Artist Residence Brighton

Brighton, South East England, United Kingdom Book from

Reviewed by Nadine Mellor
Chilled-out, charming and very Brighton, this eclectic hotel is good value and great fun - excellent food and lethal cocktails, too
Over the past few years Artist Residence Brighton has evolved from a quirky Regency guesthouse into the cool, cosmopolitan place to stay. In fact, it mirrors Brighton’s appeals perfectly: creative vintage styling, outstanding dining and drinking opportunities, and an iconic seascape to gaze upon. Owners Justin and Charlie scoured markets and worked with local galleries to create the distinctive décor, and it’s really paid off – bedrooms are divided style-wise into 'Arty' (eclectic and quirky) and 'House' (classic and retro). Rich dark paints, lived-in leather sofas and vintage furniture pay respect to the character and history of the architecture, while exposed walls, stripped floors and graphic signs evoke trendy loft-living.

But there’s more to this place than looks. We spent most of our stay enjoying stand-out dinners in The Set, sampling Mixologist Max’s latest concoctions in The Cocktail Shack, and chilling-out in our room's enormous tub. There really is something to suit every mood, just don’t forget to step outside and enjoy everything else Brighton has to offer, too.

Highs

  • Stylish, arty and well-priced, with a fresh and informal vibe - stand-out rooms have sea views and in-room tubs
  • The buzzy bar and restaurants feel at the heart of the action, treat yourself to a city-cool night out without ever having to leave the building!
  • A range of rooms for all types, be it romantics or groups (one suite has 4 fold out bunks, suitable for adults only)
  • Lovely, friendly and helpful staff who instantly put you at ease
  • Conveniently placed for both the station and the sights

Lows

  • Maintenance work will take place on the ground floor from 2 Jan - 12 Feb 2017 (during working hours only). The Cocktail Shack will also be closed during this period. But fear not, you can enjoy a 25% discount on your room rate whilst the works take place!
  • The first- floor and basement bedrooms are not suitable for families - noise often travels from the busy restaurants
  • The restaurants (and rooms!) fill up at weekends so book ahead
  • The majority of rooms are tiny to compact, and most don't have wardrobes; hooks and hangers are provided instead

Best time to go

Brighton is brilliant whether for sunny weekends or blustery winter excursions. Summers are outdoorsy and beach-based; all year round there's good vintage shopping, interesting sights and a great arty scene, plus bubbly restaurants and convivial bars for carousing.

Our top tips

Once you've visited Brighton, complete the set at Artist Residence's easy-going Penzance outpost and slick London establishment. We loved them all!

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
City Style
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 23
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Local info/guidebooks
  • Board games
Room: Bigger House Sea View with Balcony

Rooms

The hotel occupies 2 townhouses and, although there's a unifying hipster feel to the ground floor, each side has its own aesthetic. Original rooms are dubbed 'Arty' – think murals and a colourful, quirky ambiance – whereas newer additions with Farrow & Ball paints and vintage pieces are christened 'House'.

For something special, our Bigger House Sea View definitely had the wow-factor, with a freestanding tub overlooking the grassy square and West Pier beyond. The Bigger Sea View with Balcony also brings the heat with added Regency splendour.

That said, on past visits a Cosy House Double has served us well thanks to characterful dark walls, comfy leather armchairs and Spanish tiles on the bathroom floor. Families and those wanting a quieter stay should request an upper floor room, as sound can travel from the busy bar and restaurants.

Groups of adults are well served by the lower-ground floor suite, a huge apartment-style space with double bedroom and palatial lounge (in which a further 4 single bunk-beds fold out from the wall).

See Rates for full room descriptions.

Features include:

  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Dinner in The Set was outstanding, a real highlight of our stay. For an indulgent weekend away, you can't beat the creative 5-course menu with corresponding wine flight (all beautifully presented). It's true culinary theater, though you'll be glad your room is just a short stumble upstairs by the end of it. As such, we recommend pre-dinner drinks in the The Cocktail Shack, where the delicious concoctions and humorous menu soon set the tone for a fun evening.

If you fancy striking a less formal tone, The Set Cafe serves up similar small plates and snacks at long communal wooden tables. This is also where you'll find breakfast - an enticing menu with everything from healthy granola with spiced berry compote to hair-of-the-dog house beans on toast with bourbon and paprika. We couldn't resist our old faithful, eggs Benedict, and it was up there with the best we've had.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee tea making
  • Communal dining
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity: Brighton Pier

Activities

  • Sip cocktails in the hip and retro-styled Cocktail Shack, whose tables and chairs are formed from salvaged wood from the old pier
  • Stroll along the beach, taking in the Marine Palace, the Pier and the grand promenade
  • If you've never been to the splendid Brighton Pavilion then get a wiggle on - it really is unique
  • Head to North Lanes for boutique shopping and vintage finds, or South Lanes for jewelers
  • There are festivals all year. The Brighton Festival in May is the second largest arts festival in the UK. For more on the area see our destination guide

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Festivals
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming

Kids

Thanks to its lively bar and restaurant scene, the hotel appeals to hip couples and friends more than families. That said, kids are welcome and the city is full of fun things to do - all ages love being by the sea!

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

All Bigger Rooms, Medium House Double Rooms and Medium Arty Double Rooms can take a baby cot.

Baby equipment:

  • Two baby cots
  • High chair

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Families Should Know:

Due to the noisy adult vibe of the ground floor public areas, the basement and first-floor rooms are not well suited to children. Families should request rooms on the second-floor or higher. No babysitting service available.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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Rates for Artist Residence Brighton