The Avon Gorge Hotel is in a great position ,as it sounds, overlooking the Avon gorge! It is in Clifton, the posh bit of Bristol and definitely the bit you'd want to stay in you were only in bristol for Touristy things, and didn't need, say to be right in the centre for business or something. So you can see the famous Clifton suspension bridge - some rooms look directly onto it and you pay a bit more for those I think. The others face onto the street, but it's a nice street! Rooms are not huge, but comfortable and adequately sized with that "nice hotel" furniture you get - light wood, stripes, dark blue and deep reds in the fabric, plush blue carpets. Standard but nice. Expect to pay about £120 for a double room B&B - they do have some weekend deals that work out cheaper. They have cots and highchairs and are OK about babies. The staff cooed over mine, anyway! Breakfast was nice - usual fruit/pastries/full English but all fresh and nicely done - sausages and bacon were good quality - not cheap frozen rubbish. There is a tea room thing and a cool bar/restaurant that is really like a proper wine bar/pub not a naff hotel one (if you see what I mean), except even before the smoking ban it wasn't smoky - and it has a brilliant ENORMOUS terrace overlooking the gorge, so you can always find a table outside if the weather is nice. Prices are a bit on the high side, but not outrageous - £8.95 for a burger (homemade) and chips is one of the cheapest things on the main course menu, and a large glass of wine could set you back 4 quid. The worst thing about the bar though is the service - you have to wait ages when they are busy. The staff are not idle - they are either understaffed all the time or their system is at fault - the central bar means they are kind of tripping over themselves in there. There is sport on in the bar but the tellies are not so enormous they dominate if you don't want to watch and free wifi - good for them. Parking is a problem, or can be. There seemed to be more cars than spaces! Free on street parking around the hotel - i.e. free as in not metered, rather than free as in available! Easier in the week when local residents are not at home perhaps. Bristol has a balloon fiesta in the summer and this would be a brilliant place to stay when that is on, as you'd see everything from there, and could walk to Ashton park to the fair bit of the fiesta if you wanted to. It is a long walk into the centre of town from here, but you are right in the heart of Clifton Village with nice bars pubs and places to walk, and the suspension bridge is worth seeing. The hotel has function rooms for meetings and business and offers wedding and other function packages as they nearly all do these days, but I've not experienced any of that so can't comment. In summary, a nice good quality hotel, reasonable value for money and good for the odd weekend. The views are the absolute best thing about it, so I'd pay a bit extra for a bridge view room if you can afford it. Service is more than adequate; a lot of the staff come from places where English is not their first language; at least that was my impression when I was there, although all spoke English well enough to do their job.
My family and I stayed at this hotel for one night last October half term. I had priced up the one night on the internet but wondered if there was any way of getting it at a lower price so I decided to phone the reservations department at the hotel direct, resulting in a slightly better deal. £84.00(saved about £5). This was for a family room and included breakfast for four of us. We find it a better deal than a travel lodge or Inn as the breakfast is usually extra in those places and the rooms are not so spacious. The hotel is situated on a very busy road and even though our room was at the front the noise didn't bother us as the windows were very well glazed. There was also air conditioning in the room so in the summer you wouldn't need to open the windows. Of course there was heating for the winter too. The room was a family size and comprised a queen sized double bed and a large sturdy double sofa bed for the children which they found comfortable. A television with a welcome screen and various extra channels such as Sky news, plus the usual terrestrial ones was included. A modem plug was there plus a table that would swing out to become a desk meaning that for those on business a lap top could be used comfortably. The very nice en suite bathroom had a very clever internal door that could make the toilet separate to the bathroom if you wished. That is very useful if four of you are sharing and this seems to be a feature of Novotel bathrooms. There were nice white fluffy towels and hotel size shower gel, shampoo, soap and a shower cap included. Plenty of hot water and a decent shower over the bath. Well lit, plenty of mirrors and piped television from the room! Just inside the room was a unit with shelves and hanging space and also a mini fridge and kettle/hospitality tray. The contents of the fridge were very pricy to say the least ie Chunky Kit Kat £1 ! Considering there was a mini market just across the road we didn't bother . The tray had the usual tea , coffee (reg and decaf) , sugar, sweetener, milks and also a couple of sachets of instant hot chocolate and a couple of twin packets of shortbreads. The only leisure facility was a gym on the top floor and as you had to ask for the key we didn't bother to see what it was like. Pity there was no pool. Downstairs there was a lovely wide open area with comfortable contemporary seating and a large reception desk and leaflets about the area. The rest of the downstairs was a large bar area and then the restaurant beyond. Bar meals and drinks are available all day and evening from the bar and the restaurant was open for breakfast , lunch and dinner. There was 24 hour room service with a menu in the room. The breakfast was a typical Novotel one! A table is allocated to you and they bring you the hot drinks to the table so no queuing at machines here. Then it is buffet style including fruit juice, hot breakfast items like bacon, eggs, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, continental items such as croissants, pastries, toast(make it at the machine), fruits , yoghurts and cheese. As much as you can eat! Very good indeed. The lunch and dinner menu looked nice if a little pricey but we chose to eat in the town. This hotel is very near the main railway station ( 5 Mins walk), the town(10 mins) and the docks (10-15mins). Very convenient and as the name suggests a central location. Plenty of restaurants and pubs within a 10-15 min walk. The downside if you have a car is that 24 hr parking underneath the hotel is £5 payable at the hotel desk, but it was in a safe place and there was a lift direct from the car park level up to the reception area. The entrance from the road was not that easy to see especially if you don't know the area so take care when entering. All in all I would use this hotel again as it was clean , the staff were friendly and helpful , the food was good and the room was very nice and comfortable
