Number Thirty Eight

Clifton, Bristol, southwest England

An elegant B&B in buzzing Bristol, with vivid artwork, panoramic city vistas and a sought-after Clifton address

Once the home of shipbuilding, seafaring and industrial engineering, Bristol is a city transformed. Its waterfront warehouses are now cutting-edge galleries, restaurants and boutiques, and its media and music scenes are buzzing with creativity. It was amidst this melting pot that Adam Dorrien Smith and his brother Michael found this grand merchant’s townhouse, and when it comes to balancing old and new, Number Thirty Eight - like the city itself - treads the tightrope beautifully.

There’s nothing bland or corporate about this boutique B&B, set in sought-after Clifton, just north of the city centre. We enter through the lounge (there’s no formal reception), where delicious breakfasts and cream teas are served at solid wood tables beside enormous bay windows; there’s also a suntrap terrace to the rear, ideal for cocktails and snacks in summer. Upstairs in the 10 bedrooms, calming shades of Farrow & Ball dress nautical wood-panelled walls, and vibrant Anthony Frost artworks are scattered around the communal areas. But what really draws our eye is the sweeping cityscape through the windows: rainbow-hued streets to the rear, the leafy expanse of Bristol’s famous Downs to the front, and the cathedral-like tower of the university in the distance. For stylish city stopovers and weekend breaks, it's hard to beat.

Guest Ratings

Room:
92%
Food:
95%
Service:
95%
Value:
92%
Overall:
93%

Number Thirty Eight: View all reviews


signature

Reviewed by Melissa Burfitt

Highs

  • A home-from-home feel, with friendly yet discreet service and rooms you can relax in
  • You get a lot for your money: bathtubs and/or rain showers, retro Roberts radios, robes and REN products, plus a hearty cooked breakfast
  • Perfectly placed, close to the eateries on Whiteladies Road, with the Downs on the doorstep and easy access to the city centre
  • Lots to look at: a bespoke Tom Leaper sculpture on the coiling staircase, a nonchalantly placed Hockney in the downstairs bathroom - not to mention some of the best views in the city
  • Ideal for pampering weekends: it offers packages with the wonderful Lido and spa nearby

Lows

  • No meals other than breakfast are served, but there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance
  • The House Rooms have limited space, but this is reflected in the price
  • It's set on a fairly busy road, so parking can be unreliable (particularly at weekends). Thankfully, effective secondary glazing means traffic noise is minimal
  • No under 12s
  • This is a typical Georgian townhouse, with lots of stairs to contend with (and no lift). Equally, Bristol is full of hills, so exploring the city can be strenuous at times

Every city needs a place like Number Thirty Eight...        

The Sunday Times, 100 Ultimate British Hotels, 2013: B&BsNumber Thirty Eight:  Read more press reviews
Save to favouritesPrintMailNumber Thirty EightOnce the home of shipbuilding, seafaring and industrial engineering, Bristol is a city transformed. Its waterfront warehouses are now cutting-edge galleries, restaurants and boutiques, and its media and music scenes are buzzing with creativity. It was amidst this melting pot that Adam Dorrien Smith and his brother Michael found this grand merchantís townhouse, and when it comes to balancing old and new, Number Thirty Eight - like the city itself - treads the tightrope beautifully. Thereís nothing bland or corporate about this boutique B&B, set in sought-after Clifton, just north of the city centre. We enter through the lounge (thereís no formal reception), where delicious breakfasts and cream teas are served at solid wood tables beside enormous bay windows; thereís also a suntrap terrace to the rear, ideal for cocktails and snacks in summer. Upstairs in the 10 [r:UK133:bedrooms], calming shades of Farrow & Ball dress nautical wood-panelled walls, and vibrant Anthony Frost artworks are scattered around the communal areas. But what really draws our eye is the sweeping cityscape through the windows: rainbow-hued streets to the rear, the leafy expanse of Bristolís famous Downs to the front, and the cathedral-like tower of the university in the distance. For stylish city stopovers and weekend breaks, it's hard to beat.

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