Hotel Bristol

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Hotel Bristol labels

The Hotel Bristol is the name of more than 200[1] hotels around the world. They range from grand European hotels, such as Hôtel Le Bristol Paris and the Hotel Bristol in Warsaw or Vienna to budget hotels, such as the SRO (single room occupancy) Bristol in San Francisco. They are not a chain, except in Brazil, where Bristol Hoteis & Resorts[2] has around a dozen hotels throughout the country with the Bristol name.


The Hotel Bristol in Warsaw
The Hotel Bristol in Salzburg

The first known Hotel Bristol was in Place Vendôme in Paris. It opened in 1816 and became a favourite of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, who had a suite there. When it closed in 1916, its name was fought over, and finally won by Hippolyte Jammet,[3] who opened Hôtel Le Bristol Paris in nearby Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, today one of the city's five-star palace hotels.

Two possible origins of the name are the association with the English port-city of Bristol, and Frederick Hervey, the fourth Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry (1730–1803). According to his biographer: "So widely famed was the Bishop as a traveller, and so great his reputation as a connoisseur of all good things, that Lord Bristol's hotel...came to be the best known and regarded in every city or town where he sojourned and was thus the precursor of the Hotels Bristol to be found all over Europe."[4] Lord Bristol died in Italy at the start of the Napoleonic wars (1803–15), which interrupted the Grand Tour. The Bristol in Paris was one of many opened in the ensuing peace, hoping to re-establish the Continental tourist trade.

The fact that many hotels, such as the Bernini Bristol in Rome, use the coat of arms of the City of Bristol in their logos leads to speculation [5] that they are named after the city and not the Earl-Bishop. But there is no evidence that the Bristol family ever granted use of their arms to any hotel, while the city's coat of arms can freely be adopted to give an aristocratic image.

Modern distribution[edit]

Italy now has the most hotels of this name, with more than 50, whilst France has around 30. Many luxury Bristol hotels from the Edwardian era (for example in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, London, Lugano, Mar del Plata, New York City, Naples and St Petersburg) have not survived, but a new Hotel Bristol opened in St Petersburg in 2012, and the Bristol Hotel, Odessa (1899) has reclaimed its name after changing it to the Krasnaya Hotel during the Soviet era. One of the oldest still functioning is the Bernini Bristol in Rome, which opened in 1874. Bristol hotels also have a presence in the Middle East in Beirut since 1951 with Le Bristol Hotel Beirut. Modern hotels to use the name include those in Frankfurt, San Diego and Gurgaon, India. The city of Bristol in England did not have a Bristol hotel until 2007 when Jurys Hotel Bristol changed its name simply to The Bristol.[6]


Bristol Hotel in Beirut
  • Hotel Bristol, Belgrade, opened in 1912; the architectural characteristics of the building are highly regarded: it is qualified as an anthological example of the modern architecture in Belgrade and the pinnacle of the Secession architecture in the city. It was declared a cultural monument in 1987.[11][12]

Notable hotels called Bristol Hotel or Hotel Bristol[edit]


  1. ^ "Hotel Bristol Project". Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Bristol Hotéis & Resorts | Faça sua reserva online". Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  3. ^ Le Bristol: A 'Palace' Hotel in its Century by Pierre Jammet, Editions Hoêbecke. Paris, 1998
  4. ^ Childe-Pemberton, William Shakespeare (1924). The Earl Bishop: the life of Frederick Hervey, Bishop of Derry, Earl of Bristol. London: Hurst & Blackett.
  5. ^ "Bristol - who or what's behind the popular hotel name". Famous Hotels. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  6. ^ "The Bristol Hotel - Boutique Hotel in Bristol City Centre". The Doyle Collection. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Solanas Lost and Found". Village Voice. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  8. ^ Thatcher, M. The Downing Street Years, Harpercollins, 1993
  9. ^ Erlanger, Steven (7 March 2002). "Vienna Skewered as a Nazi-Era Pillager of Its Jews". Vienna (Austria); Austria. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  10. ^ Rabil, Robert (18 February 2005). "Syria and the Polarization of Lebanese Politics".
  11. ^ Daliborka Mučibabić (19 January 2012), "Vek istorije "Bristola"", Politika (in Serbian)
  12. ^ "Hotel "Bristol"". Cultural properties in Belgrade.

External links[edit]