Bristol, United Kingdom

Number Thirty Eight

Rates from (inc tax)$140.48

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 (21GBP), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Elegant Georgian townhouse

Setting

Clifton cliffside

Picturesquely set on the edge of the Clifton Downs park in Bristol, Number Thirty Eight hotel's stately Georgian exterior belies its sultry, stylish interiors and cool, contemporary art. A plant-dotted rooftop terrace looks out over the city, the common rooms are perfect for lounging in overstuffed leather chairs beside the fireplace and its breakfasts are renowned as among the best in Bristol.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

One free swimming day pass for the Lido for each guest (usually £20 a day for non members).

Facilities

Photos

Need to know

Rooms

10.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible. Earliest check-in, 3pm (check-in after 8pm can be arranged with notice).

Rates

Double rooms from $140.48 (£108), 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 (GBP130.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include full English breakfast.

At the hotel

Terrace, DVD library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV; Roberts digital radio; a minibar; free tea, coffee and cookies; and REN toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

The West Loft Suite is the star at Number Thirty Eight, with its dark teal walls and a soak-worthy copper-toned bathtub for two (there’s also a powerful shower neatly tucked away in what at first glance appears to be a second wardrobe). The suite stretches the length of the townhouse, with views of Clifton Downs on one side and the multi-coloured city rooftops stretching into the distance on the other. The East Loft Suite has the same spacious layout and a more neutral palette.

Packing tips

Your camera. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer Brunel or Banksy: Bristol’s got plenty to photograph, and Number Thirty Eight’s ideally situated for exploring the city. There’s plenty to shoot in the hotel, too, from the choice antiques in the reception rooms to the modern art dotted around.

Also

As in many historic hotels, sound travels between floors: wearing heavy shoes in your room won’t endear you to your fellow guests.

Children

Over 12s only.

Food and Drink

Photos Number Thirty Eight – Bristol – United Kingdom

At the hotel

None. Breakfast – Continental and full English, both made with the freshest local ingredients – is served in two elegant and airy reception lounges (or in the larger bedrooms).

At the bar

The hotel doesn’t have a bar as such but guests are given an invitation to the very cool speakeasy-style Hausbar a few doors down.

Last orders

Breakfast is served 7.30am–9.30am on weekdays and 8am–10am at weekends; enjoy afternoon tea until 8pm.

Room service

Room service is available 8am–8pm; dine on a traditional cream tea and sip tea and coffee, soft drinks or cocktails.

Location

Photos Number Thirty Eight – Bristol – United Kingdom
Address
Number Thirty Eight
38 Upper Belgrave Road Clifton Bristol
BS8 2XN
Bristol
United Kingdom

Planes

Fly in to Bristol Airport, 10 miles (or about 25 minutes) away, which has direct flights from a host of European destinations (such as Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Vienna and Zurich) and various spots around the UK (www.bristolairport.co.uk).

Trains

The Brunel-designed Bristol Temple Meads, four miles from the hotel, is the nearest railway station. It’s served by First Great Western trains from London, Manchester, Cardiff and Birmingham.

Automobiles

There’s metered parking in front of the hotel, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with a maximum two-hour time limit. The hotel have limited permits, which must be requested in advance of your stay; priority will be given to guests staying for more than one night. Free parking can be found on Stoke Road (a five-minute walk from the hotel) or Ladies Mile (a 10-minute walk from the hotel). To reach Number Thirty Eight, head to Bristol then follow signs for the zoo – the hotel's on the same street.

Worth getting out of bed for

Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed the Clifton Suspension Bridge in 1831 – it’s still the posterboy of Bristolian icons more than 180 years later. Take a 700ft stroll across it over the Avon Gorge and into Somerset. Admire the city’s most gorgeous Georgian terrace, Royal York Crescent, at the end of Clifton Village; the village itself is a historic hillside neighbourhood full of upscale shopping and amazing Avon Gorge views. Explore the exhibitions, take in an independent film screening or enjoy a live dance or music performance at the Arnofolini, on Bristol’s waterfront. The centre also has one of the country’s best art bookshops (www.arnolfini.org.uk; +44 (0)1179 172300). The Royal West of England Academy on Queen’s Road (www.rwa.org.uk; +44 (0)1179 735129) is full of art and design treasures, ranging from works by YBA stars like Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst to drawing workshops and lectures on Banksy. Tour your way around Bristol by strolling from Banksy to Banksy; one of the most famous – and easy to find – works by the anonymous artist is the Banksy on Frogmore Street in the centre of town (www.visitbristol.co.uk).

