Jayne and I enjoyed a short break in Bristol.Â More of that later, but for now I want to praise the hotel we stayed in – The Bristol Hotel.
It is not cheap, in absolute terms, but for a two-night stay we were happy to fork out for a bit of comfort.Â Â Having said that, our stay was not too expensive either because you can get good deals booking weekends at short notice, and some of the facilities were a lot better than I have had at more expensive places.For a start, the location is great.Â The building is right on the waterfront of the floating harbour, just along from the Arnolfini.Â A short walk across Pero’s bridge and you are in the middle of a whole load of waterside bars and restaurants.Â Just around the corner from that is the @Bristol museum and the aquarium.Â In fact everythign is within easy walking distance and parking is no problem because there is a multi-storey NCP next door which we stayed in free all weekend as guests at the hotel.
Once checked in, you can use your door key to go straight from the car park to the rooms.Â If you have a third-floor room just park on level 3 of the car park and go straight through – no need to go back down and then through reception.
When we checked in we were asked if we wanted a smoking or non-smoking room which knocked us back a bit.Â We didn’t know you could still smoke in a hotel room these days.Â The last couple of places I stayed were 100% non-smoking, and that is in tobacco-friendly France.
The room itself had a view over the harbour, the softest bed I have ever slept in and a huge plasma TV.Â It also had a hair dryer, iron and ironing board.Â Not that we were going to be ironing, but its good to have.Â There was the obligatory kettle and tea and coffee ingredients but also a Nespresso machine which I fell in love with.Â I thought it was neat having a Bose stereo in our room when we stayed in New York, but I would swap a Bose stereo for one of these coffee-makers in an instant.
We deliberately left the laptop behind, which turned out to be a shame becasue there was broadband in the room – not wifi (I don’t think so anyway) but proper wired ethernet.Â There was even a CAT-5 cable in one of the drawers.Â Â Next to the TV was a huge range of connectors for the TV – VGA, HDMI and audio/video.Â There was even a USB charging socket.
The other connectors were even more impressive: alongside the normal 3-pin plug socket were a European 2-pin socket and a US-style 2-pin socket.Â Not any use to us of course, but what a great idea for overseas visitors.Â In all the times I have stayed in hotels in the US or Europe I have never seen a UK-style plug socket.Â Such a simple thing would have made my stays much easier!
We didn’t even take advantage of a lot of the facilities – like having a free newspaper or room service.
My only criticism would be the over-designed nature of the bathroom.Â It took a couple of attempts to work out how the sink tap worked for example, although it looked beautiful.Â The shower was brilliant: so good I didn’t even take a bath, which I had been looking forward to.Â Probably the worst aspect of the bathroom was its frosted glass door.Â Call me old-fashioned, but I like a solid and 100% opaque bathroom door.
If we go back to Bristol again, which is a real possibility because we really liked it there, we will probably stay at this hotel again if we can.
And now for some nerdy photos…