Marriott Royal Hotel Bristol review

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Today’s review is written by regular contributor Gus.

Site

The Marriott Royal Bristol (not to be confused with the Marriott City Center Hotel) stands majestically on the edge of Bristol’s College Green and seems to have a place of affection in the hearts of Bristolians. Clearly it has done something right in its 150 years of welcoming guests, and today the hotel offers an air of grandeur and place, while offering comfort and relaxation in the heart of a bustling city.

Registration

The facade of the hotel is attractive and opens onto a pleasant and airy reception. Plastic covid 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 that to follow), which cost over £250. But it was a weekend night, and apparently the hotel was 90% occupancy, and entry-level rooms can be had from just £89.

Bedroom

Bedroom 1 – Royal Junior Suite

Part of this bounty apparently also came from the room in the Royal Wing – the newer and more recently refurbished 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 sequel, we hope and expect there to be one.

And second, there was a small, odd kitchenette. It was like they weren’t quite sure what the space was going to be used for, so put it aside after the fact! To be fair, the age of the building must have created some challenges for the architects, but that was unnecessary and seemed to change the appeal of the room. A quick phone call to the helpful receptionist and she gladly offered another room. However, given the availability, and there seems to be a general lack of tubs in the suites, this necessitated a downgrade of the rooms. The weird thing was that this meant we moved to the ‘old’ wing of the hotel, but ended up with a much bigger and nicer room.

This second room (with a lovely tub, of course) boasted a generous entry walkway and closet, as well as two sitting areas inside the massive room itself.

Obviously this particular space is quite unique given the floor plate, but the age of the room was not a remote issue and seemed to just refer to a lack of power outlets – which was in further offset by the fact that the table lights had a smart USB docking station inside the base.

Given the downgrade, £30 was deducted from the bill, plus the parking charge of £17 (for 24 hours) was also removed. This is a discounted parking rate for hotel guests, and the car park – a comfortable but surprisingly large multi-storey space – is conveniently located just under the belly of the building, with an elevator that takes you back to reception and hotel rooms.

All hallways were adorned with artwork.

Some very understated and old-skool, and some very modern and fun. If you’re an art lover, it’s also worth taking a look at the Palm Court Room, which used to be a dining room, and even when it was empty it was quite stunning.

The (second) room itself was also cozy, surprisingly comfortable and almost fun to explore given its relatively quirky shape and size.

That said, the table tops looked like they had been cleaned with some kind of spray, but weren’t wiped down afterwards, so there was a layer of residue on the surface. It came off easily, but probably shouldn’t have been left there. Also, the pillows were those usual flimsy things, which flattened into a pancake even if you put two of them together in a desperate type of pillow-sandwich!

The hotel

The hotel also had a lively and fun bar – which seemed full of weekend drinkers early in the afternoon and much later in the evening – and a Miller & Carter steakhouse.

I didn’t have an evening meal there, but that’s where breakfast was served, and what a breakfast. Although very busy, the staff were quick, efficient and cheerful. And the food itself was great. A full line of just about anything you wanted, including a personal crepe favourite.

Conclusion

All in all it was a really pleasant stay, and the Marriott Royal provided a great base for exploring parts of Bristol. There is obviously a small distinction between the older and newer wings of the hotel, but the staff are still good and the atmosphere was vibrant and more refined.

You can find information and prices here.

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