Thornbury Castle (King Henry VIII suite)


The Best Hotels In Bristol

The Best Hotels in Bristol | Boutique Hotels to Country Mansions

Warning: you may have trouble sleeping at these hotels.

Not because the beds aren’t comfy – trust us, they’re comfy – but because there’s so much to do while you’re there, spending 80% of the time unconscious almost seems like a waste.

We’re talking boutique bed & breakfasts with rooftop terraces; countryside castles with axe-throwing and archery; laid-back lounges with ping pong tables and photobooths; gothic mansions with live jazz on the lawns; and spa rooms disguised as potting sheds. And, yes, if you want a good night’s kip, you can do that too.

So… if you’re looking for a rustic country house that serves world-class food with their own freshly grown and reared produce, or an arty downtown stay conveniently located to all the sights, or, yup, even a castle that’s hosted actual Tudor royalty, here are the best hotels in Bristol. For a good night’s sleep, and so much more.

Number 38 Clifton

Best Hotel In Bristol

Number 38 should fit all your requirements for a ‘home away from home’, provided those requirements are a renovated Georgian merchant’s house that blends both new and old-school luxury together with tasteful furnishing, and has a private, hidden rooftop terrace.

It’s more of a bed & breakfast than an actual hotel, so there’s no on-site restaurant per se, but you can still pre-order things like a gourmet full English cooked with local produce and enjoy it on a velvet wingback armchair in the lounge area – or for a little extra, get room service to your door. And the rooms themselves – 12 all up – offer splendid views (either of the Downs or the city, depending on what side of the building you’re staying in) along with those double-ended metal bathtubs that you could easily spend a few hours submerged in. 

Amenities: Waffle dressing gowns (so you can slip into proper holiday mode), continental breakfasts and a bar downstairs from where you can order drinks to your room.
Location: You’re right next to the Downs for a park stroll, while the city centre and Harbourside are around a 40 minute walk, though that can be halved if you don’t mind busing. If you do opt for the walk then make sure to make a pit stop at one of Clifton Village’s cafés, which you’ll pass along the way.
Details: 38 Upper Belgrave Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2XN | Book here

Artist Residence Bristol

Hotels in Bristol - Artist Residence

Trendy, bohemian, young; these are a few of the traits you’ll feel when staying at Bristol’s Artist Residence, which is fittingly located in the city’s creative neighbourhood, St Pauls. As with the other four Artist Residences outposts around the country, the design is trademark shabby but in a cool, artsy kind of way with exposed brick walls, salvaged furniture, hardwood floors and loads of offbeat limited-edition art hanging everywhere. Five years ago, the building was a boot factory. 

The rooms each have their own unique character and are as elaborate as you’re willing to pay (the artist’s suite for instance has floor-to-ceiling windows, a walk-in rainfall shower and a view of Portland Square). Meanwhile, the café-bar is a hip spot to mooch around in – both for day and night – helped by the presence of ping pong tables… 

Amenities: A bar, an all-day dining room, a garden courtyard, and a candle-lit lounge with open fires and sofas. All rooms come with organic Bramley bath products and some are even dog-friendly.
Location: You’re in one of the coolest areas of the city and in short-ish walking distance to attractions like the museums and street art in Stokes Croft
Details: 28 Portland Square, St Paul’s, Bristol BS2 8SA | Book here

Hort’s Townhouse

Bristol hotels - Hort's Townhouse

Hort’s Townhouse describes itself nice and straightforwardly as ‘a pub & rooms’ and if you’re a big fan of both those things – preferably reachable by a set of stairs – it’s undeniably one of the best hotels in Bristol. First, the rooms: there’s 19 of them and they fall into the boutique bracket with distinct designs and beds that you’ll want to dive into at first sight, plus free-standing baths for the larger spaces. 

Secondly, the pub: it was once a simple sports bar but after some premium handiwork is now an art deco Grade-II listed boozer that does cracking Sunday roasts; seasonal all-day British dining with classics like Welsh rarebit and pies; loads of ales and kegs, and a respectable wine list. And if you can ever manage to lift yourself out from Hort’s (we wouldn’t fault you if you couldn’t), its Old City location means it’s close (close, as in you can walk) to all the main sights and sounds of Bristol.

Amenities: Some rooms are dog-friendly – Hort’s also has its own dog, Indigo (who by the way, loves making friends), and some rooms can be connected with one another if you’re with a family.
Location: It’s in the old city, so right in the thick of it with Harbourside, Castle Park and Cabot Circus all in spitting distance.
Details: 49 Broad St, Bristol BS1 2EP | Book here

Mollie’s Motel & Diner

Mollys - Bristol hotels

A modern take on the classic roadside American motel, complete with a diner (that has leather booths and checkerboard floors, and serves comforting upscale diner food like double cheeseburgers and loaded milkshakes), and simply laid out, good-looking rooms designed by none other than Soho House. Whether it’s the coma-inducing food or the Scandi-styled rooms and their Hypnos mattress-fitted beds (just as you’d enjoy at a Soho House), you’ll sleep well here…

Amenities: An app that you can do everything on (unlock your room, charge your car, order food), 24/7 reception, climate control air conditioning in rooms with tea, coffee and superpower rain showers.
Location: So it’s off the motorway, meaning you’ll need to drive to Bristol (20 minutes to reach downtown), but you’re also close to other ‘things to do’ in the region like inland surfing at The Wave and Wild Place, a wildlife conservation park
Details: A4018, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol BS10 7TL | Book here

De Vere Tortworth Court

Vere - Bristol hotels

De Vere is perfect for those weekends where you just want to idle away in a historic, imposing gothic mansion, restored to the tune of £5 million and with its own 30-acre private grounds. You know the ones…. 

