I have no shame when it comes to the amount of money I'll spend on a hotel, 'cause when it comes to comfort, I'm willing to pay for it, however, my idea of the 'motel' has always been reserved to an Alfred Hitchcock movie or a road trip across America that I can alas afford. But we actually do have them in the UK...
Already established in Oxfordshire, Mollie's Bristol is a new location for the chain, sitting just off a roundabout on the Cribbs Causeway. Easy to find and with free parking, the stark charcoal black buildings sit nicely in the local industrial area, with the large neon signs screaming 'pull over' instead of pass by.
It's no surprise that everything at Mollie's has a touch of elevation to it, thanks to Soho House behind the design of its interiors. From bright and light rooms featuring minimal but quality decor, through to hair straighteners and a Dyson hairdryer available for use in each room and Cowshed products littered about, they've ripped up the rule book when it comes to the bog-standard kip-over. Even the main entrance lobby's velvet lounge chairs and coffee machines play in to the notion that popping by is worthwhile.
I didn't want this summary of Mollie's to be a gush fest, I wanted it to be a fair and thought out overview of what they offer, but it's hard not to lush over the brand when their dining space alone sings to the motels of old. Amped up with luxury touches throughout, this would be our dining space for both dinner and breakfast the next day, with checkered tiling, a sloped ceiling and blue booths.
Most of the time I'd be all over the chips and buns on a diner menu, but my interest was drawn to a grilled salmon and sweetcorn succotash £16, showing that Mollie's aren't just about your greasy spoon grub on the side of the road (not that I'm not down for that either). The salmon was, for want of a better way of putting it, grilled to perfection, with the sweetcorn succotash (a deliciously sour bean-style salad) taking the dish from really good, to extraordinary. Run of the mill diner food this is not. The waitress even amused my request of a side of pickles, because who isn't ordering an extra side of pickles.
After an undisturbed sleepover, we finished our stay with one of the most important, but final tests: the vegetarian full English. Coming in at £12.50, you would argue that it might not be the cheapest vegetarian breakfast in Bristol, but you wouldn't argue that it wasn't worth it. With a chunky hash brown to my right and perfectly toasted sourdough and a meat-free sausage to my left, it was an ending of highs for my husband and I.
The DesignMyNight Digest
I was incredibly impressed with not only the quality throughout (there aren't too many hotels where you can use a Dyson hairdryer), but the general buzz too. Mollie's have gone out of their way to build a brand that gives the stopover a luxury edge not seen before in the hotel industry, and I for one am excited to try more of them over the years to come.
For the record Mollie's, you had me at succotash.
💰 The damage: Around £80-100, including overnight stay and breakfast for two.
📍 The location: A4018, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol BS10 7TL.
👌 Perfect for: A cool hotel only a 25 minute cab from the city.
⭐ Need to know: There's no room service, but the bar is open until late, so you can grab a drink for the room only a few steps downstairs.
Looking for more city ideas? Check out our guide to what's on in Bristol here.