Price: £ 135
Hotel Location: Brighton
Address: 33 Regency Square, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2GG, +44 (0) 1273 324 302
Type of Hotel: Boutique|Design|Dog-friendly|Budget hotel
Type of Break: City break|Shopping trips|Foodie breaks|Girly weekends|Group trips|Party weekends
Hotel Style: Seaside chic|Modern|Quirky
London’s Soho is officially dipping its toes into Brighton’s beach life now Russell Norman’s hip Italian small plates restaurant Polpo has brought its famous meatballs to the city centre, and there’s also talk of W1’s trendiest members’ club Soho House soon opening an outpost on the seafront. But before the inevitable influx of more London cool, it’s worth discovering Brighton’s own home grown charm.
The Artist Residence hotel is a playfully shabby chic example of the seaside city’s signature style and feels far removed from the stag and hen party Brighton you can see razzling around The Lanes.
The converted townhouse has 23-bedrooms, a beach shack style cocktail bar and two excellent restaurants (more of which later).
Our Bigger Sea View room delivered on both promises, though it must be noted the vista is now somewhat obscured by the Brighton i360 Tower – a 531ft black needle-like structure on the sea front directly in front of the hotel.
There was a large claw-footed bathtub in the bedroom, which is an indulgent treat for couples but potentially awkward if you are sharing with anyone you’d rather not see naked, though there is, thankfully, a shower in the small bathroom as well.
The décor was quirky and tasteful – bleached driftwood, and white metro tiles intermixed with an antique sofa and wrought iron bed.
Three of the rooms have small balconies and all have tea and coffee-making facilities along with an all you can eat stack of retro Tunnock’s caramel biscuits.
There are Artist Residence hotels in London (near Victoria station) and Cornwall too, but this one couldn’t be anywhere other than Brighton with its decorative nods to the city’s bohemian roots and retro British Seaside vibe.
The Hawaii beach-inspired Cocktail Shack is perfect for a nightcap or pre-tox and the drink names are works of puntastic genius: Thai-Tanic, Cachaca In The Rye, and Kummel Toe are a few favourites.
The in-room Robert’s Radios are set to a local advert-free jazz station which plays easy-listening, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday (so much more relaxing than Capital Xtra)
There’s a pool table in the basement as well as a residence that sleeps 6 (perfect for a more classier kind of stag or hen weekend)
That hideous tower obstructing the sea view
Some of the rooms are extremely small and do not face out on to the sea front (check before booking)
Need to Know: The Artist Residence, Brighton
Number of rooms: 23
Check-in/check-out times: 2pm and 12noon CHECK
Swimming pool: No
Eating and drinking:
The Set Restaurant
Modern British, seasonal tasting menus by chefs Dan Kenny and Semone Bonner. Sit at the open kitchen table and watch the chefs prepare that day’s inventive and plentiful dishes (set tasting menu)
The Set of Scales
A more casual sea-food diner experience. Try the fish sliders. No reservation necessary.
The sea (naturally) – great for early morning jogs if you are so inclined. That blasted tower! The famous Ginger Pig restaurant, vegetarian restaurant Ideya and a host of arty little boutiques. Everything in Brighton is walking distance.
A train from London Bridge takes just over an hour and the hotel is a 7 minute taxi journey from the station (which cost us £5 at the time)