Room review: Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa, the former bank turned boutique hotel

It took a running jump for the author to get onto that bed.
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It took a running jump for the author to get onto that bed.

This former bank turned boutique hotel is chic, comfortable and the perfect spot to explore Bristol.

The Place

Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa, 55 Corn St, Bristol.

The opulent Gold Bar is a great spot for pre-dinner cocktails.
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The opulent Gold Bar is a great spot for pre-dinner cocktails.

The Location

Right in the heart of the city, next to the St Nicholas Markets, close to the harbour and a stone's throw away from plenty of shops, restaurants and bars.

The Space

Tucked away in a Victorian Grade II-listed building that was once two banks, this luxury boutique hotel comes with a lot of character. The hotel's standout feature is the opulent events space – Sansovino Hall –  which was once the banking hall of the Lloyds Bank. It's a grand room, with a spectacular skylight and is rented out for anything from weddings to corporate functions.

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The hotel's restaurant, The Jetty, is a lovely, light and airy space to have breakfast before exploring Bristol. There's an a la carte menu, as well as a buffet serving the usual cereal, fruit and yoghurt you'd expect in a hotel restaurant. For an evening cocktail created by resident mixologists, stop by the Gold Bar. It's a stylish spot that was once an office - but there's no sign of its former life now - and there's cosy, colourful seats, extravagant chandeliers and an eclectic menu.

The swimming pool is in the basement of the building - in what was once the vaults of the bank.
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The swimming pool is in the basement of the building - in what was once the vaults of the bank.

Although I didn't get a chance to check this out, the hotel spa comes highly-recommended. Venture down into the basement and through the impressive doors in the bank's former vaults to the spa and mood-lit pool.

Room

My deluxe double room, one of 42 rooms in the hotel, doesn't come with much of a view, even though the building I can see is a Heritage-listed one. But no matter, as I'm distracted by the bed. It's huge, and as I measure in at 1.61 metres  tall, I needed a bit of a running jump to clamber onto it, but it's easily the most comfortable I've ever slept on. I'm not one to harp on about sheets... but Egyptian cotton is worth your money.

The bank vault doors now lead to the spa.
Supplied

The bank vault doors now lead to the spa.

The bathrooms are large, well-lit and come with a bath and a rainforest shower. Complimentary toiletries from White Company are provided. The rooms are chic and comfortable, and come with free decanters of gin and sherry – bonus!

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Stepping out

You're in the middle of Bristol with easy access to everything the city has to offer. Consider a walking tour with WheretheWall to spot Banksy's and other artists' work dotted around. Wander down to harbour for brunch at the Glassboat or browse through the goodies at the St Nicholas Markets. Head over to Clifton for some shopping before stopping by for a delectable afternoon tea at Cox and Baloney. Bristol is literally on your doorstop.

Verdict Chic, comfortable and the perfect spot to explore the city.

Essentials Rooms from £145 (NZ$261) onwards. See bristol-harbour-hotel.co.uk

Highlight Definitely the giant bed - I don't believe I have ever slept that well ... although, being on the world's longest flight may have contributed too.

Lowlight The shower took a bit too long to reach a desired tempterature, and the water pressure could be better.

More information visitbristol.co.uk; visitbritain.com

Getting there Qatar Airways flies to London via Doha. See qatarairways.com/nz. From London, Bristol is a two-hour drive, or one hour 45 minutes by train.

The writer stayed courtesy of Qatar Airways, Visit Britain and Visit Bristol.

 - Stuff

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