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Perched at the pinnacle of Bristol's many hills, this exceptionally stylish small hotel is much like the city itself - calm, considered and surrounded by green space. Situated at the top of Black Boy Hill on quite a busy road, it's a good 40-minute walk from the centre and harbourside, but chichi Clifton Village is much closer at hand. Gorgeously proportioned, Georgian-era windows overlook tangled alleyways and colourful terraced housing. A real home-away-from-home, this space is strictly for grown-ups - Number 38 does not accommodate children under 12 and consequently the atmosphere in communal rooms inclines toward rest and relaxation. After a nap on your king-sized bed, head out to explore the Downs or the area's many independent shops, bars and restaurants.

Your expert reviewer

Orla Thomas
Freelance journalist and editor
Orla Thomas is a freelance journalist and editor specialising in travel. She regularly contributes to The Times and The Sunday Times, National Geographic Traveller magazine and Lonely Planet, as well as writing about travel telly (among other things) for the Radio Times. Keen on nature walks and wild swimming, you can find her on both Instagram (@orlakthomas) and Twitter (@OrlaThomas).



The Downs are effectively the hotel's own 400-acre front garden; this is Bristol's best terrain for runners and walkers, with Suspension Bridge views.

The hotel is tucked away in Clifton with great views over the city of Bristol.
By car: The drive is 3 hours from London and 1 hour 50 minutes from Birmingham. There is paid public parking nearby.
By train: Bristol Temple Meads station is a 15 minute drive, with direct trains from London that take around 2 hours 10 minutes.

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Style & Character

Great for design-conscious couples who want a calm vantage point from which to explore Bristol - interiors reflect the historic harbourside, with a touch of Banksy-esque irreverence. The bookshelves in the library (which doubles as a breakfast room) are lined with intriguing volumes, trailing plants and small animal sculptures.

Service & Facilities

We loved the 'nothing is too much trouble' attitude taken by staff - whether you want a parking permit, a newspaper or an off-menu cocktail, they're happy to help.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Free Wi-Fi


Suite 11 is generously proportioned, luxuriously finished, and well-served by views - gaze over the Downs from the freestanding copper bath tub and the local university from bed. The cut-price mini bar is also a cut above, offering diminutive drops from local merchant Avery wines, Tyrells crisps, and free fresh milk for in-room cups of tea.

Superior Room, Luxury Room, House Room, Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, tea and coffee facilities, Roberts Radio, TV, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

The short drinks list of classic cocktails - from mojito to martini - are all very reasonably-priced. That hipster staple, avocado toast, is done very well here - with perfect crispy bacon, grilled cherry tomatoes and a smattering of chilli flakes.

Number 38: Cooked breakfasts to order, including English breakfasts, eggs benedict and avocado toast.

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