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Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, Bristol
The 'Grand" has been around for 150 years and a full refurb in recent years has really brought out its Victorian heritage. The makeover kept an eye on the past - the hotel is housed in a Grade II-listed building - but modern artworks add a 21st-century feel. Lying in the Old City quarter, it makes the ideal base for business travellers or anyone wanting a city break. The hotel has 186 rooms but such is the hotel's size you never feel overwhelmed. If you're fed up with padding the streets, the hotel's Keepers Kitchen & Bar area is open throughout the day with an eclectic British/continental menu. Quirkily the hotel has two beehives on site - so make sure to try the honey.
There are some wonderfully quirky Broad Street sights up the road from the hotel, such as the Art Nouveau façade of the old Edward Everard printing works; and the tiny Palestine Museum & Cultural Centre.
The Harbourside, with its restaurants, bars, the Bristol Aquarium and Arnolfini art gallery, is a 5-minute walk from the hotel.
By car: around 1 hour 30 minutes from Exeter, 3 hours from London and 4 hours from York. There is parking available at £15 per day.
By train: trains run to Bristol Temple Meads from Exeter St Davids (1 hour), London Paddington (1 hour 40 minutes) and York (3 hours 50 minutes). The hotel is a 15-minute walk from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The hotel is well set for business stays, but ideally placed for weekend breaks too. The original ballroom, said to be the largest in the city, is worth checking out.
Service & Facilities
A great feature is the beehive on the roof - the honey these hives produce features in some of the cocktails.
- Swimming pool
- Wheelchair accessible
- Free Wi-Fi
- Parking (£15 per day)
We love the general layout of the rooms - high ceilings too - and the artworks, which really brighten up the space. Our favourite rooms are the Privilege Doubles, which are bigger than the standard rooms and have good city views; and a Nespresso machine.
Compact Double, Standard Twin, Standard Double, Privilege Double, Family Room, Suite
Facilities include: queen-size bed, ensuite bathroom, free Wi-Fi, TV, tea and coffee facilities
Food & Drink
The cocktails feature a couple of drinks using the hotel's own honey, Keepers and Purple Rain. The burgers are good as is the roasted garlic marinated chicken.
Keepers Kitchen & Bar: relaxed, diner feel, unpretenious modern British and continental cuisine. Open daily 12-10pm.