Anything goes in Brighton: it’s an excellent choice for a seaside break, rain or shine. And with its burgeoning restaurant scene luring Londoners to move south, a stay here has become even more appealing.
But where to bed down? Sparkly sea views? Tick. Hip pub with rooms attached? No problem. Quiet glamor or burlesque kitsch? We’ve got them covered. In fact, the choices are as colorful as the city itself.
The best hotels in Brighton are:
Neighborhood: Kemp Town
Stylish, seriously sexy and a firm favorite with Kylie Minogue and Cate Blanchett, Drakes is a gem of a boutique hotel and its basement restaurant serves top-notch modern British cuisine. Even better, 13 of the 20 bedrooms enjoy pier and sea views, the best of which have roll-top baths in front of floor-to-ceiling windows. The look to this double-fronted Georgian hotel is 1930s swish, with elm wood detailing, rippled cornices, sizeable wet rooms and heavenly handcrafted beds. Order up a bottle of bubbly or a love hamper of adult toys, run a bath and relax…
Price: Doubles from £135
Neighborhood: North Laine
On the fringes of the boho North Laine district, this 79-room hotel is ideally placed if you’re into creative eateries, indie shops and gnarly flea markets. My Brighton may look bland from the outside, but step inside and there’s a playful Teletubbies-chic look going on: think porthole windows, citrus colours, curvy walls and pod-shaped bathrooms. It makes for a fun stay and most bedrooms have huge picture windows, with the best views to the rear. Kick off the evening at the Merkaba cocktail bar downstairs then slip next door to the award-winning Chilli Pickle for one of the best curries in town.
Price: Doubles from £113
Neighborhood: Centre, Regency Square
At the top end of Regency Square and facing the i360 observation tower and skeletal West Pier, Artist Residence is an impressively stylish 25-room boutique hotel. Junk shop finds – old tea chests, copper slipper baths, wrought iron beds and vintage lamps – mix with striking graffiti or murals hand painted by the owners’ favorite contemporary artists. Downstairs is The Set, a locally acclaimed restaurant that majors in clever cooking at affordable prices. This is a hotel for style conscious media types although their “below deck” bunk rooms provide perfect crash pads for small groups out on the razz.
Price: Doubles from £129, room only
A recent refurbishment sees this Victorian Italianate beauty looking as glam and glossy as when it opened in 1864. The Grand is certainly the big gimme of Brighton’s hotels – perfectly located overlooking the sea, a pebble’s throw from the pier and just minutes from the antiques shops of The Lanes. New bedrooms carry a cool rethink on art deco, with soft Farrow & Ball color tones (the best of course, face the sea); the bar is buzzier than ever and serves bang-on cocktails with free nibbles and live jazz.
Price: Doubles from £151
Neighborhood: Regency Square
Sassy and saucy, this 19-room boutique hotel takes kitsch up a notch: hot pinks, glitter sofas, mirrored ceilings – you name it, they’ve bought into it. Each of the rooms is different – and by different, we mean seriously bonkers. a fan of starwars? Check into Lord Vader’s Quarters, complete with light sabers and Darth Vader costume. Fancy Fifties kitsch? Ask for Bette’s Boudoir – all whirlpool bath and leopard print excess. The breakfast room doubles as a DJ/live gig and cocktail space, and downstairs there’s karaoke. And yes, the “Peli” will happily serve you Bloody Marys in bed the next day…
Price: Doubles from £98
Brighton has its fair share of hostels, but easily the cleanest and most stylish is this pad, located in a former swish Regency hotel just north of the beachfront. You’re within staggering distance from the city’s best bars and clubs and with 180 beds across 51 rooms, it’s ideal for groups. That said, there are doubles if you want privacy on a budget – the best of which is the premium en-suite with a floor-to-ceiling bay window overlooking the pier and coastline. If you’re a light sleeper, avoid the rooms above the coach station. Downstairs is a reasonably priced café-bar (open until 2am) and self-catering kitchen. A decent self-service cooked breakfast can be scored for £9.95.
Price: Doubles from £49
Neighborhood: Centre, Regency Square
With side views onto the sea and i360, this 18-room boutique hotel exudes good looks: think handcrafted furniture, funky pendant lamps and sparkly abstract paintings that enhance the regency footprint rather than sea. It’s a super-discreet pad, much loved by rock stars and politicians, and each room is individually decorated and named after a river. Quaile, the luxury duplex, has a private cinema with leather recliners; better still are the first floor, south-facing rooms with oodles of space for sofas and roll-top baths in the bedroom, and access to a sit-out balcony for perfect sunset moments. Oh, and trendy Una Bar serves up seriously good cocktails delivered to your door.
Price: Doubles from £145
This cool gem opened a couple of years ago above the highly popular Ginger Pig. Eleven beautifully rendered bedrooms come with dense Farrow & Ball color schemes – inky blues and velvety grays – with brighter accents found in orange trimmed cushions and retro radiators. Add to that prints by Hackney steampunk artist Dan Hillier, well-stocked beach bags, Nespresso machines and pre-mixed mini-bar “Ginger” cocktails, and you’ve a swish place just up from Hove’s sedate seafront. Locals adore “The Pig’s” big-flavour cooking (hake with mushrooms and chestnut; venison pie and celeriac), and Sunday lunch is buzzing.
Price: Doubles from £120
Neighborhood: Kemp Town
Nearly every bedroom in this smart nine-room Kemp Town B&B enjoys some sort of sea view but arguably the loveliest is at the top of the house: the cozy roof terrace room has a tiny balcony sheltered enough to watch the waves going wild in winter. Elsewhere, expect seriously comfortable rooms decked out in soft tartan fabrics, high thread-count linen and enough space for armchairs. We also like the thoughtful extras: binoculars, ironing boards, kettles and a mini fridge you’re encouraged to fill up. Breakfasts focus on locally sourced grub, with delicious hot choices cooked to order.
Price: Doubles from £75
Pistachio-toned gothic from the outside and cool beachy vibe within, Hotel du Vin & Bistro was formerly a wine merchants – an appropriate beginning for this renowned temple to all things grape. Be sure to book a table at its smart Parisian-style bistro, before heading upstairs to one of 49 stunning bedrooms. Comfort is the key: soft, seaside colours, beds dressed in crisp Egyptian cottons, drench showers and squashy sofas. The best, the Signature Suite, has a wet room big enough to accommodate a rugby team and side-by-side roll top tubs with an overhead wide screen TV. If you don’t feel like a beach stroll, the private terrace features a powerful telescope trained on the waves.
Price: Doubles from £174
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Boutique hotels in Brighton