The inspector travels to Bristol and stays at the newest Soho House Mollie’s motel.
- Mollie’s Motel & Diner, just off the M5 north of Bristol, is a ‘smart’ concept, says the inspector
- The inspector’s guest room – one of 123 – is decorated in a Scandinavian style with wood paneling and floors
- He visits the diner and says the menu is “reasonably priced” and “the staff rushes about with a reasonable sense of purpose.”
- Remember, the inspector pays his way… and tells it like it is
There is a Premier Inn almost opposite Mollie’s Motel & Diner, just off the M5 north of Bristol. Both offer cheap, clean rooms, but that’s where the similarities end.
Mollie’s is an offshoot of Soho House, the trendy members’ club with outlets around the world – but you absolutely don’t have to be a member to stay here.
It’s the kind of place (like the first Mollie’s that opened three years ago on the A420 between Oxford and Swindon) that makes you think: Why didn’t someone do this years ago?
The inspector is staying overnight at Mollie’s Motel & Diner, pictured, just off the M5 north of Bristol
The 123-room, two-wing motel is an offshoot of hip Soho House members’ club
There are 123 rooms in two wings, separated by a grassy courtyard where guests staying overnight can enjoy drinks. The full American Diner is located in a separate building.
We walk into the retro-chic lobby and bar to check in – and like the idea of asking for a room key and a large gin and tonic at the same time.
We ask for a room as far away from the freeway as possible and while I’m drinking our drinks I get a text that our room is ready and our bags have been picked up from there.
Upstairs is the retro-chic lobby and bar. The inspector likes the idea of asking for a room key and a large gin and tonic at the same time.
While having a drink in the lobby (pictured), the inspector receives a text message that his room is ready and his bags have been picked up from there
Upstairs is one of the guest bedrooms, complete with fluted wood paneling. Double rooms start from £90
Pictured is a motel bedroom. Cowshed toiletries are available in the shower room
The room has a Scandinavian vibe with fluted wood paneling, hardwood floors, plush armchairs, and the kind of bedding Soho House members have become accustomed to.
The washbasin is in the hallway opposite the shower room which is stocked with Cowshed toiletries. There is a Dyson hair dryer and hair straightener and you can connect your phone to the TV to watch Netflix and co.
Two quibbles: there are no individual switches for the bedside lamps, and the anti-theft hangers look out of place.
The inspector notes that the full-size American diner pictured “spreads” during his visit and has a “brilliant menu at fair prices”.
“The staff rushes purposefully around” in the diner. Pictured left is a burger being served at the restaurant. At right is French toast from the diner’s breakfast menu
The diner is packed and it’s a brilliant menu at fair prices. “My name is Dean and I’m watching over you tonight,” Dean says. And he does. We could be in California. We order three starters: nachos with tomato salsa, guacamole, cheese sauce, and sour cream; “Mozzarella Sticks by Mollie” baked in batter; and Caesar salad.
We follow these with a burger and half a ribeye. The staff rushes around purposefully. They all wear black T-shirts with slogans: chop chop; chef de party; Cut the mustard. There is even more hustle and bustle at breakfast.
Mollies is clever. The plan is to roll out more. Businesses like Premier Inn and Travelodge need to up their game.
Mollies Motel & Diner, A4018, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, BS10 7TL. Double rooms start from £90. Call for more information 0117 3747740 or visit mollies.com.