Nearby : city centre; docks; Christmas steps.
Location : in city centre, residents only car parking
Food : breakfast, lunch, dinner
Price Band : £££
Rooms : 40 double and twin, all with bath; all rooms have phone, TV, CD player, minibar, hairdryer
Facilities : sitting room, billiards room, dining room, bar, humidor, courtyard
Credit Cards : AE, DC, MC, V
Children : accepted
Disabled : access possible, lift/elevator
Pets : guide dogs only
Closed : never
Proprietor or Manager : Steven Lewis
Narrow Lewins Mead,, BS1 2NU, Bristol, 01179 255 577
Style and panache in converted sugar warehouses
Since our last edition, the Hotel du Vin chain has been taken over by Malmaison, a large group. Signs of big-business management and of the standardisation that goes with it, are beginning to be seen. However, for our money, this is still probably the most stylish place in Bristol.
Converted from a collection of derelict 18thC sugar warehouses, the hotels gracious Queen Anne frontage belies the wizardry behind its façade. Open brickwork, black-painted girders and sweeping stairs with a curving steel bannister combine industrial elements with contemporary style to great effect.
Sponsored by and named after different wine houses, the huge bedrooms contain custom-made, superbly comfortable beds, alongside equally huge bathrooms with dazzling showers and free-standing baths. Though it fronts on to Bristol's main thoroughfare, the hotels double glazing effectively blocks any traffic noise. The aptly-named Sugar Bar is dominated by a large mural of grapes on the vine, while whitewashed walls, big squashy sofas, wood flooring and rugs contribute to the unhurried, plantation house feel.