How do you make a stay at a luxury hotel in one of Britain’s most fashionable cities even more attractive?
The nationwide Mercure hotel group has come up with one answer that might strike a chord with a few people – add chocolate.
To celebrate National Chocolate Week, the chain has designed an indulgent package specially catering for guests with a sweet tooth.
Nine of its hotels are offering a Chocolate Unwrapped spa break, which really does deliver a treat for all the senses – with a pampering chocotherapy spa treatment, indulgent choctail and dining experience – all priced at £160 for two people.
At Bristol’s Holland House Hotel and Spa, visitors during October have enjoyed the usual stylish cuisine from the hotel’s Phoenix Restaurant and relaxing treatments from its nearby spa, but with a tasty chocolate twist.
First the modern four-star establishment invites guests into the soothing surroundings of its cosy spa facility for a chocolate orange back treatment, which leaves you feeling pleasantly blissed out just in time for dinner.
But there’s always a chance you might not make it, because returning to the spacious, comfortable rooms for a quick lie down could easily see you sailing into dreamland a little too early.
That would be a huge shame though as the bar staff are just itching to whip you up a decadent chocolate martini, mixed by the hotel’s well-trained bartender to stimulate the taste buds before dinner.
And dinner itself is a fine mix of the modern and traditional.
The deceptively simple three-course set menu masks dishes of real flavour and craftsmanship. I guarantee you will finish every last bite.
Topping it all off is the hotel’s alternative to the traditional cheese board – the Divine Chocboard.
This selection of high- quality Fairtrade treats from Divine Chocolate boasts flavours ranging from raspberry and orange to chilli and coffee.
And after your meal it’s just a short walk out the hotel’s back door before you’re overlooking Bristol’s flourishing city centre and docks.
Numerous trendy bars and nightclubs are a mere stone’s throw away, along with the famous Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol’s leading aquarium and the M Shed museum dedicated to the city’s history.
Not to mention the interactive learning experiences of At Bristol, fantastic shopping in Park Street and the huge, modern Cabot Circus development, built by the same firm behind Gunwharf Quays.
But if you’re looking for a light lunch before your big hotel feast, the Severnshed refurbished boat house is directly across the Severn.
Here you will found a friendly atmosphere and delicious selection of light bites at very reasonable prices.
Even just walking around Bristol and taking in the city’s mixture of maritime history – in the form of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Britain and John Cabot’s Matthew – and modern creativity is a fantastic experience.
The chocolate package is also available at Mercure’s hotels in Aberdeen, Blackburn, Bolton, Manchester, Shrewsbury, Cardiff, Coventry and Sheffield.
For further details or to book a stay, visit mercure.com.
From £160 for two, the package includes one night bed and breakfast, a cocoa therapy spa treatment each, plus a three-course set dinner including a chocolate Martini and choc-board for dessert.
The Prix Fixe menu features three light courses for £10.95, from midday to 7pm, Sunday to Friday. Three tapas-style plates are also available for the same price.