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Checking in to Selina Brighton – a room with a view

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to Selina Brighton – a room with a view

Following the recent opening of Selina Brighton, we sent travel journalist Sara Darling – who pre-Covid would be travelling to far-flung destinations around the world – to be one of the first to check in to the hotel, which is conveniently located on her doorstep…

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.

Image credit: Selina

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.

Image credit: Selina

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

Mercue Brighton Seafront Hotel completes £3m refurbishment

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Mercue Brighton Seafront Hotel completes £3m refurbishment

Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel has undergone a £3 million-pound transformation of its 116 guestrooms and communal spaces…

Led by local interior designer, Helen Hooper, Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel haws completed the interior design renovation, which included all 116 guestrooms and public spaces. The redesign of the nineteenth century hotel encapsulates the perfect blend of exquisite Regency splendor, with a dash of quirky Brighton charm.

As a listed building, no structural changes have been made, but the bespoke refurbishment has introduced modern décor throughout, with elements of Brighton’s rich history seen in every room.

“The bespoke carpet is set to make waves, as design inspiration was taken from the ripple effect of the tide going out from the sea.”

A colour palette of inky blues and welcoming whites has transformed the lounge and reception area. The bespoke carpet is set to make waves, as design inspiration was taken from the ripple effect of the tide going out from the sea – which is only a few yards away from the hotel’s doorstep. The lounge has been transformed into an impressive gallery showcasing the finest creations from local artists, really putting Mercure at the heart of Brighton’s buzzing art scene.

“The modernisation of the hotel will make the Mercure a thriving cultural hub for guests, the artwork that can be seen all around the hotel shows how proud we are to be a part of the busy Brighton community,” commented Iain Lindsay, General Manager at Mercure Hotel Brighton Seafront. “We are so happy with how the refurbishment has gone and we are looking forward to welcoming guests, old and new, and hearing their thoughts on our new look hotel.”

The updated cocktail bar and restaurant is unrecognisable with splashes of jewel colours sapphire, emerald, and amber adorning the walls. It’s not just the furnishings that have been given an update, a new food and drink menu will also be launching that reflects the culinary delights that can be locally sourced in and around Brighton. Taste buds will tingle with diners choosing from many delicious options on the menu from the Chef’s signature locally caught fish and chips, battered in Harveys Beer (brewed in Lewes), to the Brighton Deli Burger, made with Sussex Cheddar – for those with a sweet tooth finishing up with the signature Brighton Rock Knickerbocker Glory.

The bar front has become the new home to pieces from the iconic West Pier, which were salvaged from the fire that destroyed it almost two decades ago. The restaurants ceiling has been restored to its original height of just over three meters, making it a decedent room to sit back relax and enjoy drinks, dinner or an indulgent afternoon tea.

Guests of Mercure will step into a seaside wonderland in the newly refurbished bedrooms. The new throws, curtains, carpets and bespoke furnishings provide a fresh and modern look. The 16 sea view rooms have been updated with a plush grey silk effect décor, beautiful glass and brass chandeliers and antique mirror glass on the desk and bedside tables.

Main image credit: Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel

Grand Brighton facade renovation

The Grand Brighton reveals multi-million pound façade restoration project

950 556 Daniel Fountain

Luxury seafront hotel, The Grand Brighton, has announced plans for its highly anticipated multi-million pound façade restoration project.

The refurbishment, due to be completed in autumn 2017, will be conducted in four phases and will see the initial work commence on the East Wing of the building from 24 October.

Enhancements to the iconic hotel will include the installation of a new lighting system that will enrich the architectural design of the building, new windows and balconies for sea-facing rooms and full insulation, as well as a re-render of the front of the building.

Working with local businesses, J Davies Building Limited will be the main contractor having worked on a number of projects with The Grand, including most recently the Victoria, Lounge, Terrace and Bar refurbishment.

Conservation has been a main priority throughout the planning phase in order to minimise the impact and ensure guests continue to receive the best experience. The Grand has worked closely with Brighton Council and other conservation groups to ensure the heritage of the building is respected and restored to its former glory, with materials selected for longevity and for the environment.

The Grand Brighton facade renovation

Andrew Mosley, General Manager at The Grand, comments: “Since becoming an independent hotel in 2014, our owners have invested a significant amount and this project is a testament to our ongoing commitment to our customers and improving the guest experience at The Grand.