Local restaurants

Tuck in to fresh seafood at chef Mitch Tonks’ restaurant RockFish, on Whiteladies Road. The service is top class, the ingredients fresh and the clientele smart; it’s a short walk from Number Thirty Eight (www.thespinylobster.co.uk; +44 (0)1179 737384). 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 (www.cowshedrestaurants.com; +44 (0)1179 933550). Have you ever enjoyed a delicious dinner while watching swimmers doing lengths in the underwater-lit pool below? Now’s your chance: Lido Restaurant, Spa & Pool, tucked away between attractive Georgian terraces, serves up some of the best dishes in Bristol, from breakfast to dinner – with afternoon tea and tapas in between (www.lidobristol.com; +44 (0)1179 339533). Flinty Red on Cotham Hill has both a menu that changes daily and a lengthy wine list. It’s an informal spot for dinner or drinks (www.flintyred.co.uk; +44 (0)1179 238755). The Clifton Sausage on Portland Street serves up the best of British cuisine (www.cliftonsausage.co.uk; +44 (0)1179 731192).

Local bars

Knock on the unmarked door of Hausbar on Upper Belgrave Road to gain access to this sophisticated drinking den. Berliner Aurelius Braunbarth has created an intimate, laid-back lounge stocked with premium spirits and knowledgeable mixologists (www.hausbar.co.uk; +44 (0)1179 466081). Enjoy a local ale or glass of wine at the Kings Arms on Whiteladies Road, one of Bristol’s better pubs (www.kingsarmsbristol.com; +44 (0)1179 735922).

Reviews

Photos Number Thirty Eight – Bristol – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

I’m pretty sure Number Thirty Eight is run by ghosts. We certainly barely saw a living soul there. From the moment we arrived, lurching through a fitful snowstorm to find the place bolted, barricaded and guarded by a lone fellow guest puffing on a cigarette, to the moment our time was up, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

Sure, somebody emerged from a dark panelled door on the ground floor to pass us a key, and someone else materialised two days later to settle the minibar, but on the whole it was a house of whispers, faint creaks, and pervasive silence. This atmosphere of isolation in the centre of a big city was partly down to the time of year (halfway through January) and partly the intentional design of the hotel, which eschews an official reception, bar and other noisy communal trappings in favour of peace and privacy and a quite lounge/breakfast-room hybrid where the conversational volume is turned to murmur. It was like The Shining without the spooky twins or personality disorders.

Which was alright by Mrs Smith and me. As we explored the West Loft Suite, collapsing onto the sprawling sleigh bed and running a scalding bath in the copper-toned tub for two, we opened the bottle of room service red and toasted anonymity. Our quarters spanned one half of the top of the house, boasting huge sash windows with full length blinds that rose to reveal the snow-covered grassy expanse of the Downs on one side and Clifton’s hodge-podge multi-coloured houses on the other. Further deep blue panels enclosed a toilet and a separate shower with requisite dinner plate head, stuffed with Ren toiletries. Bedside tables were packing cases and a huge vintage chest sat at the foot of the bed. A Union Jack digital radio had been tuned to Jazz FM by a spectre prior to our arrival.

We were here with several aims: to splice that most monochrome of months in two, to escape the tedious talk of post-Christmas dryathalons surrounding us on social media, and to revisit the city I grew up in over a decade ago. I promised I’d go easy on the nostalgia. That was easier said than done. As with any town in which you spend your formative years, the streets were stamped with reminiscences and full of my own personal ghosts from the depths of my memory. Even a short walk to the alma mater, an imposing 16th-century pile that ‘looks like Hogwarts’ according to Mrs Smith, brought back visions of furtive first cigarettes, fumbled encounters in bushes, scrapes with the law and all those other teenage hoops laid before an impressionable teen.

