Mollie’s Bristol is a ‘budget-luxe’ roadside motel and diner from Soho House Group, where rooms are furnished by Conran and there’s trendy co-working space with unlimited coffee. Jenny Southan reports
Best known for its global chain of private members’ clubs, Soho House Group has opened a second spin-off Mollie’s motel and diner in Bristol, following Mollie’s Oxfordshire in 2019.
Mollie’s Bristol is a roadside motel and diner situated off the M5 that links the Midlands to South-West England. It is a short drive from Bristol city centre.
With rooms from just £50 a night, Soho House said in a statement that the vision for Mollie’s is to “transform affordable travel with a distinctive and disruptive ‘budget-luxe’ offering”.
The three-floor property has 123 Soho House-designed rooms featuring a number of brand collaborations – there is Conran furniture and lighting, Hypnos mattresses, and Dyson and GHD hair appliances.
Mollie’s provides four room categories – Double, Twin, Connected (sleeping four or six people) and Bunk (sleeps four).Guests will also find black-out blinds, oak-lined walls, terrazzo tiles and chrome finishes. Bathrooms feature powerful rain showers, fluffy towels and eco-friendly refillable bottles of Cowshed shampoo and shower gel.
In short, it’s a revolution for motels, which have traditionally made little effort to make stays luxurious for consumers. (They are a necessity, after all.)Technology also plays a central role at Mollie’s, placing this motel concept firmly in the 21st-century. All rooms come with 50-inch Smart TVs, with guests’ phones automatically functioning as a remote, casting people’s personal Netflix and Spotify accounts directly to the screen and syncing with the super-fast free wifi.Then there is the Mollie’s app, which can be used by guests to check-in online and have a digital room key delivered to their phone wherever they are. The app can also be used to pre-book electric vehicle charging bays for free, before arrival, and there’s 24-hour online chat support with the reception team, in multiple languages.
At the heart of the property is Mollie’s Lounge, which is encompasses a central welcome zone and co-working space (where guests can avail of free bottomless tea and Mollie’s own artisanal house coffee blend), Mollie’s Store and a comfy living room.
A statement from Soho House Group says: “Mollie’s Bristol will welcome everyone. It is for fun-seeking weekend travellers, family ‘staycationers’, student sleepovers, road trip stop-overs, business travellers and spontaneous mid-week getaways.
Meanwhile, all-day food and cocktails are served at the 195-seat diner, where interiors were aso designed exclusively by Soho House.
Soho House Group says: “Guests can choose to dine at classic counter seating, relax into leather banquettes inspired by the interior of a Cadillac, or eat al fresco at the comfortable heated outdoor terrace.”Dishes include build-your-own breakfast waffles and pancakes to burgers, chilli cheese-dogs and rotisserie chicken. There are also healthy salads and plant-based options, plus unlimited American-style coffee.Soho House Group says: “Mollie’s menu caters for all tastes and dietary requirements from gluten free and vegan friendly. The diner operates a completely nut free kitchen.”
High-calorie “hand-spun” shakes include salted caramel and Oreo flavours, while dessert ranges from hot apple pie to chocolate and cornflake pudding. There is also a section on the menu for ice cream sundaes. For breakfast, you can order this decadent French toast.
Cocktails include the Passionfruit Martini, Spicy Paloma and Long Beach. Mollie’s also presents mocktails, wine, local and craft beers, sodas and a “fun and experimental” spirits menu.
Kids’ meals are priced at an affordable £6.50, including a drink. Soho House Group says: “Parents will be pleased with available, healthy dining options as well as the extensive and thoughtful baby changing facilities on beautifully clean terrazzo countertops.”