×

Where to Stay in Bristol: Best Areas & Hotels, 2019

Written by Carri Wilbanks

Whether you are visiting the port city of Bristol, in southwest England, on a family vacation, business trip, or couples getaway, there are plenty of hotels for all styles of travelers, from budget to luxury. There are a few main areas for tourists to choose from when it comes to sleeping in this city, but most of the major attractions are within walking distance of each other in the city center. The Old City is the medieval heart of the city and where you'll find major attractions like the Bristol Cathedral, St. Nicolas Market, and Queen Square. It is very pedestrian friendly and filled with shops and restaurants in historic buildings. Here, you'll also find properties like the luxury Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa and the Bristol Marriott Royal next to the cathedral.

Northeast of the Old City, Clifton is one of the most posh neighborhoods in town and famed for its boutique shopping; dining; and the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which connects the two parts of the city. The Bristol Zoo is also here. The area around the Harbourside wharf is also within walking distance of the Old City and another lively tourist area filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries. It also hosts a range of properties, like the excellent mid-range Bristol Hotel.

Where to Stay for Luxury

Colorful homes in the Harbourside area of Bristol

Colorful homes in the Harbourside area of Bristol

Hotel du Vin & Bistro is one of Bristol's top luxury properties in the heart of the city center and within walking distance of many of the main sightseeing attractions like the Harbourside Wharf and its restaurants. Inside a series of refurbished 18th-century sugar warehouses, the 40 rooms here are spread across three floors and come in a variety of sizes. Choose from rooms, studios, and spacious loft suites with giant bathrooms, which all feature high-end linen, comfy king beds, and designer toiletries. On-site amenities include a delicious French bistro restaurant, which serves three meals a day and a delicious afternoon tea. Wi-Fi and parking are also free.

Another excellent luxury choice is the Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa on a pedestrian street across from St. Nicholas Market in the Old City and within walking distance of the vibrant Harbourside. It is set inside two Venetian-style buildings, which once served as the Lloyds and Midland bank headquarters and features grand style. The rooms and suites are modern affairs with space to move around. The suites are delightful, with freestanding bathtubs, monsoon showers, and Nespresso machines. On-site amenities include a spa with a lap pool and hydrotherapy pool, as well as a hot tub, restaurant, afternoon tea service, and workout room.

Inside an impressive Georgian mansion, Backwell House Guest House is located in the countryside, just west of Bristol's city center and a few miles from the airport. It is a lovely luxury choice if you want an intimate escape with impressive grounds, away from the noise of the city. There are just nine rooms, and each is spacious and comfortable with an edgy, contemporary style, which includes reclaimed wood furnishings, modern art, antiques, and fresh-cut flowers. A complimentary hot breakfast is served in the morning, and there is an on-site restaurant, as well as a cinema room for guests to use.

Where to Stay: Mid-Range

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta over the Clifton Suspension Bridge

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta over the Clifton Suspension Bridge

The Bristol is a fantastic upper mid-range hotel fronting Bristol's harbor in the city center, within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and art galleries. Although its exterior is boxy and concrete, the interior is world's apart, with chic style and sleek modern minimalist decor throughout. Rooms come in three sizes, but all feature comfy beds draped in high-end linens and down duvets, as well as luxe bathrooms with designer toiletries. The best rooms have harbor views. On-site amenities include a British bistro restaurant, fresh juicery, live music on weekends, fitness center, and concierge service.

Best Western Henbury Lodge Hotel is another popular mid-range property in a Georgian country manor, which overlooks the Blaise Castle house Museum on the outskirts of town. The rooms are well-maintained and comfortable with flatscreen TVs; microwaves; mini-fridges; and, in some cases, fireplaces. Away from the rooms, you'll find a restaurant, landscaped gardens, workout room, and free parking.

Families will like the good-value Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre, which is just a five-minute walk from the Cabot Circus shopping center and not far from attractions like the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Bristol Zoo. Rooms and suites are contemporary, with bright-colored accent walls and black-and-white photography. The suites add pullout sofas and whirlpool tubs. Amenities include a restaurant where kids eat free with parents, a swimming pool, workout room and paid parking.

Where to Stay on a Budget

Bristol Temple Meads railway station

Bristol Temple Meads railway station

Premier Inn Bristol City Centre (Haymarket) Hotel is a budget sleep in the city center occupying a 17-floor tower. It is located right next to the Broadmead shopping area, so you'll have easy access to shops and restaurants. The 224 rooms are generally tidy and feature the brand's signature super comfortable beds. There are also family room options, which come with two pullout sofas. Try booking on a higher floor for great views across the city. On-site amenities include free Wi-Fi and a restaurant. Parking is available for a fee.

Ibis Bristol Centre is also a good budget choice in a convenient Harbourside location next to Millennium Square and about a five-minute stroll from the Bristol Hippodrome. The rooms here are modern but simple and come with custom-made beds, which are very comfortable. They also feature wood floors, work desks, and flat-screen TVs. Wi-Fi is included in the rate. The hotel also offers a low-key cafe, laundry service, and paid parking. Dogs are welcome.

Where to Stay for Families

Mirrored dome at Bristol's Planetarium

Mirrored dome at Bristol's Planetarium

Premier Inn Bristol City Centre (Lewins Mead) Hotel is a popular family selection in a historic section of the city centre. The modern property features simple but clean and spacious rooms with very comfortable beds topped in crisp white linens. There are family room choices that include pull out sofa beds for the kids. Onsite amenities include free WiFi, a restaurant serving pub fare and paid onsite parking.

Another excellent choice if you're traveling with children and looking for an affordable city sleep is the Future Inn Cabot Circus Hotel, which is opposite the Cabot Circus shopping area. The property features modern rooms and suites that are spacious and clean with free WiFi, flatscreen TVs and work desks. There are also interconnecting room options for families with older kids. Onsite amenities include a restaurant.

Where to Stay for Couples

Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral

Number Thirty Eight is a top choice for couples with a romantic location at the edge of Clifton Downs park. Inside a historic Georgian manor, it is an intimate sleep with just 10 rooms and suites and does not allow children under 12. The accommodations are stylish with contemporary art on walls and quality linens on comfortable beds. An excellent breakfast is included in the rate, but there is no onsite restaurant for other meals. The rooftop terrace is a lovely place to relax, however. There is also a guest lounge with a fireplace and overstuffed chairs.

Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel is another romantic pick in a grand Victorian building near Bristol University. Although it's a half mile from the centre of town, couples looking for an elegant property with plenty of amenities — from an evening turn down service to a concierge available to manage all your reservations. There are 226 rooms and 16 suites and these feature contemporary decor with splashes of color in the form of sitting area couches and bedskirts. The best have tranquil views of College Green and the university. Away from the rooms, you'll find an indoor swimming pool, sauna, fitness center and American-style brasserie restaurant. Paid parking is available.

Discover destinations, find outdoor adventures, follow the journeys of our travel writers around the world, and be inspired.

More on England