Number Thirty Eight is perfectly positioned for exploring the best of Bristol in a morning. Twenty casual minutes on foot took us past Bristol Zoo (impressive as they go, but covered in exhaustible depth in my youth) to Brunel’s spectacular Clifton Suspension Bridge, built a century and a half ago and long-favoured as a spot to bid a permanent farewell to the world. A swift about turn led us away from sudden death to Clifton Village, home to the city’s most exclusive residences and best boutiques, for coffees and all manner of decadent delicacies at the Mall Deli.

As the tome on local history in our room pointed out with a typically local mix of respect and cynicism, Bristol is the victim of thousands of years of, shall we say, creative town planning, bombing raids and bureaucratic buggering about, and as a result has grown higgledy-piggledy on a hilly, unsuitable patch of Britain into a charming mess of alleyways, dead ends and incongruous architectural clashes. While nearby Bath is a compact, convenient, tourist-friendly postcard of a town, Bristol is a living, breathing fallible mess of a place and all the more charming for it.

The descent from Blackboy Hill to Whiteladies Road (named after pubs, not long-forgotten slave trading or racial profiling, apparently) and on to Park Street is a must. Britain’s flatlining high streets are nowhere to be seen here although the likes of HMV and Woolworths never really muscled in on it in the first place. Instead family businesses thrive after decades and new contenders – from the massively popular Cowshed steakhouse and butcher’s shop to the forthcoming River Cottage – are constantly upgrading Bristol’s status as a city worth your attention. Park Street, meanwhile, is a must for vintage threads and quirky accessories and of course Banksy’s famous Naked Man stencil.

That evening, after two obscenely large steaks and a couple of pints of local Bounders cider at the nearby Townhouse restaurant we retired to our room at the top of the house at top of the hill. Mrs Smith thought we might hear some of the infamous local, ahem ‘doggers’ on the Downs, but middle-aged grunts were thankfully absent from the bushes and our sleigh bed whisked us off into a blissful slumber.

The following morning, woken by the sun peering over the city’s ramshackle skyline and feasting on cake-like homemade bread and butter and a spectacular full English spirited to our table, it struck me that Bristol’s grown up as much as me over the last 10 years. Over two wet January days the city pulsed with life as locals, shoppers, tourists, musicians, artists, rowers and sailors flowed through its roads and river. Change has certainly marched through – the sparkly Cabot Circus shopping centre has supplanted the shabby Galleries mall where we used to bunk off school and try to (unsuccessfully) charm local girls – but is hasn’t trampled over the city’s soul. It’s a place to be proud of, and Number Thirty Eight is the perfect address from which to explore.

 

 

 

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 Number Thirty Eight’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The room we stayed in (number 3) had excellent views across the Downs, so we were lucky enough to be able to watch the Tour of Britain whizz past from the comfort of our room. Views from the bathroom looked out over beautiful Bristol. We couldn't wait to jump into the huge bath overlooking the city. Breakfast was delicious and the room was comfortable, spacious and luxurious. We enjoyed a couple of visits to a little pub tucked away off Whiteladies Road - the Port of Call. Tiny but very friendly and a nicer experience than some of the other pubs and bars on Whiteladies. It's always worth climbing the Cabot Tower steps off Park Street to see the whole of Bristol too.

Don’t expect

To want to go home.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Sep 2016

We loved

Breakfast is fantastic. Decor and relaxed atmosphere. Go to the thali cafe in Clifton and the lido

Don’t expect

A full on hotel

Rating

Stayed on 2 Sep 2016

We loved

Everything! Couldn't have asked for a nicer stay. The room was beautiful, the staff (although rarely seen) were fantastic, the breakfast was great. Can't wait to stay here again soon! We went to the River Cottage for dinner, a short walk away which was brilliant.

Don’t expect

Lots of other guests/ noise- most peaceful place!

Rating

Stayed on 25 Aug 2016

We loved

Good size room bathroom. Good local restaurants. Clifton Village worth browsing for an hour or so.

Don’t expect

Shower caps, Tissues, Moisturiser

Rating

Stayed on 2 Aug 2016

We loved

Faultless every time we have been. Spotlessly clean, lovely staff, great location for the nicest part of Bristol. Good breakfasts.

