// //

There are surprisingly few places to stay in Bristol, even less than neighboring Bath, and some places are certainly better than others. I had a chance to spend a night at The Bristol with my dad. While I can’t compare it to every other hotel in Bristol, I can say it was surprisingly good. There was absolutely nothing in my stay I could find fault with.

The Bristol Location

Quite possibly the best part of The Bristol is its location directly on the waterfront. It is located on St. Augustine’s Reach, a hand-dug canal dating back to the 13th century and leading into the city center. St. Augustine’s Reach is where the bus and boat tours leave from. It also has some fantastic restaurants, including The Stable with some of the best pizzas in town.

Within 10 minutes walking are nearly all the main attractions of the town. Pero’s Bridge is right out back, the Bristol Aquarium and We the Curious are across the bridge, St. Nicholas Market is just to the north and Cabot Circus is a couple minutes past the market. Just to the south across Prince Street Bridge is the M-Shed museum, and the S.S. Bristol is another 5-minutes walk past that.

The Bristol Check-In and Hospitality

With so many hotels going digital with computers to check in at, it was a welcoming sight to have an actual receptionist to greet my dad and me. She set us up to talk with the Director of Sales and Marketing, who was able to provide me with the history of the hotel. Rather than a chain, the hotel is part of the Doyle Collection, a group of eight family-run hotels in capital cities, plus Bristol and Cork which are considered “capital” cities of their region.

The Bristol Reception

The hotels in the Doyle Collection stand out with their personal touches and boutique feel. Walking into The Bristol had a cozy feeling, and belied the huge property that it is. More than 150 rooms are available, in addition to the extensive conference, wedding and meeting facilities available.

The Room

I got one of the few rooms of the hotel with two twin beds. It was located on the second floor, so the view of the waterfront was slightly hampered by the trees, but the autumn colors were gorgeous.

The room is decorated with red and black highlights. The two twin beds were actually pushed together to form a king-size bed. Two comfortable chairs provided a place for my dad to read the book about Bristol that was left on the coffee table, while I utilized the large desk at the back of the room. Several outlets were available, including USB chargers and ports to connect a laptop to the flat panel in the room. The bathroom had all the usual amenities, including something I’d never seen before. When I stepped out of my hot shower, I found the mirror without any steam on it. There was heating behind the glass, keeping it warm enough to prevent condensation. Talk about attention to detail!

The Bristol Office Setup

Breakfast at The River Grille

A buffet breakfast buffet is available in the River Grille Restaurant overlooking the harbor. This wasn’t your usual continental breakfast provided by hotels, nor was it a simple English breakfast. They did have all the usual English breakfast ingredients, plus Scottish black pudding and so much more. In the hot section were porridge and veggie sausages with their own tongs.

The cold buffet was beautifully laid out with fruits, smoothies, cheeses and meats, yogurts and hard-boiled eggs. Finally, there were cereals, granolas, pastries, muffins, bread, and various toppings. To round it out, four juices were available. As soon as we arrived, the waitress took our orders for lattes, which were included with the meal.

It wasn’t just the amount of food available, but the quality. It’s rare that I find a buffet with such good quality food. I usually can’t eat buffet eggs, yet people were making fun of the two fried eggs that I took. I guess an English breakfast is only ever supposed to have one.

The Bristol River Grille Restaurant

I certainly look forward to staying at The Bristol again the next time I’m in Bristol. I’ll probably have to go back next January since I missed so many attractions this trip. Three days just isn’t enough time to explore the city. Maybe you’ll be around too?

The Bristol Hotel Information

The Bristol Welcome Plate

Click to Pin It!

The Bristol Pin

Further Reading

Here’s some extra reading to save hundreds on your next vacation or stage of your journey.

