Kemp Townhouse

Brighton, Sussex, United Kingdom Book from Book from £75 per night

Smartly restored Victorian townhouse with a cultivated mix of modern and period decor
The Kemp Townhouse first opened in 1864 as Mary Pearson’s Guesthouse. Back then, a room cost less than 10 shillings per night; nearly 150 years later, it costs a tad more but still makes for great value. The rooms are classy - clean, calm and coloured, with understated hues of smoky brown and burgundy - and you get a delightful setting on quiet side street just off Brighton’s seafront.

We turned up late in the rain after a delayed train, and our bags were whisked away to one of the 9 rooms with charming efficiency. A comfy double bed made us feel instantly at home and in the morning, we were well set-up for the day with a tasty breakfast in the elegant ocean-blue breakfast room. This relaxing welcome - professional but unpretentious - charmed us throughout our stay. Mary Pearson would be proud.


  • Inviting, tastefully decorated rooms with comfortable beds and nautical photography on the walls
  • A welcoming team who supply proficient service with a smile
  • Top breakfasts; walking distance to loads of restaurants
  • Close to the seafront and shopping
  • Well priced


  • No hotel restaurant or in-room minibar, although a carafe of port welcomes you on arrival
  • It does not face the seafront, but this also means traffic noise is non-existent
  • Bathrooms are small and have showers only
  • During our 2015 revisit, rooms were showing signs of wear and tear
  • Parking is tricky

Best time to go

Brighton is a year-round destination - it's great for shopping without the London hordes and in the summer, it becomes a buzzy seaside town.

Our top tips

Stop by the Seven Stars craft beer pub in the lanes for a funky twist on the traditional boozer, and don't miss the in-house gin infusions.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 9
  • Breakfast only (+ walk to restaurants)
  • Well-behaved teens (14+) sometimes accepted
  • 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
Room: Grand King/Twin


This stylish 4-storey townhouse has 9 nice-sized rooms, several with sea views. In particular, there’s plenty of space in the Fabulous Four Poster, where an emperor-size bed with a thick, Vi-spung mattress and half-a-dozen downy feather pillows awaits - perfect for a special occasion.

The top-floor Feature Four Poster has an only slightly less impressive kingsize bed, though we suspect the sexy in-room freestanding tub more than makes up for it. Both these rooms have bay windows with side sea views; the ground-floor Grand King/Twin with original fireplace has a partial sea view.

Slightly smaller are the Comfy Kings, which sit at the back of the property with rather less inspiring city views; the 2 Cosy Doubles have similar outlooks and standard double beds. Smaller still are the Cosy Single and Luxury Single rooms, which are smartly priced as a result.

Bathrooms are ensuite wet rooms, completely encased in glossy white tiles with square sinks and power showers - no screens or tubs. They are very compact and prone to getting rather messy, but Noble Isle products are provided for a touch of indulgence.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Radio
  • Satellite TV
  • TV
  • WiFi


Arriving in the graceful blue breakfast room, sunlight streamed in the bay windows and a smiling waitress indicated to a table stacked with fresh OJ, mini croissants, homemade granola and cranberries. Soon enough a shot glass filled with a fresh-made banana and strawberry smoothie arrived, too. We sensed the morning’s culinary start might be a bit special. And that was before we even read the menu.

The cooked breakfasts - from boiled eggs with Marmite soldiers to the Chef’s Special (bacon, eggs and pesto) - were indeed superlative and, although we approve of the full English, it was nice to see some creativity on display.

Beyond the morning you’ll be heading out for meals. For lunch, we opted for fish-and-chips: a Brighton tradition, and available everywhere. We had tasty cod at the legendary Bardsley's, though many head to the beachfront.

For dinner, check the helpful list in your room’s information book: Food for Friends is an award-winning vegetarian eatery. We also had a fantastic meal at super-cool 64 Degrees, in the south lanes - don’t miss it.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service


  • Wander through The Lanes, a pedestrianised enclave of streets lined with jewellery shops, arty boutiques of designer glassware and crafts, and groovy clothes stores.
  • Visit the extravagant folly of King George IV’s - the Brighton Pavilion with its mosque is a wonder of Indian and Islamic architecture set in the middle of the city centre.
  • Walk along the Marine Parade where bars, restaurants, and nightclubs are scattered on the long stretch of clean shingle beach.
  • If you tire, hop on the Volks Railway, the first public electric railway in the world when it opened in 1883.
  • Whoop and holler on the funfair rides on Brighton Pier - there are also amusement arcades and candy floss - kids love it.
  • In summer, read, people-watch or even sunbathe (if you're lucky) on the pebble beach a few blocks away

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Nightlife
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming


Adults only; well-behaved teens aged 14+ are sometimes accepted. There are no extra beds, so they'll need a separate room to their parents.

Kid Friendly: Fabulous Four Poster


Kemp Townhouse is in the heart of Kemp Town in Brighton, a stone's throw from the seafront and 500m from the pier.

By Train
Brighton has good train connections to London (about 1 hour) and Gatwick airport (about half an hour). From the station, it’s about a 25-minute walk or a 10-minute taxi ride.

By Air
Gatwick Airport is 40 minutes away by car and 25-40 minutes away by train. Heathrow is 70 minutes away by car. See our car rental recommendations - bear in mind that parking in Brighton is expensive and on-road spaces are very limited.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to the UK and getting around


  • London Gatwick 45.0 km LGW


  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 0.2 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


I know a Saturday night in central Brighton is going to be on the costly side, but I'm not sure Kemp Townhouse was worth the money. The staff were friendly and the breakfast excellent but the room was small and the electric plug for the kettle and Nespresso machine didn't work. The bathroom was tired, with black mould showing in the shower and around some of the other tiles. A wetroom shower in such a tiny bathroom isn't that practical as the shower soaks the floor, loo and basin.


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