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My Bristol hotel fell through! Any advice for finding another?

My Bristol hotel fell through! Any advice for finding another?

Sep 10th, 2009, 06:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 84
My Bristol hotel fell through! Any advice for finding another?

I'm attending a big conference in Bristol in less than two weeks, and I've just been notified that the headquarters hotel, the Radisson Blu, will not open in time! Any ideas for a substitute, close to the university (where the meetings will be held) and to restaurants and shops, would be appreciated! (The Bristol Marriott Royal, for one, is fully booked....)
Kathyngs is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,030

The Radisson Blu is a long time opening, and recent news reports are that the staff weren't paid in August.

The Bristol Tourism website at http://visitbristol.co.uk/ has a good list of the major hotels, but some of those are a bit far from the University and from the main restaurants and shops. I would suggest you consider the following, depending on your budget:

5 and 4 star
Bristol Hotel
Mercure Brigstowe
The Grand by Thistle

3, 2 and 1 star
Rodney Hotel
Ibis Bristol
Berkeley Square (very near the University)
Victoria Square
Avon Gorge

It is also worth looking at www.laterooms.com. This shows which hotels have vacancies and includes serviced apartments and other, newer places (like Future Inns), which are missing from the Visit Bristol website. The Late Rooms site also has guest reviews, which will indicate if the hotel suits your preferences.

Good luck with your search. Since I live in the area, i have little personal experience of Bristol hotels, but I can say how convenient they are.

Incidentally, can I check that it is the University of Bristol that you will be visiting? There is also the University of the West of England, which has several campuses around the city. Even the University of Bristol, while mostly in the city centre, has meeting rooms in other places.
chartley is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 06:50 AM
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Posts: 84
I knew I could count on you, chartley!

You're right about the Radisson Blu, I think. When I heard rumors about the hotel, I emailed the reservation agent and received a the following reply: "I am now out of the office until further notice and I apologise sincerely for the inconvenince that this will cause." That was obviously not a good sign!

To the credit of the hotel, however, they are working with the conference manager of Destination Bristol (http://visitbristol.co.uk/) to reassign conference attendees to other hotels. I landed at the Bristol, the hotel at the top of your list! I gave serious thought to the Berkeley Square, since it's closer to the University, but the Bristol looks more comfortable for a week-long stay. I also thought about an apartment, but as a woman traveling alone, I decided that a full-service hotel was the best choice.

Yes, all the conference sessions will be at the University of Bristol, split between the Chemistry Building and the Wills Memorial Building. It's the annual conference of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (www.vertpaleo.org), and there will be hundreds of paleontologists descending on Bristol! I'm a member of the press--and more of an onlooker, which is lucky for me! I have a few free days, so I'm planning a day trip or two, including Bath. Other ideas for places easily reached by train or bus are welcome, but I may decide to stay and wander around Bristol (the harbor, Clifton, etc.) instead.

Again, thanks for your help!
Kathyngs is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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The Bristol Hotel used to be Jury's Hotel, but I see it is now part of the Doyle Collection. It's not a very impressive building outside, but it seems to get good reviews and one side overlooks the harbourside. It is a very short walk to the Bordeaux Quay brasserie that I recommended earlier (www.bordeaux-quay.co.uk/).

The conference buildings are about half a mile away up Park Street, a steep shopping street. Be sure to visit Bristol Guild, near the top of Park Street and with a wide range of quality goods on sale. Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is next door to the Wills Building, and well worth a visit. You may like to try Brown's, next door again, for one of your meal venues. It is noisy, but has a good atmosphere and a wide menu.

As for easy trips from Bristol, I would suggest Wells if you like history and want to see Britain's smallest city and a stunning cathedral.
chartley is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,675
As long as Wales remains part of Britain and St David’s doesn’t have a massive population increase, Wells is going to have to satisfy itself as being the smallest city in England.

I’m visiting Bristol in mid-October and am planning a day trip to Wells. Since I’ve done the research, you take Firstbus route 376, 55 minutes, and they run at least hourly. Glastonbury is only 15 minutes beyond Wells if that interests you.

The other day trip I’m doing is to Chepstow for its castle, claimed to be the oldest stone fortification in Britain, and Tintern for its abbey. Again 50 minutes by bus to Chepstow (X14 operated jointly by Firstbus and Stagecoach), 20 minutes further to Tintern by a local service. This latter service is only once every two hours, so you have to pay attention to timing so as not to get stranded.
ron is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 246
I have friends in the Bristol area and I've visited alot. The Clifton area not too far from the Cathedral has many interesting shops, restaurants, etc. Dont' miss the famous bridge. The Georgian House, the Red House, St. Mary Redcliffe and several other museums in the center are worth a visit. Out of town trips nearby by public transport are Wells, Bath and Wales. If you have a car, I just visited Dunster Castle about 1-1/2 away. I also like Dyrham Park, Lacock Village and various Cotswold Villages including Tetbury.
mes2525 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 05:21 PM
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Thanks, everyone. I won't have a car, so the tips for public transportation are appreciated. I'm not thrilled to hear that Park Street is steep, but that means it will be easier coming back to the hotel after a long day at the conference! If you're checking this thread, chartley: What will the weather be like in late September? I plan to bring layers, including a rain-resistant jacket with a removable lining.
Kathyngs is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 01:32 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Predicting the weather in Britain is notoriously difficult. It is currently quite warm and dry, but there is a stiff breeze this morning. The forecast for the next few days is sunny with temperatures of 18-19 C (that's mid sixties Fahrenheit). The clear skies can mean cooler nights, but the likelihood of a frost is small. There may be rain, so a small umbrella would be useful, but is is usually possible to dodge the showers. Sturdy shoes and a rain-resistant jacket would be an advantage, but you are unlikely to need the removable lining. A variety of tops of different weights, warmth and sleeve length would probably be better.
chartley is offline  
Sep 17th, 2009, 04:47 AM
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Small umbrella--check. Sturdy shoes--check. Rain-resistant jacket--check. Restaurant recommendations--check. I'm all set. I'll report in when I get back. Thanks again!
Kathyngs is offline  
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