My deepest thanks to The Bristol for inviting me to experience their hotel. As always, views and opinions are entirely my own.
Affiliate Disclosure
This post may contain affiliate links. These links help give me the wherewithal to continue traveling at no additional cost to you. For more information, click here.
Author Skye Class

Hi, I'm Skye. Writer, photographer, adventurer, foodie, teacher, masseur, friend, dreamer, etc. I think "normal" sucks. Let's aim for extraordinary. SkyeTravels seeks to find the good around the world, focusing on adventures, food and wellness. Be inspired. Be yourself.


  1. This sounds like a really awesome place to stay. It’s a shame that you couldn’t see the water, but at least you found the bright side with the beautiful autumn colors. I love the workspace in the room. People don’t usually look at that in a room but I do and theirs looks awesome!

    • Thanks! Yeah, since this was essentially a business trip for me, the working space in the room was really important. A lot nicer than going into a business lounge, although The Bristol probably had an amazing one of those too!

  2. I’m really loving that shade of red. Very classy place. When I hear the word continental breakfast I start to cringe but I like what they are providing here. Fruits and smoothies, cheese and meats, pastries, muffins and breads. Fantastic. Plus the River Grille Restaurant overlooks the harbor. Nice

  3. The Bristol seems to be at a perfect location. We always love and favor the personal touch in hospitality which you could experience here. The rooms looks fully equipped and the description of food has already made me hungry.

    • Thanks. Bristol is one of my favorite cities in England, and Bath nearby is definitely the best small town in the country. Hope you can make it someday.

  4. The Bristol sounds like an all around top notch experience and the breakfast spread sounds delicious. I am pretty impressed with the heated bathroom mirror as well – dealing with a foggy mirror after a shower is such a pain in the ass. I don’t have any upcoming travel plans to Bristol, but I took a look at the Doyle Collections other properties and I just might wind up at one of their hotels in Dublin or London!

    • I hope you do. They’re all really personal. I hope to stay at more of their properties myself. But you should also make it to Bristol. Only 2 hours by train from London, and then you can also visit Bath!

  5. lukeandmeagan Reply

    I LOVE that this place offers a more robust breakfast option! That’s what would sell it for me… plus, of course, the nice decor and solid amenities. And don’t feel bad about taking multiple eggs… I’m all about an egg-heavy breakfast 😛

    • Breakfasts are usually my favorite part of hotels too. I’ve seen some pretty spectacular spreads in my travels, one of them being here at The Bristol.

  6. It sounds downright luxurious. A heated bath mirror?! Lattes included in breakfast? I hope your dad enjoyed it as much as you did.

    • Oh, I think he enjoyed it even more, since he could actually relax there while I worked. You should have seen his face at breakfast!

  7. we may need to stay in a hotel a few nights in Bristol in Spring as we might be moving there-we’ll keep this in mind! One of the absolute greatest pleasures when staying in a nice hotel is finding that they actually have a great breafast buffet (for all types of eaters). I don’t eat bread stuff in the morning nor can I drink regular milk so I get super excited when they have eggs cooked to order, veggie options, lots of fruit and coffee made to order with other milk options….! Start the day out right they always say… and great breakfast does just that!

    • I can certainly say you’ll get all those breakfast options at the Bristol. Hope you get to stay there next spring. I think you’ll really like it, and it’s a great central location to stay while looking for a house to live in. Good luck finding one!

  8. Its not always easy to find a nice hotel price/quality wise. Looks like the Bristol offers both, and love the waterfront view. Great post !

    • It does. Hope you can make it soon. Perhaps next time I’m in town I can get a room higher up in the building and put up a picture of the stunning view of Bristol. Such a beautiful city.

  9. The Bristol is certainly ideally located on the waterfront. Nice that you are able to travel with your dad and that you got a twin room. The English breakfast’s sound great!

    • It was a nice experience. The week is one of the few that we’ve spent entirely together in a really long time. Although I admit I might have pushed him a little too hard running around to all the attractions.

  10. Glad to see you stumbled across such a gem in Bristol. Your description of the buffet has me drooling- sign me up! Will definitely be checking out The Bristol and other Doyle Collection properties!

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.