It has the feel and scale that could host one of those Knives Out whodunnit murder mysteries. Rooms are stately and decorated like royal country houses, while there’s also two fine-dining restaurants that use locally-sourced British ingredients. There’s also an option to go full posh regency-era character and enjoy a sunny alfresco afternoon tea – homemade fruit scones, finger sandwiches and champagne – before a sweeping view of the manicured trees and finely-trimmed hedges on their grand terrace, while a jazz band serenely plays in the background. So, err… anything else? Just an indoor pool, a spa, a gym, an arboretum (similar to a botanical garden, with 300 kinds of rare and protected trees) and an orangery.

Amenities: See above
Location: Although we can see why you might never want to leave De Vere, it makes a great base for day trips to not just Bristol (a 20 minute drive), but also Bath, Cheltenham and the villages around the Cotswolds.
Details: Tortworth, Wotton-under-Edge GL12 8HH | Book here

Thornbury Castle

Thornbury Castle

Pretty much the polar opposite to an inner city business hotel, Thornbury is, yes, a legitimate real-life Tudor castle that Henry VIII once stayed in with Anne Boleyn (for 10 days in 1535 when the plague broke out), and one that you can now stay in too. Though we’re not encouraging you to follow in his footsteps, you won’t find anywhere else in Britain with bedchambers where you can cosplay as a king and queen, quite like this; fresco ceilings, roaring fires, dangling chandeliers, four poster beds and ornate carpets that you want stretch out and roll around in. It’s the epitome of historical luxury. You can even go axe throwing, practise your archery and tour the grounds with a historian, before capping off your day with a seasonal tasting menu seated in a palatial chair.

Amenities: Vary from room to room, but if you stay in the castle suite you’ll get complimentary locally-distilled sloe gin.
Location: Bristol is a 12 minute drive with Bath also within reach.
Details: Castle St, Thornbury, Bristol BS35 1HH | Book here

Chaplain’s House at Tyntesfield

Chaplain's House

Image: Mike Henton

If you need a break from modernity, Chaplain’s House provides the perfect escape from the 21st century… to the late 1800s. It’s a three-floor Victorian lodge that’s been restored by the National Trust, with faithfully-kept period-style rooms, a peaceful formal garden overgrown with shrubs and a throwback antique lounge where you can huddle together around a roaring fire (so long as it’s winter). In saying all that the house has been fitted with modern amenities that you might actually need and want: a dishwasher, a fridge, washing machine and a TV. And when you are ready to return to the present, and society, you’re about a seven mile drive from Bristol and not far from the M5 as well.   

Amenities: Cooking and cleaning facilities, parking available for two cars, late Sunday checkout (from 4pm), and free access to the Tyntesfield garden.
Location: You’re pleasantly isolated but at the same time, Bristol is seven miles away and the Somerset Levels aren’t far either.
Details: Tyntesfield, Wraxall, Bristol BS48 1NX | Book here

Towed Town Camping


Towed Town Camping is a novel experience that you need to try at least once in your life, like sleeping in a capsule hotel in Tokyo. The premise is essentially ‘indoor camping’ where the campsite is an industrial warehouse equipped with pool and foosball tables, a bar and a group of five caravans that can each fit in around three people. They have their own names and theme (for example Cleopatra’s look is ‘Eighties’ Miami Beach’), a patch of grass for ‘alfresco’ drinks and a bathroom that’s thankfully not in the camper van itself. Ah, and there are beds too, which is handy… 

Amenities: Private bathrooms, free wifi, and a communal bar area with games.
Location: Bristol Temple Meads Station is less than 1 km walk away.
Details: 152, 179 Kingsland Rd, Bristol BS2 0QW | Book here

The Pig near Bath 

The Pig near Bath

The Pig is no boar… they’ve built an infallible brand as some of the best hotels in the world, let alone England, with their appeal essentially being the ultimate British countryside stay. There’s eight dotted around the country, with this one – the one ‘near Bath’ – held in a ridiculously-quaint restored Grade-II listed family country house, stood on the grounds of a deer park with a 80-strong herd of fallow deer. 

As the name sort of entails, food (and eating lots of it) is one of the main draw cards where almost everything you eat is reared or grown in their enormous kitchen garden and greenhouse (chicken pens and pig coops, foraged herbs and fruit cages, and fresh vegetables, including fungi from their own mushroom house) – anything that’s not onsite comes from within a 25-mile radius. For sleeping, there’s 29 rooms – ranging from snug to luxe to a room in the kitchen garden with a wood burning stove and view over the deer herd – while each has a larder stocked with locally-sourced snacks.

Amenities: Free walled-in kitchen garden tours & discounted spa treatments in the potting sheds (two wooden huts).
Location: Near Bath, as you may have guessed, but Bristol too (10 miles away), as well as other potential day-trips like the Mendip Hills, Aldwick Wine Estate and Chew Valley Lake
Details: Hunstrete House, Hunstrete, Pensford, Bath BS39 4NS | Book here

For when you do decide to venture out of the hotelbe sure to check our Bristol travel guide