This brand new opening, with its creatively cool rooms and buzzing bar and eatery, breathes new life into an up-and-coming Bristol 'hood”
The vibe is their usual eclectic mix of industrial, vintage, and bohemian - particularly apt for Bristol, with its rich street art and alternative music scene (think Banksy, Massive Attack, Idles et al). Alongside original coving, exposed brick, high ceilings and huge sash windows, its 23 rooms and suites bristle with upcycled furniture and thought-provoking artworks. Downstairs is a laid-back bar and eatery (which was just finding its feet when we last stayed), plus a fire-warmed lounge-bar and a sun-trap patio for summer drinks.
Step outside, and you've got all the independent boutiques, cafés, pubs, street art and music venues that are revitalising Stokes Croft and St Paul's; plus the harbourfront and historic centre in easy walking distance. Come here for a fun and fresh look at one of Britain's most vibrant but underrated cities.
- Centrally located at the heart of the action, with loads of indie shops, cafés, pubs and the harbourfront all in walking distance
- We love the delicious breakfasts packed with local produce
- The vibrant bar and coffee house are fast becoming the neighbourhood hangout (and our first-choice venue for i-escape cocktail parties!)
- Lots to look at: thoughtful design, vintage furnishings, enviable (and highly Instagrammable) pieces by local artists
- Great value for money
- No designated parking – although there's metered parking on the square, and other car parks close by (some with EV charging)
- This is a Grade 1 listed building, so it isn't totally soundproofed – ask the hotel which rooms are quietest
- If you're here for the iconic suspension bridge and chic Clifton village, be prepared for a bit of a hike
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 23 rooms
- Restaurant (from 2022)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
The 23 rooms and suites vary hugely in size and price, but all share the Artist Residences' distinctive industrial-chic style (which, need we say, we love). They're gorgeously dressed with limited-edition art, brightly coloured pillows, upcycled furniture and vintage finds; and housed in high-ceilinged rooms with exposed brickwork, sculpted cornices, and big sash windows in the larger rooms.
Entry-level rooms, unassumingly dubbed Shoe Box or Broom Cupboard, are super-cosy but perfectly formed crash pads: ideal for short stays. Expect arched windows, comfy kingsize beds and compact bathrooms. Chapter St. and Boot Rooms are more spacious, with bigger beds: perfect for a special weekend away à deux.
For a bit more luxury, opt for the vast Club or Artist Suites in the Georgian half of the building. You get your own sitting area, a fabulous statement rolltop bath, and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of leafy Portland square. But our favourite suite was The Lookout: a mezzanine-style split-level apartment in the eaves, with a spiral staircase leading to a private terrace offering 180-degree views over Bristol’s rooftops.
All bedrooms offer fast WiFi, Smart TVs, Roberts radios, Nespresso machines, thoughtfully-stocked minibars (including Bristol ales and artisan gins), organic Bramley bath products, powerful plate-sized rainfall showers and, most importantly, extremely comfy beds. Boutique bliss.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Satellite TV
Breakfast is a beautiful spread of continental delights - from fresh pastries and yoghurts to house-made granola and local charcuterie and cheeses. For a hot option, try the made-to-order omelette station - your chance to be creative! It's all served in the Library, a chilled and comfy space where we could easily have lazed all day, moving on to Bristol roasted coffees and teas, then locally brewed beers or superb cocktails (we loved the gin and prosecco based Portland Fizz).
The main restaurant and bar, set to open in early 2022, promises to be a fun and friendly hub for hotel guests and the local community alike. Expect laid-back but high quality fare, with a courtyard garden for the sunny days, and visiting artists or musicians. When we visited, the team were liaising with local suppliers to create an enticing all-day menu which will “connect visitors to the heart and soul of Bristol’s products and ingredients”. We'll report back!
Meantime, with Cabot Circus and Stokes Croft a 5-minute stroll away, there’s no shortage of great places to eat out. Our top tip (book ahead) is Poco, an award-winning British tapas restaurant with an emphasis on seasonal veggies and ethical produce. Or wander on to trendy Wapping Wharf, a bustling waterfront hub of global cuisine served from converted shipping containers.
- Coffee / tea making
- Vegetarian menu
- Buzzy Stokes Croft and Picton Street (5 mins' walk) are a melting pot of innovation and culture, set amid an ever-changing landscape of independent cafes and art - a must for Banksy and street-art fans
- Just around the corner is The Cube Cinema, a wonderfully quirky venue showing a mix of world and cult movies, as well as cabaret nights and live music
- Soak up the indie vibe of Gloucester Road, the UK’s longest strip of independently owned shops; or browse high street and designer brands in the one-stop-smorgasbord of Cabot Circus (2 mins)
- Stroll down to the lovely harbourside (15-20 mins) for boat trips, art-house films at The Watershed, multimedia exhibitions at The Arnolfini, city history at the M-shed, and Brunel's first masterpiece: the SS Great Britain steam liner, brilliantly brought back to life
- Brunel's other masterpiece, the famous Suspension Bridge, is a stiff 20-min ride on a yellow Yobike (or 15 on a scooter); nip up to the Observatory for the best views over bridge and gorge
- While you're there, browse the upmarket boutiques of Clifton Village; or book a swim-and-spa in the refurbished Victorian Lido
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Hot air ballooning
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
Although all ages are welcome, we think the cool city vibe and stylised restaurant-bar are better suited to hip couples and friends. That said, all Workshop and Loft rooms can accommodate cots, whilst the Artist and Club Suites have space for an extra bed and a cot. There are also interconnecting rooms, including The Lookout and Boot Room combo.
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
The Artist Residence Bristol is set on Portland Square in Bristol, near the city centre and the main access road (the M32).
Fly into Bristol Airport (12km / 30 minutes away) and either take a taxi, prebook a transfer with the hotel, or catch the bus.
Easily accessible from the M4 and M5. Note that the hotel has no car park; you can use metered spaces nearby.
Get the train to Bristol Temple Meads, then take a 5-minute taxi to the hotel.
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.
- Bristol 15.0 km BRS
- Heathrow 165.0 km LHR
- Beach 25.0 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 0.2 km