We stayed at the Marriott City Centre last summer, as part of a two week tour of the South of England. I find choosing an English Hotel a rather depressing process, as your stay very often turns into a massive gamble, however impressive the hotel appears and how careful you are to choose a well respected chain or hotel. So when we toured Hampshire, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, our holiday was punctuated by the highs (De Vere Southampton and Seafood Restaurant Rooms in Padstow)and lows (particularly the Copthorne Plymouth) of English hotels. We chose all hotels carefully, but by the time we checked into the Marriott in Bristol, we had become rather jaded, after a couple of our stops being spoilt by bad service (Fawlty Towers style on one occasion) or just plain British apathy. We couldn't be sure the Marriott would not be another disappointment. The hotel itself is plain from the outside, a large concrete block, punctuated by the small balconies on various floors. The hotel has a roof car park, and a rather grotty car park style lift takes you down to ground floor just at the side of the hotel. The lobby is large and bright with a staircase leading up to the restaurant and bar floor. It doesn't fit into any particular category, having neither a plush or particularly modern feel. It just appears tidily and tastefully decorated and is typical of an American chain. However we were struck how nice it was to check into a Marriott - at least we knew what we should expect. Sometimes playing safe is the only way to go. We were checked in quickly and efficiently and took the lift to find our room. The corridors were wide and airy, and a pleasant change from some claustrophobic, narrow corridors English hotels often seem to suffer from. Our room, on one of the higher floors, was large and contained all the necessary gadgets and amenities you need - hairdryer, iron and board, ice bucket (rare in English hotels) etc. Typical to Marriott and some othe r chains, the minibar is just that, and automatically charges you for drinks removed from it, even if you just pick them up and put them back. I like to have a minibar to use as a fridge, just so we can chill our own items such as sandwiches for the next day, so the inability to do this is always a bit annoying. The room had pale neutral wall coverings and curtains, with burgundy patterned carpets and pink and burgundy floral bedspreads. The room contained a desk (but with no mirror to act as a dressing table) a small table in honey coloured wood and an armchair covered in large checked fabric. The furnishings were quite acceptable, but not particularly well thought out as far as co-ordination is concerned. There were plenty of lights, including a desk light, bedside lamps and a free standing lamp. It appeared we had been upgraded as our room had a small balcony, which maybe was a bit bleak and was too small to be able to really sit out on, but it was still nice in the morning to be able to look out over the city and we were lucky enough to see loads of hot air balloons drift across the Bristol skyline. Some of the amenities in the room appeared a little dated, such as the inefficient air conditioning unit, and that most unused of hotel items, the Trouser Press! The hotel has two restaurants - one for fine dining, which unfortunately was closed on the Sunday we wanted to dine, and also a more informal brasserie type restaurant. We first sampled the cocktails in the bar, making the most of this also rare benefit for hotels here in the UK. The service was friendly and efficient and the cocktails very good and reasonably priced. It is not unusual to pay £10 just at an average UK Hilton for a standard Martini, so the price of around half this was pretty good. We then had a meal in the brasserie, of typical casual fare - Tagliatelle Carbonara etc. The service was quick and although you could not pretend this was a place for a romantic meal, it fulfilled the nee d for something between a pub meal and a more expensive restaurant. The hotel is not right in the centre of Bristol, but is only a few minutes walk to the shops, cathedral and the river. Castle Park is a nice place to eat a picnic lunch and everything you would want is not far away. In short, I can't pretend our stay at this Marriott was the most memorable or unique of experiences, and it wouldn't make it anywhere near being one of my top ten hotels. Funnily enough it probably would make it into my top ten of British hotels - make of that what you will!! It efficiently delivered everything you expected it to, with no shocks, surprises or disappointments. The rate of less than £80 per room including breakfast was also quite reasonable. Bristol is a lovely city and we enjoyed our stay enough to make us go back this year. We always said we would have no problem staying at the Marriott again. Common with a lot of pleasantly above average hotels though, in the end we have decided to try somewhere different!! With new hotels popping up all over the place, sometimes good enough just isn't good enough to keep your custom! (Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and the grass looked greener, but my review of the Brigstowe which we chose instead, proves it always isn't!!)
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