Our week in the Cotswolds felt like it was over in the flash of an eye. Luckily for me, there was a delightful little holiday extension for 24 hours as part of the Mercure Hotels #staydifferent campaign. Whilst Pete drove back to London with Maddie and all our belongings, I hopped on the train at Cheltenham Spa and zoomed down to Bristol for a night at the Grade-II listed Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel. Lucky me!
A guest of this striking Victorian grand-dame, it was a much needed 24 hours of selfish indulgence after our fairly rainy week away. The hotel itself is so stunning, with the elegant facade nestled away in the Old Town but just a short walk from the hustle and bustle. It felt both peaceful and in the midst of all the action at the same time.
Internally, the hotel has a large and airy reception/lounge area with Keepers bar and restaurant off to the right. If like me you’re a little nuts about interiors, you’re immediately struck by the decor of the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel. The refurbishment has been completed in conjunction with Ian Haigh’s Central Design Studio and a collaboration with street art festival, Upfest. Over 500 pieces of artwork by local artists now adorn the walls and rooms of the hotel and the end result is so eye-catching. In particular, the reception installation by Gemma Compton and the carefully hand-painted wall decor by Cai Burton truly need to be appreciated.
Let me show you the room! Such a treat with soft green-grey walls, accessories which nodded to industrial trends and more local artwork. This print of King Kong targeting Clifton Suspension Bridge is my favourite. Essentially the room had everything you need from a stylish city hotel stay. And an extra special mention to the plugs, which I waffled on about endlessly on my Instagram stories at the time. TWO PLUGS AND TWO USB SOCKETS NEXT TO EACH SIDE OF THE BED. Now I appreciate that not every hotel is inhabited by a blogger, but most people no matter what generation these days are very tech savvy. There is NOTHING more annoying than getting to a hotel room to find there aren’t enough plugs or they’re miles away from the bed. Big thumbs up Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, you made my day.
My bed was super comfy (although it could have been a lack of bed partner that made it so ;)) with the right combination of sturdy pillows, cosy duvet and medium mattress. So many hotels make the mistake of thinking we’re all the Princess and the Pea, putting endless mattress toppers and duvets on top of the mattress, making them too soft. It’s bad for sleeping and bad for posture. Again, thumbs up Mercure. Your bed was so comfy that the next morning I didn’t make it down for breakfast and ordered room service instead #winning.
The bathroom was decadently huge for a city centre hotel, with natural light and a full-sized bath with shower over. Of course in a hotel room by myself it was the right thing to do to have a bath but a minor disappointment that the toiletries were Mercure-branded, rather than a quality identifiable brand. As important as the plugs are, so too are little things like toiletries. It’s only a minor criticism but this is a review after all.
Our evening entertainment was dinner at the stylish Keepers bar and restaurant, so named because they have beehives on the hotel roof, and the bee theme was prevalent throughout the decor, a neat little touch. I hoped the other guests didn’t mind our small group of bloggers but we were comfortably accommodated. The menu is fairly extensive and a few of our party took advantage of it being Steak Night, but they have a way to go on service. The staff were friendly but service was fairly haphazard, both when we were being served pre-dinner cocktails (which were amazing by the way!) and during the meal. Items were forgotten, drinks brought over one at a time. It certainly wouldn’t stop me eating there again by any means but in all honesty, the restaurant doesn’t match up to the rest of the hotel standard-wise.
On Saturday morning before our main Bristol city tour, we were shown around the rest of the hotel space including the beautiful ballroom with its stunning chandeliers and the Wessex suite, ideal for business or private functions. But my favourite had to be the Cellar Bar which I really hope is brought back to life for public use. Currently only available for private hire, it used to be open as a main bar in the hotel and for me it just had so much more history and personality. Sure, the decor is a little old-fashioned but just being down there you could sense the amazing history, fun and conversations that must have happened. And I LOVED the main hotel toilets, interior lovers dream!
There is also a 600-year old well located in the bar, covered with reinforced glass so you can actually walk over it. It’s lit up so you can see all the way down to the water at the bottom and dare I say it, a shiver went up my spine as much as I loved the space. Perhaps not to spend a night there by myself but I’m delighted it still exists. We lose heritage all the time as renovations take place and I think the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel could do so much with this space.
All in all it was a wonderful stay and over far too quickly. I will absolutely be returning to the hotel and would give it a huge recommendation for anyone looking for somewhere to stay in Bristol. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing what we got up to on our tour with local culture blog, Lifestyle District!
Thank you to Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel for inviting me to stay at the hotel, including dinner, breakfast and afternoon tea free of charge in return for an honest review. This is not a paid collaboration. All words, opinions and images are my own unless otherwise stated.
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