This is not the main entrance to The Bristol Hotel in Bristol, but if you look at it closely you will see that on the first floor above this secondary entrance is a row of parked cars. In fact the hotel, which has perhaps the best waterside location the city, was built in the 1960s by Rank as a motel, called The Unicorn. The car park rises five storeys, and the idea was that you drove your car up to the level that your room was on, and there entered the hotel, without having to use lifts or stairs. In the 1990s the hotel was bought by the Irish Jurys chain and renamed Jurys Bristol hotel, and the car park was taken over by National Car Parks. At the end of last year the 187-room hotel underwent an £8 million refurbishment under The Doyle Collection (see Hotel Bristol News of December 2008), reopening in February this year as The Bristol Hotel. The choice of name was perfect. There has never, as far as we know, been a Hotel Bristol in Bristol before, and General Manager Mark Roche-Garland is adamant that this really is The Bristol Hotel, just as Hippolyte Jammet in 1925 named his Parisian hotel Le Bristol. And you can still, uniquely, park your car on the same floor as your hotel room, thus avoiding the lift and stairs.
.....All this was subject of discussion on May 22 on BBC Radio Bristol, when the morning show presenter Graham Torrington talked to Roger Williams about the hotel, High Times at the Hotel Bristol and the Hotel Bristol Project. Listeners calling in had their own stories about Bristol hotels they had stayed in. A BBC producer even confessed to hurling an alarm clock through a window of the Warsaw Bristol when watching David Beckham score a winning goal. Such shameful behaviour!
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