Bristol, United Kingdom

Bristol Harbour Hotel

Rates from (ex tax)$107.70

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP103.50), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

On the money

Setting

Characterful Corn Street

Bristol Harbour Hotel is a sound investment: the hotel is set in what was once the Lloyds and Midland bank HQ, in the characterful city centre. Banker-seducing lures here include some of the comfiest beds we’ve ever woken up in, a nifty spa in the vaults, an outpost of award-winning restaurant the Jetty (housed in the grand old former banking hall, natch), and cocktails that are worth every shiny cent. As if that wasn’t enough to have you reaching for your cheque book, the hotel also does delicious afternoon teas (clotted-cream a-go-go).

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A scented candle (redolent of sea air and fresh cotton, apparently), courtesy of Harbour Hotels

Facilities

Photos Bristol Harbour Hotel facilities

Need to know

Rooms

42, including five suites.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $107.57 (£86), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP103.50), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually exclude breakfast (£16.95 a person, daily, for a full English fry-up, plus Continental options).

Also

The man to thank for the Bristol Harbour Hotel’s handsome building is renowned 19th-century architect (and Bristolian) William Bruce Gingell, who was inspired by Sansovino’s 16th-century Venetian library.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV; desk; on-the-house sherry or gin in glass decanters; Nespresso coffee machines; minibar; bath products by the White Company.

Our favourite rooms

Reap the benefits of the building’s bountiful curves by opting for one of the Corner Suites, which have enough space for a mini-army of bankers, plus a freestanding bathtub, a super-king-size bed and a shower that’s as refreshingly drenching as a tropical rainstorm.

Poolside

You’ve probably never swum in a bank before, but now’s your chance: the spa (opening March 2017) has a lap pool and a hydrotherapy pool (plus a host of other treats).

Spa

From March 2017, you can be rubbed, scrubbed, primped and preened in the Bristol Harbour Spa, set in the basement vaults (admire the original cash drop and safe door). The spa has a steam room, sauna, seven treatment rooms and a range of rituals featuring fragrant Espa unguents.

Packing tips

Itty-bitty swimwear for the soon-to-be-opened spa (yes, you too, Mr Smith).

Also

For a £2.50 tray-charge, have breakfast brought to you in bed. (No crumbs on the pillows, mind.)

Children

Little Smiths aged between three and 16 are welcome, but the hotel doesn’t come with family frills. The restaurant has a children’s menu and on-loan highchairs; staff will heat up milk. Extra beds (£20 a night) and cots (£15) can be added to rooms.

Food and Drink

Photos Bristol Harbour Hotel food and drink

Top Table

Stake out one of the big banquettes for privacy and people-watching.

Dress Code

Best of British, to match the menu. Brogues and brocade are a good start.

Hotel restaurant

Set in the former banking hall, the Jetty has civic grandeur by the vault-load: lofty ceilings, tall windows, hits of cobalt, glossy parquet floors, a marble-topped bar and bespoke banquette seating, for example. The menu is as assured as the styling, thanks to chef Alex Aitken, who also oversees crowd-pleasing Jetty outposts in Devon, Cornwall, Chichester and beyond. As is natural, given Bristol’s watery position, there’s plenty to please fish- and seafood-lovers: highlights include a trio of octopus – featuring carpaccio, grilled and slow-cooked occy – and stone bass served with a herb-crusted mini shellfish pie. Canter through courses by opting for the Catch Mini-Gastro set menu, which will woo you via five different dishes. Attention, cake-fiends: the Jetty’s afternoon teas are popular for a reason…

Hotel bar

Set to open in early 2017, the Gold Bar is bound to be a smart spot for accomplished cocktails (there will be 12 tipples to choose from, each with a name that riffs respectfully on the building’s banking heritage).

Last orders

Dinner is served until 10.30pm at the Jetty. At the Gold Bar, thirsts are slaked until 1am, Thursday–Saturday; 11pm, Sunday–Wednesday.

Room service

A slimmed-down version of Jetty’s menu can be ordered around the clock.

Location

Photos Bristol Harbour Hotel location
Address
Bristol Harbour Hotel
55 Corn St, Bristol
BS1 1HT
Bristol
United Kingdom

Planes

Bristol Airport is nine miles away, offering direct flights from a bunch of European destinations (including Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Vienna and Zurich) and various spots around the UK (www.bristolairport.co.uk). The hotel doesn’t offer transfers, but you can easily catch a taxi from the airport.

Trains

Bristol Temple Meads station is a 10-minute drive from Bristol Harbour Hotel. Londoners can hop to Bristol on a direct train from Paddington within two hours; there are also speedy connections to Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham and other UK hubs (www.gwr.com).

Automobiles

If you’re coming by car, set your Sat Nav for ‘BS1 1HT’ and be prepared to pay for public parking. There are two car parks close by; Nelson Street is usually £21 for 24 hours, but the hotel can arrange 25 per cent off.

