Bristol, United Kingdom

Number Thirty Eight

Price per night from$159.68

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 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP120.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Elegant Georgian townhouse

Setting

Clifton cliffside

An elegant Georgian townhouse, Number Thirty Eight hotel occupies an enviable spot on the edge of the Clifton Downs park. Inside, attention to detail – from the stylish interiors and intriguing art to some of Bristol’s best breakfasts – makes this former merchant’s home feel like your own personal hideaway in the city. Lounge on the cosy terrace overlooking the city rooftops or by the fireplace in the traditional but slightly quirky reception rooms; the attentive staff will furnish you with a cocktail in either spot.

Smith Extra

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A cocktail each for two

Facilities

Photos Number Thirty Eight facilities

Need to know

Rooms

10.

Check–Out

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

Prices

Double rooms from £126.00, including tax at 5 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include cold breakfast dishes and eggs on toast; there's also a menu of cooked dishes starting at £5.

Hotel closed

11 September to 15 December 2017.

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 food and drink

Top Table

In summer, sip cocktails on the outdoor terrace, overlooking the rooftops of Clifton. When it’s colder, take afternoon tea in one of the two reception rooms.

Dress Code

Bristol’s a laid-back city, even in elegantly renovated merchant’s townhouses. Wear your best jeans and you’ll fit right in.

Hotel restaurant

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).

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

Bristol’s a very walkable city, and Number Thirty Eight’s location on Clifton Downs makes it a great base for exploring on foot. The town centre, waterfront, Clifton Village and famed Clifton Suspension Bridge are all within strolling distance.

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 three-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. The Royal West of England Academy on Queen’s Road 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.

Local restaurants

Tuck in to fresh seafood at chef Mitch Tonks’ restaurant The Spiny Lobster, on Whiteladies Road. The service is top class, the ingredients fresh and the clientele smart; it’s a short walk from Number Thirty Eight. 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. 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. The Clifton Sausage on Portland Street serves up the best of British cuisine. Casamia is somewhat enigmatic – it's menu consists of a list of what's currently in season – but its' highly praised food is worth the leap of faith. Pasta Loco does wonderful iterations of everyone's favourite carb; it's petite and popular, so book ahead. And for tasty tapas plates on a boat before hitting the lively waterside bars, board Under the Stars

Local bars

Enjoy a local ale or glass of wine at the Kings Arms on Whiteladies Road, one of Bristol’s better pubs.

Reviews

Photos Number Thirty Eight reviews
Tim Chester

Anonymous review

By Tim Chester, Writer and web editor

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.

 

 

 

Price per night from $159.68

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