WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM MOLLIES, THE NEW HOTEL GROUP DESIGNED BY SOHO HOUSE

How on Earth do they manage it? That’s the question most people ask when they witness what’s on offer for the price at this new, affordable hotel and diner concept. We pay a visit to Mollie’s, which has just opened its second Soho House-designed home in Bristol.

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM MOLLIES, THE NEW HOTEL GROUP FROM SOHO HOUSE
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM MOLLIES, THE NEW HOTEL GROUP FROM SOHO HOUSE

Luxury and lifestyle at a rock

How on Earth do they manage it? That’s the question most people ask when they witness what’s on offer for the price at this new, affordable hotel and diner concept. We pay a visit to Mollie’s, which has just opened its second Soho House-designed home in Bristol.

It’s hard to imagine luxury members club Soho House to be paired with the concept of budget. Yet from the mind-bogglingly low price of £70.00 for a double room per night, guests at the new Soho House-designed Mollie’s hotel and dining concept really will enjoy everything from a stylish and comfortable interiors, a fun atmosphere, destination dining and personable service to luxury touches and innovative technology.

Mollie’s appeal is not limited to the niche visitor. It’s ideal for everyone from fun-seeking weekend travellers, family ‘staycationers’, student sleepovers, road trip stopovers, and business travellers to spontaneous mid-week getaways.

Mollie’s Bristol features 123 Soho House designed rooms across three floors, with all-day food and cocktails served at the 195-cover Diner and heated terrace, as well as a communal workspace with free bottomless tea and Mollie’s own artisanal house coffee blend.

The second Mollie’s to open, based near Bristol, complements the first site in the portfolio in Buckland, Oxfordshire, a motel, diner and drive-thru located, featuring bedrooms also designed by Soho House and with style and comfort in mind. It boasts 79 Motel rooms and a 174 cover Diner with an open kitchen and a heated outdoor terrace. There is also a convenient Drive-Thru for visitors on the move.

The Motel

On arrival at the Bristol property guests find Mollie’s Lounge to be a vibrant and buzzing start to their stay. It’s the centrepiece of the property, encompassing the lobby, self-check-in, workspace, Mollie’s Store and a comfy living room, creating a home-away-from-home and a space to work, socialise or relax and enjoy a cocktail.

To elevate guests’ in-room experience, Mollie’s has partnered with a number of renowned British brands: bedrooms feature Conran furniture and lighting, oak lined walls, terrazzo tiles and chrome finishes. Indulgent cotton sheets and handcrafted Hypnos mattresses deliver a restful night’s sleep. Bathrooms are fitted with powerful rain showers, luxurious Cowshed products, fluffy towels and the latest Dyson and GHD hair appliances.

Guest-focussed Technology

The whole customer journey has been carefully thought through, with an effortless, digital-led experience that simplifies the entire guest journey and stay.

The Mollie’s app opens a raft of benefits for an enhanced guest experience. Guests can check in online or via the app and have their room key delivered to their phone wherever they are and when it’s convenient for them. Electric Vehicle charging bays can be pre-booked, free-of-charge, before arrival and there’s 24-hour online chat support with the friendly reception team, in multiple languages.

In-room, 50-inch Smart TVs come as standard. Guests’ phones automatically pair with the TV as a remote, casting their personal Netflix or Spotify account directly to the screen and syncing with the super-fast complimentary Wi-Fi, for the ultimate and seamless relaxing at-home experience.

The Diner

Mollie’s Diner is a modern all-day hang-out serving up contemporary, seasonal cooking for solo travellers or families, friends and lovers. With interiors designed exclusively by Soho House, the setting hints at a classic diner style, but is reinvented with elegant vintage inspired lighting, sleek tiling, comfortable banquettes, warm wood and chrome fittings and lots of natural light.

Early-riser or late-nighter, Mollie’s all-day diner culture has guests covered. From build-your-own breakfast waffles and pancakes to downright decadent burgers and rotisserie chicken; from healthy salads and plant-based options to a wildly extensive dessert menu and bottomless cups of Mollie’s own artisanal house coffee blend. Mollie’s is a place for guests to gather and enjoy great food with quality ingredients at the right price in a fun and cool atmosphere.

