Following successful openings in Penzance and Oxfordshire, Justin and Charlotte Salisbury have applied their considerably talented brush to Bristol, with envy-inducing results. As with their other outposts, Artist Residence Bristol, a former Georgian townhouse and boot factory in Stokes Croft, puts community at its heart. Strong relationships with local suppliers shine through in rooms with industrial features, lime-washed walls, vintage décor and reams of exposed brickwork. The curated collection spans pieces by Rose Vickers, David Buonaguidi, a local eight-year-old and members of staff (we’re all artists at heart, right?). So, here be the place for community, culture, and bags of character, to boot.
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A bottle of Bramley lavender and geranium hand wash
23 individually designed rooms, including two suites.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Check-in is from 3pm, but you’ll be well looked after in the library, should you arrive earlier.
Double rooms from £105.00, including tax at 20 per cent.
A homely breakfast is available to purchase in the library for £16.50 per person – including Extract coffee and teas, omelettes cooked to order, Hobbs House breads and pastries (we loved the cinnamon swirl), fresh fruit, yogurts, and homemade granola.
Book a stay in June to shake your tailfeather at the St Paul’s Carnival, which starts in Portland Square. Expect extravagant floats, authentic jerk chicken and a real sense of community – all on your doorstep.
At the hotel
Free WiFi, library, all-day café-bar (from early 2022). In rooms: Nespresso machine, Grind coffee pods, Clipper teas, TV, Roberts radio, mini fridge, Bramley bath products, hairdryer, This Works sleep spray. Minibars are stocked with independents such as Tony’s Chocolonely, Propercorn, Avery’s wine and Bristol’s own 6 O’clock artisan gin.
Our favourite rooms
Each room is individually designed and artfully peppered with limited edition prints and upcycled vintage finds, but we have a soft spot for the Lookout and its four-poster bed. This top-floor room is set over two levels, with its own private terrace – accessed by a spiral cast-iron staircase – and views over the rooftops of historic Portland Square. The Loft rooms are lovely, too. We fell for their exposed brick walls, stand-alone bath tubs and unique bathroom design: neutral subway tiles meet Azulejo-style squares for an eclectic twist.
Leave bulky brollies behind – you’ll find a bespoke Howe umbrella, designed in collaboration with the Artist Residence, in your room. Its solid maple handle and sturdy material will defend you against even the most dramatic Bristolian downpour.
Pups are welcome in certain room types (Boot Room, Factory, Loft, and both suites) for £15 a pooch per night. Each dog is pampered with a comfy bed, food and water bowls, and Lily’s Kitchen organic dog treats. See more pet-friendly hotels in Bristol.
The hotel has a strict no single-use-plastics policy, including doing away with non-eco friendly miniatures in rooms. Instead, you’ll find lovely large bottles of Bramley products lining the subway tiles of your bathroom – hand-made with all-natural ingredients by a West Country apothecarist. The ingredients are 100 per cent biodegradable and cruelty free, and the packaging is completely recyclable. Products from local Bristol suppliers can be found throughout, too, such as Hobbs House pastries, Wookey Hole cheddar, Lost & Grounded beers and bottles from Avery’s wine merchants.
The royal-blue library sofa across from the crackling fireplace is a prime spot for a prolonged breakfast; a round table under David Buonaguidi’s ‘Party like it’s 1999’ poster seems fitting for a negroni night-cap.
Well-worn, well-loved, well-lived in pieces that can be dressed up or down with (ideally self-made) accessories.
The all-day café-bar continues the residence's escapist aesthetic with lime green booths, exposed brickwork, low beams and eclectic artwork. The snug area – set aside for evening meals – is tastefully tucked around the corner from the buzzy bar. You can expect casual but quality fare, local musicians and a small sun-trap patio for sunnier days. Brunch dishes include sweetcorn fritters, banana bread french toast and smokey beans on sourdough.
Drinks can be drunk in the airy and art-filled Library – choose from organic, locally-sourced wines, Lost & Grounded pale ales, or the short but well-selected cocktail menu. We loved the rosemary paloma: an aromatic mix of tequila, grapefruit, rosemary, agave, lime and soda – quite the pre-dinner tipple.
Breakfast is served until a leisurely 11am; drinks are served until 11pm.
The hotel looks out to leafy Portland Square in St. Paul’s, a quiet corner of artistic Stokes Croft.
Bristol airport is a 25-minute drive away. Our in-house travel team will be happy to arrange a taxi to the hotel, or a rental for you to pick up at the airport.
Trains arrive into Bristol Temple Meads station from London, Reading and Bath – the journey from London Paddington takes just over an hour and a half. Take a 10-minute taxi ride to the hotel, or opt for a 20-minute stroll along waterways and tree-lined streets.
There are plenty of spaces to park up in Portland Square – download the RingGo app to pay – or in the St James Barton NCP lot, a five-minute walk away.