“The Grand is one of Brighton’s most treasured icons with a well-known and storied history. Once completed, the restoration of the façade will not only return the hotel to its former glory, but firmly establish The Grand as one of the landmark destinations on Brighton’s famous seafront.”

The restoration project is the latest development in a wider multi-million pound investment programme, following the sale of the hotel to independent owners in 2014. This has seen The Grand roll out an ambitious programme to install air-conditioning across its 201 bedrooms, refurbish its Victoria Terrace, Lounge and Bar, further upgrade its own seafood restaurant, GB1, upgrade Wi-Fi bandwidth capacity to 1GB and invest significantly in back of house facilities.


Hotel du Vin Brighton Bistro Launch. Brighton, East Sussex, UK

Hotel du Vin Brighton unveils new look Bistro

1000 609 Daniel Fountain

Hotel du Vin Brighton, the iconic boutique hotel brand, has unveiled its new look Bistro.

Staying true to its classic French roots, the new style is elegant and informal with a modern twist. Marble topped tables compliment the plush teal bench that runs through the centre. Bistro guests will enjoy the classic Parisian experience. Arriving through beautiful and dramatic entrance curtains, diners will settle into the luxurious settings with pictures inspired by the nautical and famous seaside destination.

Hotel du Vin Brighton. photo ©Julia Claxton

Hotel du Vin Brighton. photo ©Julia Claxton

With only the English Channel separating the beach-side Brighton hotel from its French heritage, guests will be able to savour the seaside classics such as generous seafood sharing platters or try out the new Flavours menu, a delicious array of small and large plates filled with fresh, seasonal ingredients. With wine in its DNA, the hotel now boasts its ever evolving and impressive wine list, ensuring that all tastes are catered for.

The refurbishment comes 15 years after Hotel du Vin Brighton’s debut, and showcases the brand’s continued commitment to set the trend for Brighton’s lovers of stylish food and drink.

Hotel du Vin Brighton Bistro Launch. Brighton, East Sussex, UK

Hotel du Vin Brighton. photo ©Julia Claxton

The new look follows a period of significant investment into the hotel with upgraded outdoor terrace, bar and guest rooms.

Nick Halliday, Chief Operating Officer of Hotel du Vin, added, “We are delighted that the refurbishment of the new Bistro has been completed at Hotel du Vin Brighton. We look forward to welcoming guests into our new Bistro and showcasing the fantastic food we have on offer. Whilst Brighton is fast paced and always changing, it has always been recognised as a great dining destination. We are confident that the new experience we are offering guests will ensure that Hotel du Vin remains the cornerstone of what the City has to offer those who love great food and drink in a stylish setting.


Starwood - Aloft's W XYZ bar concept as rendered by an artist

Starwood joins forces with Brighton & Hove Albion for hotel project

1000 600 Daniel Fountain

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced it has entered into a franchise agreement with Brighton and Hove Albion to open a new Aloft hotel in the popular southern England coastal city. The 150-room Aloft Brighton, which is due to open in September 2017, will expand the brand’s growing footprint to four hotels in the UK, including two in London (Aloft London Tobacco Dock opens 2018), one in Liverpool and now one in Brighton.

Located adjacent to the new American Express Community Stadium, home of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, Aloft Brighton will form a key part of a new major development that includes a proposed specialist cancer treatment center underneath the hotel. The site also enjoys superb transport links, with an on-site mainline rail station and parking for 422 cars (including 27 disabled spaces).

“This agreement illustrates the strong demand for stylish, yet affordable accommodation in mature and strategically important cities such as Brighton,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “We are delighted to partner with Brighton and Hove Albion in this venture, and look forward to introducing our cutting-edge Aloft brand alongside one of the country’s most exciting sports and leisure developments.”

Brighton's Amex Stadium

“As a global brand and leading hospitality company, Starwood’s UK market expertise gives us confidence that this alliance will be a huge success,” said Martin Perry, Brighton and Hove Albion Executive Director. “With its affordable price point, stylish design and accessible technology, the Aloft brand is the perfect choice for visitor accommodation at the American Express Community Stadium, appealing to multiple business segments including conference delegates, football supporters and visitors to the two Universities adjacent to the stadium.”

Delivering urban-influenced design and an energetic guest experience, Aloft Brighton will offer 150 loft-like guest rooms with ultra-comfortable plush platform beds, large walk-in showers and complimentary Bliss amenities. The hotel will feature the brand’s signature W XYZ bar. Additionally, every Aloft hotel around the world offers live, free access to emerging artists and performances from some of the hottest local bands.