The Location

Mollie’s new Bristol property is situated at the gateway to the South-West, off the M5, which links the Midlands with South-West England. Close to Bath, Cardiff, Bristol Airport and minutes from Bristol Centre, making Mollie’s a great stop-over when visiting the city, enroute to the South-West, or for family and friends seeing students at the two universities nearby.

Rooms are available from £70.00 for a Double Room and can be booked via the Mollie’s website at mollies.com

Mollie’s Bristol Room Categories

Mollie’s provides five room options, to welcome every type of traveller. Well-appointed interiors blend nostalgic motel vibes with modern high standards.

Double rooms (sleeps two): stylish and serene rooms for couples or solo travellers. Each room has walls lined in natural oak and antique-style brass fittings, with comfortable Conran velour armchairs to relax in. The muted tones and black-out blinds contribute to a good night’s sleep. Bathrooms are fitted in contemporary terrazzo and cool stone, with a powerful rain shower, luxurious Cowshed products and the latest Dyson and GHD hair appliances.

Twin rooms (sleeps two): providing all the comfort of the double room but designed for adult-sharers or as an extra room for the kids.

Interconnected rooms (sleeps four or six): perfect for families or larger groups

Bunk rooms (sleeps four): Sharing is caring; these are the perfect stopover choice for groups. Combining function with flair, with two bespoke bunk beds of solid oak, warm lighting, and black-out blinds for a restful night’s sleep. Stylish design details include powerful rain showers in bathrooms fitted with terrazzo and stone, luxurious Cowshed products and the latest Dyson and GHD hair appliances. All bunk rooms can interconnect with a double room for up to six guests, providing the perfect stay for parents and children.

Accessible rooms (sleeps up to four):  Interconnected accessible rooms are also available

Sustainability

Environmental concerns matter to Mollie’s. Sustainability is part of the Mollie’s proposition, from Electric Vehicle charging and cycle points to the recyclable takeaway packaging that guests are coming to recognise as an identifiable part of the Mollie’s brand.

For example, Mollie’s has committed to ensuring all plastic items are made from recycled, recyclable and compostable materials and has opted for refillable products in its motel bathrooms.

As Mollie’s concept develops and expands, sustainable thinking will remain at the heart of its proposition as the new and vibrant hospitality concept of affordable luxury implements measures that will manage its environmental impact and further reduce its carbon footprint in the years to come.

More About the Diner

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.

Mollie’s menu caters for all tastes and dietary requirements from gluten free and vegan friendly to the outright indulgent. The diner operates a completely nut-free kitchen.

The extensive and accommodating all-day menu has favourites for everyone, from diner classics to plant-based and healthy options, with a tasty salad section.

The menu also includes burgers and sandwiches with house made sauces, such as Double Cheeseburgers, Plant-Based Burgers and Chilli Cheese-Dogs. Breakfast staples include stacks of Pancakes or Waffles, Eggs Your Way, French Toast and Avocado & Poached Eggs on Sourdough.

Indulgent hand-spun shakes are available from traditional Vanilla to Salted Caramel or Oreo. Dessert is most definitely not an after-thought at Mollie’s. A deliciously OTT dessert menu offers a generous selection, including mouth-watering Plant Based Hot Apple Pie, classic Lemon Meringue Pie and Chocolate & Cornflake Pudding. There is even a separate Ice Cream Sundae section, with flavours to tempt such as Banoffee and Warm Blondie.

There’s a cocktail menu with twists on the classics, including the Mollie’s Passionfruit Martini, Spicy Paloma and Long Beach. Mollie’s also has an extensive mocktail offering as well as a curated wine list, local and craft beers and sodas, as well as a fun and experimental spirits menu.

Mollie’s Diner is family-oriented and its will delight adults and children of all ages alike, and again price is a great consideration. The carefully considered Kids Menu for example offers meals priced at an affordable £6.50 and include a drink.