Worth getting out of bed for

Stroll around Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, admiring the collections – which include some Banksy’s, natch. It would be rude not to acknowledge Bristol’s iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge: learn about its history on a free guided tour. If the idea of a giant shopping emporium with hundreds of brands makes your pulse quicken, flex your plastic at Cabot Circus, which also houses restaurants, bars and a cinema. Prefer the idea of rummaging for vintage treasure in independent boutiques? Pick up old-new threads from Loot, near Bristol Coach station, which has an impressive stash of menswear, womenswear, retro Nikes, accessories and more; add to your record collection at Rise Music on Queen’s Road or add to your library at Dreadnought (+44 (0)117 329 3176) on St George's Road. If you’re here in August, remember to look up at the skies: the city hosts Europe’s largest meeting of hot-air-balloon enthusiasts. Go for a stroll around peaceful Queen Square, admiring the elegant Regency architecture and immaculate lawns.

Local restaurants

The Ox on Corn Street serves some of Bristol’s best steak; its fragrant Sunday roasts, imaginative sides and playful sweet treats are nothing to sneer at, either. Expect comfort food, done to best-of-British perfection. Steak sauces include charred chilli romesco and green peppercorn; you can also drench your cut in garlic, chorizo or anchovy butter. Admire active types notching up laps while you sit back and relax at Lido Restaurant, Spa & Pool, sandwiched prettily between gracious Georgian terraces (+44 (0)1179 339533). In addition to the unusual mealtime views, Lido serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with afternoon tea and tapas in between. Not to be confused with the spa brand of the same name, Cowshed is a carnivore’s dream: the on-site butcher prepares juicy steaks and more at this laid-back restaurant on Whiteladies Road; the knowledgeable staff are more than happy to chat with fellow meat lovers (+44 (0)1179 933550).

Local bars

Milk thistle is reputed to be good for your liver; Milk Thistle on Colston Avenue might not be. This stylish little cocktail bar – sister to prohibition-style Hyde & Co – has walls as dark as squid ink and an impressive selection of house libations, alongside the classics. Try the Pioneer – Bruichladdich whisky, lemon juice, cocoa liqueur, fennel cordial and egg white – or one of the seasonal concoctions. Get your swank on at Red Light, a swish Union Street speakeasy with a payphone entrance (you’ll see), table service and dim-to-the-point-of-disrobing lighting.

Reviews

Photos Bristol Harbour Hotel reviews

Anonymous review

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 well-heeled hotel in the scenic southwest and unpacked their vintage vinyl and West Country cider, a full account of their British city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Bristol Harbour Hotel in Bristol…

Unless your name is Daddy Warbucks, going to the bank isn’t usually a particularly pleasurable experience. It is if you visit Bristol Harbour Hotel, which lords it over the former Lloyds and Midlands bank HQ. Despite the building’s modern makeover, grand civic features remain – lofty ceilings, milk-white marble and glossy-toffee wood – but instead of bankers, you’ll find barmen; instead of cashiers, concierge. Honouring its well-heeled past, the hotel is decorated with bolts of cobalt and gem-bright splashes of ruby and gold; you can even gawp at the original cash drop and safe in the basement spa (set in the vaults) and dine in grandeur in the former banking hall, whose architecture was inspired by a Venetian maestro. Your bank manager will approve.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Bristol Harbour Hotel’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The new Spa in the hotel was lovely - new and quirky being in the vaults of an old bank! All very Zen! Visit the SS Great Britain down at the harbour area. Also if you love foodie places, Adelina's Yard a must - tasting menu with wine absolutely fabulous - plenty of good eating places in Bristol.

Don’t expect

Peace and quiet. Central location means the outside noise of thumping music and people going home early in the morning - means disturbed sleep! Better double glazing needed!

Rating

Stayed on 14 Mar 2017

We loved

Very comfortable, large beds. Nice bathrooms.

Don’t expect

A lobby in which to relax or meet friends.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Mar 2017

We loved

The attention to detail, comfortable beds, sherry in decanter and the staff were very helpful in meeting our requirements. Jetty Restaurant is wonderful, not fast service but high quality food.

Don’t expect

Car parking – it's a five minute walk up a hill.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Feb 2017

We loved

The décor of the rooms - unique and quirky. The huuuuge bed! We ate at Paco Tapas - incredible Spanish cuisine.

Don’t expect

Quiet weekend nights - Bristol is a party city and the nights are loud.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Feb 2017

We loved

The extremely large, comfy bed and the bath in the room!!!! We loved being upgraded to a junior suite with bath on our arrival at the hotel. It made our stay extra special. Loved the complimentary gin and sherry and the free gift of a beautiful candle! The restaurant was lovely and the food delicious. We had a fabulous weekend.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Jan 2017