Don’t expect

A Spa or Restaurent

Rating

Stayed on 20 Jul 2016

We loved

Location

Don’t expect

Easy parking or lots of space in the room

Rating

Stayed on 9 Apr 2016

We loved

The views out over Clifton from the back rooms.

Don’t expect

Storage – no wardrobes in some rooms.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Mar 2016

We loved

Beautiful room and delicious breakfast. 10/10

Don’t expect

No restaurant

Rating

Stayed on 3 Mar 2016

We loved

The service and the breakfast!

Don’t expect

Big rooms.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Jan 2016

We loved

Great service, lovely breakfast, stylish west loft suite.

Don’t expect

A restaurant in the building, but they do serve breakfast and tea.

Rating

Stayed on 31 Dec 2015

We loved

The port, the location, the views – almost everything!

Don’t expect

I had an issue with the pillows, and it wasn't cheap.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Dec 2015

We loved

The breakfast the helpful friendliness of the staff!

Don’t expect

We found the prices of the in-room bar to be steep, although you do get a complimentary bottle of water each night.

Rating

Stayed on 7 Dec 2015

We loved

Everything. Great rooms and views. Extremely comfortable. The best breakfast! The hotel's connections in Bristol offered unexpected extras.

Don’t expect

Noise or clutter!

Rating

Stayed on 24 Oct 2015

We loved

The room was just beautiful, we had breakfast in our room and it was such a wonderful novelty experience.

Don’t expect

Car parking space. It is street parking.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Oct 2015

We loved

Ease of check in and out. We stayed in this hotel because it was round the corner from Bannatynes Spa that we were also booked into. A lovely massage can be had here.

Don’t expect

Noise.

Rating

Stayed on 25 Sep 2015

We loved

The views, room and bath-all amazing!!! I had complementary breakfast in my bedroom both mornings.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Sep 2015

We loved

The staff, comfy beds and amazing breakfasts!

Don’t expect

A young crowd - we loved the hotel but think it generally appeals to an older crowd.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Sep 2015

We loved

The design of the hotel-room was lovely, large and welcoming. The breakfast was delicious and the staff were very helpful.

Don’t expect

To be able to walk into Bristol town centre quickly, however Clifton is walkable and was very nice!

Rating

Stayed on 18 Aug 2015

We loved

Breakfast, and the service right through our stay was wonderful.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Aug 2015

We loved

The stylish decor and attentive staff - the size of the room was huge. It was a shame it was raining because the outside terrace and its amazing view could not be appreciated.

Don’t expect

Off road parking and total peace and quiet, it is a city hotel after all.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Aug 2015

We loved

One of the most comfortable beds we have ever slept in!

Don’t expect

We stayed on a Sunday night and struggled to find a restaurant to dine at from the hotel recommendations as most were closed but this isn't the fault of the hotel.

Rating

Stayed on 26 Jul 2015

We loved

the bath by the window - perfect for gazing out over Bristol whilst having a luxurious soak

Don’t expect

room service or any food other than at breakfast time - but it's well advertised and there are lots of good places nearby

Rating

Stayed on 25 Jul 2015

We loved

We loved the stylish decor throughout. Soaking in the copper bath in the West Loft suite was a fabulous treat, followed by the best night's sleep, in the most comfortable bed away from home.

Don’t expect

To want to leave

Rating

Stayed on 23 Jun 2015

We loved

The West Loft Suite is the best room I have ever stayed in, incredible. The Hotel Quality is superb and the staff amazing.

Don’t expect

Lots of amenities at the Hotel, it is purely a place to stay and have breakfast, but the rooms are stunning and the breakfast is amazing too.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Jun 2015

We loved

The customer service on arrival was superb. Lovely room and very tasty breakfast with top ingredients. It was faultless.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Nov 2014

We loved

A town house built into the hillside between Bristol Downs and Clifton, this is a chic little boutique hotel. Built over five floors there are terraces at both the top floor and the second basement. Our room had a very well stocked minibar, and there is a large lounge to have a nightcap. Breakfast was included in the cost, but I didn't have it so they removed it from the bill. I've never had that happen before!

Don’t expect

Apparently the breakfast service was a bit slow.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Nov 2014

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