Check in: Bristol's luxury hotel is also one of its greenest

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Britain's Green City needs a green hotel but it might not be the one you immediately think of. Georgina Wilson-Powell heads to Bristol and checks into The Bristol to find out what makes this award-winning hotel so eco.

Georgina Wilson-Powell 3 December 2018

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One of the pebble team’s favourite UK cities, Bristol has many things going for it, but a wealth of green-minded but gorgeous hotels is not one of them. 

Thank goodness for The Bristol then - sat just over the water from Wapping Wharf and Millenium Square, on Princes Street. We checked in earlier this year to test it out.

So what's The Bristol really like?

While it might look like a high end but mainstream hotel chain - don’t judge a book by its cover - there has been a lot of sustainable impact work going on behind the bedrooms. The Sunday Times recently awarded The Bristol the best city hotel break in the south west.

The rooms

The Bristol fields a range of rooms and suites that have all been recently updated. Rooms vary across four sizes with neutral tones, super soft bedding and the hotel is trying to cut back on plastic waste.

The Bristol Review2

Cosy up The Bristol's luxury bedding and have a long lie in

The views

Get past the slightly dour exterior and dive into the warm embrace of south-west England’s hospitality. Views from the back of the hotel look over Millenium Square, the Aquarium and the ferris wheel. You can watch the comings and goings of Bristol’s Waterfront which can be quite hypnotic.

Want to discover where the locals hang out? Check out our pebble guide to Bristol here.

The service

Is anyone in Bristol anything other than friendly? We’ve yet to come across them. As you’d expect from a five star hotel nothing is too much trouble and The Bristol has a really low rate of staff moving on - meaning the people you’re talking to, know the city, know where you should go and where you should eat.

The menu

The River Grille has staked its claim (groan) on being a top drawer steakhouse and that it is, deploying the josper grille with finesse. Don’t panic vegetarians - there’s plenty for you too, like the Crêpes with roast pumpkin, feta and oregano, served with smoked tomato sauce.

However it’s the sumptuous breakfast that has us leaving begrudgingly. The fact that it serves breakfast until 11am is enough to make anyone fall in love with the hotel - add to that a locally sourced full English and sourdough to make you sigh and you’ll want to start muttering about squatters’ rights.

The Bristol River Grille With Paintings
“The fact that it serves breakfast until 11am is enough to make anyone fall in love with the hotel”

The bar

The Bristol hotel sits within a prime example of 1960s architecture with floor to ceiling windows surrounding most of the building on the ground floor. The River Grille has been a stand out cocktail bar for years and offers a variety of options for pre- and post- dinner drinking. It’s worth noting that there’s also an on-site juicery - for the morning after. Exported from New York, stop by for a Hollywood smoothie - carrot, orange, turmeric and mint leaves.

The sustainable bit

So far, so good. Here’s where it gets really interesting.

The hotel’s long-established Green Team has won local awards from Bristol Hotelier’s Association for all its work behind the scenes. In 2017 The Bristol saw a 18.5% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions, an 8.2% drop in electricity usage and a 9.5% fall in gas consumption.

Nothing goes to landfill from the hotel, 64% of its water is recycled, 80% of its staff use public transport, cycle or walk to work and it has reduced its single use plastic saving over 18,000 plastic cups already. 

The Bristol is a great example in what can be done, even if used-to-luxury guests aren’t aware of it.

The Bristol Review

The Bristol has won numerous awards for its work on reducing its carbon and plastic impact

Three reasons to book

  • The Bristol is right in the heart of Bristol’s city centre, walking distance from Arnolfini, M Shed and Watershed.
  • Rent a bike from Yo Bikes - you’re right on the river and head up the Avon to discover country pubs only a couple of miles away.
  • Explore the food and drink scene with ease. From plant-loving Root on Wapping Wharf to relaxed burgers and live music at Canteen, it's all within an easy walk.

Want to explore more of Bristol? Check out our pebble guide to Bristol here.

Where is The Bristol?

Located on Princes Street, The Bristol, is a short walk from the bus station or a 15 minute stroll from Bristol Temple Meads.

Free Wifi? Yes
Dog friendly? No
Child friendly? Yes

The Bristol has a Winter Getaway package now available. Book two nights, get 15% of the Best Flexible price, a free Full English breakfast each day and a cocktail voucher.

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