Bristol's main attractions
    Families  -  Book one of the fun airstream style caravans for 2 adults and 2 kids (up to 8)
    Local markets  -  St Nicholas Market is on your doorstep
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    ViewsNo pets

    Located in Bristol's Old Town, Brooks Guesthouse enjoys an excellent location. Choose from novel Air Stream accommodation or classically decorated bedrooms - all fitted with mod-cons such as i-pod docks, TVs and DVD players. Superb locally sourced breakfasts are served each morning. A great stay. See More

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  • The George at Backwell Bristol (Backwell) 7 rooms from £95

    Short break  -  Ideally positioned for a night's stay when coming or going to Bristol Airport.
    Great walks  -  Head out of the village and explore the picturesque Somerset countryside.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    RestaurantGardenParkingNo pets

    A charming Inn with seven individually styled rooms located in a village just outside Bristol. Contemporary styled throughout, rooms feature crisp white linen, patterned bed throws and smart bathrooms. An atmospheric restaurant and bar serves hearty British fare. See More

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  • Berwick Lodge Bristol 14 rooms from £100

    Sights nearby  -  Take a trip into Bristol and explore the city's sights and lights.
    Great walks  -  The surrounding gardens and countryside are perfect for walking.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.

    Just to west of Bristol, Berwick Lodge is a magnificent Manor House Hotel. Ornate and elegant, the rooms are decorated with luxurious beds and tasteful artwork. The Lodge's 2AA Rosette restaurant is excellent and focuses on seasonal British cuisine. See More

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  • No 38 Clifton Bristol (Clifton) 11 rooms from £130

    Views  -  Wonderful views over both Bristol and the surrounding countryside
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith, CN Traveller

    Stylish and intimate townhouse accommodation in Bristol – a real home from home. The elevated position provides stunning views over city and countryside alike. A classy spot for relaxing city break or base for exploring the area. See More

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  • Beech House Bristol 16 rooms from £133

    Self catering  -  Units are equipped with the essentials including a high-end kitchen, a washing machine, and a dishwasher — ideal for long stays
    Families  -  Two-bedroom apartments or the option to add beds into one of the smaller units makes this a good choice for independent families
    Local exploring  -  Well located in popular Clifton with many of Bristol's attractions within walking distance
    Sights nearby  -  Head to Bristol's vibey harbourside to visit the Arnolfini Gallery, SS Great Britain, and the M-Shed Museum

    A chic collection of self-catering apartments in popular Clifton. Units vary in size but each has the essentials such as washing machines and well-equipped kitchens. Interiors blend original features and antiques with fresh modern fabrics and pale wood floors. Ideal for independent travellers. See More

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  • The Bristol Bristol 187 rooms from £136

    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance of theatres, art galleries and much more
    Restaurant  -  Choose from either the River Grille or the Shore Cafe
    Views  -  Book a room with a harbour view
    Air conditioningRestaurantDisabled accessViewsParking

    A large yet discreet, contemporary hotel in a quiet, central location with a waterfront restaurant, gym and free parking. Recommended for both business and social occasions. See More

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  • Paintworks, Bristol Bristol 5 rooms from £144

    City Style  -  Contemporary luxury in the heart of the city.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the 32 meter Cabot Tower dating back to 1897.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    RestaurantGardenParkingNo pets

    Five urban loft-style apartments make for an unusual alternative to Bristol's rather conservative accommodation. Spacious, self-contained and oozing contemporary style. Young couples and creatives will love the funky vibe. See More

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  • Artist Residence Bristol Bristol 23 rooms from £149

    City Style  -  Bohemian-chic at its best with beautifully styled rooms and a happening bar — this is the place to be in Bristol
    Sights nearby  -  View the SS Great Britain steam liner housed in Bristol's lovely harbourside
    Full of character
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Air conditioningPet friendly
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays

    A very stylish small boho-chic hotel set in an up-and-coming Bristol neighbourhood. Rooms vastly differ in size (and cost) meaning there is something for all. However, each is impeccably styled with modern art, upcycled furniture, and vintage finds. With a buzzy cocktail bar, this is a hip stay. See More

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  • Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin Bristol 78 rooms from £154

    Local exploring  -  Set in the popular Clifton area, there are plenty of boutique stores and good restaurants and bars nearby
    Romantic Break  -  Pick one of the suites with twin in-room freestanding baths set in a bay window for a romantic base
    Sights nearby  -  Enjoy views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, visit the impressive Bristol Cathedral, or stop by the S.S. Great Britain
    Restaurant  -  The restaurant, Goram & Vincent, has fabulous views and serves very good steak
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenPet friendly

    A historic hotel boasting fabulous views of Clifton Suspension Bridge. Beautifully styled rooms and suites are designed with a modern take on traditional style. Think moody hues, rich fabrics, tongue-in-cheek artworks, and luxe bathrooms. With a popular steak restaurant, this is a luxury stay. See More

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  • Hotel du Vin, Bristol Bristol (Narrow Lewins Mead) 40 rooms from £157

    City Style  -  Loft style rooms, a fantastic French restaurant and a great location.
    Sights nearby  -  - St Nicholas Market, which sells everything from antiques to street food, is a five-minute walk away
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll along the scenic Kennet and Avon Canal.
    Full of character
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendly
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A stylish converted warehouse steps from the Bristol Harbourside. Loft style rooms are spacious and moody with fabulous contemporary bathrooms. A fantastic bistro and a side-order of fine wine are worthy of a visit alone. See More

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  • Bristol Harbour Hotel Bristol 42 rooms from £158

    City Style  -  With an award winning restaurant, a plush spa and knockout cocktails it's the perfect hip base for exploring Bristol.
    Local markets  -  Only a two minute walk from St Nicholas Market.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge.
    Spa  -  HarSpa in the old bank vaults
    SpaRestaurantNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A hip statement hotel in the centre of Bristol. It has its own award-winning Jetty restaurant serving fabulous seasonal fish dishes, funky elongated bar with live DJs and cavernous spa in the bank’s former vaults. Bedrooms are comfortable and chic and staff are welcoming. See More

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