Worth getting out of bed for
Swing out of bed to Circomediain Portland Square – Bristol’s contemporary circus school – where you can try out trapeze and aerial hoop. Stretch out after with a stroll to creative Stokes Croft – it’s filled to bursting with cafés – and has the longest stretch of independent stores in Europe. Wander further to Monpellier’s aesthetic arches, and browse the vintage shops, organic food stores and trendy artwork-lined streets (with a freshly-ground coffee in hand, of course). Cross over the river to Easton, and head to BAM Store + Space, a not-for-profit shop selling eclectic wares, original artwork, books and records to fund community-centered events. Clifton is postcard-perfect with its honey-hued Georgian buildings and that bridge (if you’ve not heard of it before, you will do). The restored Victorian Lido here is worth a dip, and you can dry off by enjoying a meal of monkfish or wood-roasted scallops in the Lido restaurant. New Harbourside is a 25-minute walk from the hotel and has plenty of exhibitions, including M Shed, which takes you on a journey through Bristol’s diverse history. Spike Island’s colossal white walls preside over Bristol’s historic docks, and are home to a community of over 70 artists. It’s a hub of activity, with free exhibitions, talks from artists and film screenings. Post exhibit-perusing, head to Whapping Wharffor eateries housed in water-side shipping containers.
Just five minutes from the hotel you’ll find Poko, a rustic tapas bar dishing up inventive plates of locally sourced ingredients. Check the giant chalkboard for ever-changing seasonal specials, and wash down your ethically prepared meal with a glass of organic wine. Expect dishes such as spring onion and fava bean hummus; kid goat leg; and charred fennel and squash with orzo pasta. Just over the road is Bokman – a Korean hole-in-the-wall on Nine Tree Hill. Its fuss-free interior and friendly chefs only hint at what is an outstanding menu. You can often judge a Korean restaurant by its pickles, and the rose-pickled radishes here are on another level. Watch as melt-in-the-mouth ribs, platters of Korean tapas, XXL dumplings and kimchi fried rice fire out of the open kitchen, still steaming. Jafra is a home-cooking style Palestinian kitchen based in the Old Market. Try the lamb, bil hur or mushroom-topped mana’eesh flatbreads in-house, or grab a Hishik Bishik box to feast on by the river or back at the hotel. We love the slow-fermented sourdough pizzas at Pizzarova in Park Street: their handmade bases are topped with produce sourced only from the South West. Toppings include double chorizo and hot honey; goats cheese, caramelised onion and sundried tomato; or crispy harissa tempeh, roasted red pepper, and vegan cheese. Other ethically sourced eats can be found at Garden of Easton, a cosy restaurant rich in colours, plants, lanterns and natural light, serving up plant-based dishes such as crunchy cauliflower bites, tahini-topped butternut squash and crispy patatas bravas (you’ll want two plates, trust us).
Bakers & Co is a laidback spot with an emphasis on sourdough and Extract coffee (which pairs perfectly with an oven-fresh almond croissant). Walk-ins are welcome at The Crafty Egg for mimosas, syrup-drenched pancakes and loaded buttery toast. FED 303’s counters are stacked high with delights: seasonal salads, hearty soups, huge sandwiches and crumbling cakes. Pair with a barista-made Yallah coffee for a strong start to the morning.
Bristol’s bar scene can take you from classy cocktail bar to underground drum n’ bass club within minutes. Canteen is five minutes from the hotel, its urban terrace a popular place to eat, drink and dance late into the night. For a speakeasy-style spot, head under the arches to Filthy XIII – named after the WWII paratroopers and decked out with drapes at the door and moody low lighting. Try the zero degree G&T, the clover club and the peach americano. Enter through the inconspicuous phone booth of Her Majesty’s Secret Service for themed cocktails or pull up a stool in Crying Wolf’s dark and moody cocktail bar in Cotham Hill. The cocktails are all fashioned using local produce; syrups and cordials are homemade, and shrubs and herbs are grown on-site. A convenient end-spot is Cosies, a Bristol institution and basement bar in the same square as the Artist Residence.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this industrial-style hotel in Stokes Croft and unpacked their original artwork and artisan ground coffee, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Artist Residence Bristol…
Artists and activists alike are drawn to Stoke Croft’s streets, filled to bursting with artwork by Inkie and Banksy. The sense of community is evident here; it certainly marches to its own alternative beat (but there’s always an artisan coffee or brunch café nearby, too). People go about their day-to-day hustle without the bustle, flapping is kept to a minimum – maybe, in part, because of Bristol’s connection to water – you’re never far from the river or a pontoon, each a stage for mind-clearing paddleboard sessions. And yes, the city’s undulating hills are scattered with Georgian townhouses, honey-hued homes and university halls, but you can always see a backdrop of British green in the distance, too.