Deciding where to go on a short city break can be difficult, especially on a budget, at short notice, or if you are limited to just a couple of days. These are normally all the predicaments I am in when planning a quick holiday, but on my recent move into travel writing, I am starting my research on the most time-efficient, cost effective places to visit. To solve the conundrum, I was invited by the Doyle Collection hotel group, to take a break in The Bristol Hotel, right in the heart of Bristol city, to see what this lovely location had to offer the fashionista I am, and to stay in the luxury of this beautiful hotel. Bristol was not somewhere on my must-visit list, but having spent a weekend in this great city, I fully intend on returning.
The Bristol Hotel is only a short taxi journey from Bristol airport (Aer Lingus Regional and Ryanair fly from Ireland), the cool lobby on a hot and humid July morning put a smile on my face, as did the lovely staff who checked us in and made sure we had everything we needed to start our weekend. I should note, readers, that we took the red eye flight to Bristol at 640am, and so we arrived at the hotel at the lovely hour of 815! Just shows how quickly you can get there, door to door! After a quick refresh, change of clothes and of course, application of make up, it was time to explore! We picked a great weekend to visit as the world famous, Bristol Harbour Festival happened to be on, so the harbourside was full to the brim with families out and about for the day. The Bristol Hotel is situated right in the heart of the harbour, so over the course of the weekend, we got to experience the whole festival, from a relaxing glass of wine in the hotel bar, to watching the boats over breakfast.
The west end of Bristol is the older, more historic part, which was so pleasant to walk around, and of course spot the odd piece of Banksy artwork (Banksy is a Bristolian did you know? As are Tears for Fears and Portishead!). Dotted with lot’s of lovely little coffee shops, perfect for a spot of brunch, the West End is picturesque as it leads onto the lovely area of Clifton, full of restaurants and quaint boutiques. Speaking of boutiques, shopping in Bristol is fantastic, and if you are planning on a short city break over Christmas, this is the ideal spot to do some Christmas shopping. When the shopping is over, there are plenty of lovely restaurants to choose from including the hotel’s eateries, The River Grille and the Shore Café. Venturing out, we went to the Glass Boat restaurant, which was a delight by the river, and a great spot for good food and to watch the world go by.
The Bristol Hotel was the perfect choice of hotel for us, with a spacious room, sitting room area, and very importantly, a comfortable bed after a night out! I was actually quite sad to check out of the hotel and head back home, as the relaxed atmosphere of the hotel and the city itself was a recipe for relaxation at it’s best.