Today’s review is by regular contributor Gus.
The Marriott Royal in Bristol (not to be confused with the Marriott City Centre hotel) stands grandly on the edge of Bristol’s College Green, and seems to have a place of affection in the heart of Bristolians. Clearly, it has done something right in it’s 150 years of welcoming guests, and today the hotel offers an air of grandeur and place, while also providing comfort and relaxation in the heart of a buzzing city.
The front of the hotel is attractive, and it opens onto a pleasant and airy reception area. The covid plastic screens seem particularly out-of-place in such a setting, but the receptionist was friendly, attentive, and helpful. I had splurged on a Royal Junior Suite room in ‘the Royal Wing’ (more on this to follow), which cost a hefty £250+. But this was a weekend night, and apparently, the hotel had 90% occupancy, plus entry-level rooms can be snared from as little as £89.
Part of this premium apparently also came from the room being in the Royal Wing – the newer and more recently renovated part of the hotel. The suite was certainly new and spacious, but personally, it failed on two fronts. First-world problems, yes, but the first was that there was no bathtub. In a suite, you’d hope and expect there to be one.
Clearly, this particular space is fairly unique given the floorplate, but the age of the room wasn’t remotely a problem and seemed to simply refer to a bit of a lack of plug sockets – which was further made up by the fact that the table lights had a clever USB power dock inside the base.
Given the downgrade, £30 was taken off the bill, plus the £17 parking fee (for 24 hours) was also waived. This is a reduced parking rate for hotel guests, and the car park – a snug but surprisingly large multi-story space – is handily located right underneath the belly of the building, with a lift taking you back up to the hotel reception and rooms.
Some very sober and old-skool, and others very modern and fun. If you’re an art fan it’s also worth peeking in the Palm Court Room, which used to be a dining hall, and even when empty was pretty stunning to peek into.
The (second) room itself also was comfortable, surprisingly cosy, and almost fun to explore given its relatively quirky shape and size.
The hotel also had a buzzing and fun bar – which seemed full of weekend drinkers both early in the afternoon and much later in the evening – and a Miller & Carter steakhouse.
I didn’t have an evening meal there, but it is where breakfast was served, and boy what a breakfast. Despite being really busy, the staff were speedy, efficient, and chirpy. And the food itself was great. A full spread of almost anything you wanted, including a personal favourite of pancakes.
All in all it was a really lovely stay, and the Marriott Royal provided a great base to explore parts of Bristol. There’s obviously a bit of a distinction between the older and newer wings of the hotel, but the staff are consistently good, and the atmosphere was vibrant and moreish.