Brighton has got the best of everything. And I say that, because I am biased (it’s my home)! It’s hilly, happy and generally quite hippy! It’s also perfect for a staycation – something we have evolved to love since lockdown.
However, with all it’s quirks, the seafront is like a mecca of swish hotels, posh apartments, restaurants and quaint squares – and very rarely do I get to frequent them. However, the opening of the latest hotel to hit the beach was a local affair, and I was happy to shimmy on down, with little more than a toothbrush and a party frock, to check it out.
Selina Hotel is situated in a perfect tourist spot – opposite the i360 and the West Pier; the iconic landmarks have not been forgotten within the design of the redecorated rooms as many have a view of both.
Designed to reflect Brighton’s iconic ocean-front location and the city’s creative spirit, interior designer Tola Ojuolape collaborated closely with Selina’s workshop team, using materials that represent and embrace the community, and each of the rooms has been given a quirky and whimsical twist.
As an international nomadic lifestyle brand, Selina is renowned for its combination of co-working spaces, wellness and recreational experiences; in fact, you can find Selina Hotels in more than 70 urban, beach, jungle and mountain-side locations across 20 countries worldwide. With a plan to develop a global infrastructure for nomads and remote workers who want to make the world their classroom/office/playground Brighton is a great fit.
The modern, on-site restaurant, The Old Pier, offers an uninterrupted vista for people watchers- and the constant enchantment of the bobbing tide and 360 pod will ensure anyone who doesn’t have their sea legs, feels safe cocooned in the shabby-chic, atmospheric, plant-filled bar.
31 uniquely designed private rooms, suites and shared rooms are all tasteful, yet uncluttered; they are designed not to be lived in, as Brighton is there to be explored! I stayed in a delightful king size room, with a damn comfortable bed, and sash windows which let in a refreshing sea breeze. With a small (original natch) school desk and chair, open plan wardrobe and ensuite with quality condiments, the room led off a rickety floorboard corridor, which was miraculously un-squeaky throughout the night.
But perhaps that had something to do with copious amounts of alcohol that came when celebrating the opening of the property. Both residents and non-residents are welcome to take part in the weekly bingo sesh, which is hosted by Party with Ginger and her entourage of incredible performers. If you’ve never seen Grace Jones, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Madonna or Kylie up close, I can only imagine it would be as much fun as this! Bingo is the name of the game, but actually takes second place to these dancers – socially distanced of course, and complemented by house line shots of tequila.
While you’re being entertained, you can scan the menu from the table topped bar code and enjoy table service – I’d highly recommend the signature 48-hour sourdough pizza – they do a vegan one obviously this being Brighton- the Dungeon with vegan mozzarella, grated chilli seitan, red peppers and crushed green chillies, which was insanely delicious! Over the coming months, The Old Pier will also expand the menu further to include salmon sashimi poke bowls, Bajan style fish tacos and beef and vegan burgers, but I loved the sweet corn niblets and cauliflower tempura and fish tacos.
If your first night was unexpected, it’s well worth engaging in the full Brighton experience and signing up for a rejuvenating morning yoga session in the i360. Blow away the cobwebs and set yourself up for the day with sea views from a downward dog position, before tottering back across the prom to the hotel for brunch.
Whether you are keen to get out and explore the city, which is right on your doorstep, hang around the lobby with your laptop or peruse the products from local brands that are on display in reception, Selina is in the heart of the action. Locals will soon be able to snap up a spot in a co-working space, which will no doubt be a creative hot pot – showcasing local artist Amy Isles Freeman, whose work themes around female sexuality, freedom and joy.
Whether you live in Brighton or just fancy a Covid friendly trip to the seaside, I’d highly recommend checking out the range of lofts, suites, family rooms that accommodate up to four, standard and micro-sized double rooms at the Selina. What’s more, the brand has a further 19 opening in 2021 including shared community rooms which fit up to six guests.
Main image credit: Selina Brighton