From the horse’s mouth

What can smaller independent B&B’s learn from Mollie’s in respect to design and customer experience? Darren Sweetland, Managing Director of Mollie’s Motel & Diner Bristol and Oxfordshire, reveals the secret to Mollie’s success.

Smaller independent B&B owners are clamouring to find out and learn how Mollie’s manages to offer such obviously mouth-wateringly tempting stay for guests, in a property kitted throughout with luxury touches.

Most hotels start out small and independent, and Mollie’s was no exception. When we launched Mollie’s Oxfordshire, we had big ambitions, concise goals and a clear vision of how we wanted to develop our brand.

For me, the key was in providing a memorable experience through a seamless, amiable customer journey and a recognisable design aesthetic: Mollie’s is known for its distinctive retro-inspired décor.

We wanted to offer the best guest experience possible by using highly advanced technology to remove complexity and ultimately provide an intuitive customer experience. Smaller independent hospitality property owners may not want to invest in big tech, but there is something to be said for putting the guest experience first and foremost when developing your operational strategy.

Another key element of Mollie’s was the creation of a safe and comfortable space that feels like a home away from home, so guests only take away treasured memories. This is an important consideration, and one to get right. We put a lot of work into designing a sociable, communal, multi-purpose area that almost has a coffee-house vibe, a place to relax and unwind or grab a drink at the bar. All in all, we created a truly agile space that meets the needs of all types of visitors.

Of course, there’s only so far you can go with décor and facilities. Key to any successful business, large or small, is a happy, engaged team. Mollie’s prides itself on its warm and friendly service, fantastic work benefits to help keep the staff happy and engaged, in-depth training programmes and clear, open and transparent progression structures.

 

Affordable Rooms are available from £70.00 for a Double Room

Dining concept

All-day food and cocktails served at the 195-cover Diner and heated terrace

Stylish and comfortable interiors

Fun atmosphere

Mollie’s is a place for guests to gather and enjoy great food with quality ingredients at the right price in a fun and cool atmosphere

Personable service

The property encompasses the lobby, self-check-in, workspace, Mollie’s Store and a comfy living room, creating a home-away-from-home and a space to work, socialise or relax and enjoy a cocktail

Luxury touches

Bedrooms feature Conran furniture and lighting, oak lined walls, terrazzo tiles and chrome finishes. Indulgent cotton sheets and handcrafted Hypnos mattresses deliver a restful night’s sleep. Bathrooms are fitted with powerful rain showers, luxurious Cowshed products, fluffy towels and the latest Dyson and GHD hair appliances.

Guest-focussed

It is for fun-seeking weekend travellers, family ‘staycationers’, student sleepovers, road trip stop-overs, business travellers and spontaneous mid-week getaways.

Innovative technology

The whole customer journey has been carefully thought throughwith an effortless, digital-led experience that simplifies the entire guest journey and stay. For instance, electric Vehicle charging bays PIC EV CHARGING can be pre-booked, free-of-charge, before arrival and there’s 24-hour online chat support with the friendly reception team, in multiple languages.

Communal workspace

With free bottomless tea and Mollie’s own artisanal house coffee blend

Early-riser or late-nighter

Take the stress out of the guest’s stay with easy self-check-in. Mollie’s all-day diner culture has guests covered, including build-your-own breakfast waffles and pancakes

 

About Managing Director of Mollie’s Motel & Diner
Bristol and Oxfordshire, Darren Sweetland

Mollie’s is led by Managing Director Darren Sweetland (former EMEA Finance Director of Soho House and Commercial Finance at Tesco PLC). At Soho House, Darren worked closely with Founder, Nick Jones and played an instrumental role in the brand’s commercial expansion across the UK, Europe and Asia.

Darren’s combination of commercial and financial experience both at Tesco PLC and the exclusive, global private members’ club, Soho House with its focus on innovation, creativity and community, gives him the perfect expertise to drive Mollie’s mission forward and make it a true disruptor between traditional value and luxe hotel categories.

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About Dominic Johnson 388 Articles
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