Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel
Part of a wider £100 million investment, Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel has undergone a major refurbishment of its interior space.
Work began on the Victorian Grade II listed hotel in late 2015 with the build itself starting in May of last year. “The project finished in March, although there was a lot of artwork which needed to be installed after the builders finished, particularly two large street-art murals,” commented Ian Haigh, Creative Director of Central Design Studio.
Located on Broad Street, Bristol, the hotel is situated in the heart of the city making it a perfect place to stay for a weekend city break. Central Design Studio were tasked with designing the interior of the hotel to reflect the history of the building as well as adding a modern twist. “Accor, who own the Mercure brand, were very keen to have a strong narrative, and also a design that wasn’t boring. Mercure have gone through a bit of a transformation of late, and they are now really pushing the design and being quite experimental,” added Ian, “Bristol has a famous street art scene, and we drew inspiration from this mixing it up with the historic Victorian architecture.”
Completed in phases, the refurbishment has been done over four floors and in total includes the 156 bedrooms and the restaurant and bar as well as the hotel’s the public areas. “It’s a large, sprawling listed Victorian hotel, so it is quite big. A grand dame of a building, which had been slightly neglected,” added Ian. “The design brief was to breathe a new lease of life into a locally renowned building and to combine two very different aesthetics – Victorian architecture and street art – to dramatic effect.”
With a bold new colour scheme and interior, the four-star hotel is set to be one of Bristol’s more unique offerings. “We used a mix of materials. We love honest materials, so a lot of oiled timbers and patinated metals run through the design. We also like to have a makers mark on each piece of furniture or lighting, so all the finishes are slightly different depending on who has made it,” commented Ian.
“One of the biggest influences for the design was working with Upfest, a gallery and street-art festival in Bristol. They have been great throughout the project, curating over 500 pieces of art by local street artists.” The art curated for the hotel is spread throughout the interior to keep the mix of the two aesthetics a constant as guests explore the hotel.
The guestrooms themselves range from Standard Single to Superior Double to Junior Suite and all feature the usual amenities found within a hotel including a flat screen TV, free unlimited WiFi and air conditioning.
Along with the guestrooms, Ian and his team have fully refurbished the hotel’s meeting and event rooms available for hire. Events can be held in the spectacular Wessex suite and the Grand Ballroom for up to 500 people seated as well as other smaller events spaces that are perfect for business meetings.
“A lot of the furniture and lighting we used throughout the hotel is bespoke, designed by us especially for the project. We do this on most of our projects, as it means we can offer the client something truly unique. We also like to collaborate and work with other designers, and on this project we’ve worked with emerging textile designers Kitty McCall and Midula Dey, along with wallpaper print designer Elli Popp,” added Ian.
“For the hotel, the narrative is Victorian architecture meets street art, but for the restaurant we’ve developed a slightly different approach to the rest of the hotel. The restaurant very much takes its inspiration from the local area, in particular nearby St Nicholas markets, giving a natural neighbourhood feel.”
Due to the nature of the building itself and the refurbishment, there were some challenges that Ian and his team at Central Design Studio had to overcome. “The project was definitely a logistical challenge as we worked with so many artists, and hand-sourced so many different vintage pieces of furniture for the restaurant. However, I’ve enjoyed every minute. It’s our first project for Accor, and I’m really pleased with the result.”
Holmes Catering Equipment Solutions
Holmes specialise in the design, manufacture and installation of foodservice and retail counters, kitchens and bar areas for the hospitality and leisure sector. The company provides in-house design development, alongside an expert manufacture and installation service and has built up an excellent reputation within the industry.
Holmes has been in operation for almost 30 years and within this time the company has worked on various prestigious projects, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Microsoft, Vodafone, Tesco, Whole Foods Market and Novotel, amongst others. Most recently, Holmes has been involved in the design, manufacture and installation of the bar and restaurant counters for Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel.
Steve Parkin, Holmes Catering Equipment Solutions, said:
“We were delighted to be awarded this contract as it is a truly bespoke design, allowing us to fully showcase our abilities.”
“At Holmes, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide a high quality service throughout a project. We understand client briefs, taking them to fruition, and we are very proud of our attention to detail.”