It’s not often you come across an upmarket hotel that takes its interior design inspiration from local street artists. Despite being based within a grade-II listed Victorian building, the Mercure Grand Bristol Spa Hotel on Broad Street is anything but dated.
Stepping into the hotel foyer, I was greeted by an abstract wall mural of a lady’s eyes peeking out through an array of flowers and butterflies, plush turquoise velvet armchairs and an eclectic multi-coloured lamp shade.
The hotel’s striking new decor embraces the street art culture that Bristol has become so well known for, and is all thanks to a huge revamp which was completed last year by Ian Haigh and the Central Design Studio Company, working hand-in-hand with Bristol’s popular street art festival, Upfest. The four-star Bristol spa hotel now features no less than 500 individual works of street art, each of which was created by a local artist.
With 182-rooms, this is a fairly large hotel and its central location (less than a mile from Bristol Temple Meads railway station) makes it a very popular venue. Despite this, the check-in process (from 2pm onwards) was just as smooth as the decor. Within less than five minutes of arriving, we were sitting comfortably in our room, welcomed by freshly baked cookies with melted dark chocolate and strawberries.
Our Privilege Double Room was more like an intimate art gallery than your average hotel room, with mismatched, multicoloured armchairs, Warhol-esque pop art adorning the khaki green walls, and bold, bronze metallic lighting creating an industrial vibe.
Our en-suite bathroom was spotlessly clean and kitted out with intricately patterned monochrome floor tiles, luxury toiletries, a hairdryer and a spacious monsoon shower, with plenty of room to store toiletries on the shelf above the sink.
Other highlights of our room included a kingsize bed, Nespresso coffee machine, electric kettle, complimentary tea and coffee, flat-screen LCD TV with Freeview, iron and ironing board, complimentary WiFi (available throughout the hotel), air conditioning, bathrobes and slippers, a fridge with complimentary soft drinks, and an electronic safe. 24-hour room service is also available at the hotel.
Keeper’s Kitchen and Bar
With a cosy, rustic atmosphere, Keeper’s Kitchen and Bar is decked out with handmade items purchased from St. Nicholas Market and has a casual, yet classy feel.
The bar is open from 12pm until 10pm daily, although the hotel is actually licensed to serve alcohol from 10am until 2am from Monday to Saturday and from 11am until 2am on Sundays, so alcohol can be ordered to your room after the bar has closed.
The menu offers traditional British food with a twist, focusing upon quality, locally sourced ingredients. Dishes include the likes of soya-glazed duck breast, pan-fried salmon with tabbouleh and cola-marinated half chicken. In addition, the restaurant offers menus tailored for children, vegetarians and gluten-free diets. The all-day food menu is served from 12pm until 10pm daily. Prices are in line with what you’d expect from a four-star hotel, with starters and desserts ranging from £5 to £6.50 and mains priced from £10.95 to £22.95.
You can breakfast like a king at the Mercure Grand Bristol Spa Hotel for just £10 per person, with an unlimited breakfast buffet including full English breakfast, cereals, yoghurts, fruits, tea and coffee, fruit juices, and continental meats and cheeses. If you don’t want to leave the comfort of your bed, breakfast can also be ordered to your room at an additional cost. Breakfast is served from 6.30am until 10.30am from Monday to Friday, and from 7am until 11am on weekends.
Watching your waistline and fancying something a little healthier to eat? Head to organic veggie and vegan cafe, Beets n’Roots, situated around a 20-minute walk from the hotel on Cotham Hill, and pick up from a nourishing selection of buddha bowls, smoothies, elixirs, wholefood dishes and more.
If you’re looking for a Bristol spa hotel, the Mercure Grand Bristol Hotel is well worth taking into consideration. With a leisure complex boasting a pool, sauna and steam room, beauty treatment rooms and a gym, the hotel has everything you need for a spot of pampering during your stay.
If you’re travelling to the Mercure Grand Bristol Spa Hotel by car, there’s no need to pay excessive car parking fees. The hotel has its own on-site private parking located just to the side of the hotel on Broad Street, priced at just £10.50 per day. Upon check-in, the staff will issue you with a ticket which you can insert into the ticket machine to access this special rate upon leaving the car park at the end of your stay.
Located in the heart of Bristol’s Old City, the Mercure Grand Bristol Spa Hotel is only around a five-minute drive from the city centre and a 20-minute drive from Bristol Airport, as well as being ideally positioned for visiting a number of Bristol’s most popular tourist attractions including Bristol Aquarium (a five-minute drive away) and Bristol Zoo (a 10-minute drive away).
Brunel’s SS Great Britain
During our stay, we paid a visit to Brunel’s SS Great Britain, situated just a 10-minute drive away from Mercure Grand Bristol Spa Hotel.
Bristol’s no.1 tourist attraction, SS Great Britain is home to the world’s first great ocean liner by the same name. Originally launched in 1843, she was the longest passenger ship in the world from 1845 – 1854. The ship has been carefully restored and sits in a dry dock at the Great Western Dockyard, which helps to protect its iron hull from rusting further. You can walk around the dry dock yourself, and take a look at the ship’s original iron hull and revolutionary propeller.
We especially loved peering into the cabins and communal areas of the ship, not to mention the kitchen and the doctor’s office. The team at SS Great Britain have done a great job of kitting out each room with props and life-life models which help to bring things to life and give you a glimpse into what life on-board SS Great Britain was really like.
If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can even ‘Go Aloft’ and climb the rigging. I originally signed up for this, but chickened out when I saw how high it was. Luckily, my friend Dave bravely stepped up to the challenge, so I managed to get some snaps of him in action. Would you be brave enough to ‘Go Aloft’?! Leave a comment at the end of this post to let me know!
For more inspiration on things to see and do in Bristol, check out this handy Bristol travel guide.
Upon leaving the hotel, the latest available check-out time is 12pm, although if you’re thinking of sticking around in Bristol for a few more hours, you can leave your baggage at reception in the meantime. You can also use the parking facilities up until the end of the day.
Book a stay at Mercure Grand Bristol Spa Hotel
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Mercure Grand Bristol Spa Hotel for a stay in Bristol, and I would happily stay there again myself. It currently costs from £69 to book a room at the Mercure Grand Bristol Spa Hotel through Booking.com, although prices vary dependent on the dates of your stay.
What do you think of the Mercure Grand Bristol Spa Hotel? Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below!