Situated amidst the bustling of Brighton's North Laines, Amy Moore visits the hotel that offers a stay rich in vibrancy and modern design.
Myhotel Brighton could easily be mistaken for a more upmarket Ibis, with its vivid exterior boasting a four star class. Anyone who is familiar with the area will know that Brighton is a renowned hotspot for the younger generation, with the hotel situated at the heart of its cultural quarter.
A resident pub is directly next door and visitors to the area will find the iconic Royal Pavilion on the left, should they choose to take a stroll along Jubilee Street. The hotel prides itself as an independent, offering 80 guestrooms derivative of the Chinese design 'Feng Shui.' Five years standing, the hotel clearly hasn't wasted any time in acquiring a strong reputation, with contemporary rooms suited to those staying on business or leisure.
Considering the amount of one way systems in place, driving vehicles around Brighton may seem like a chore. Guests travelling by car should find their journey hassle free, with one of the largest private hotel car parks in the city centre situated immediately below the building, housing approximately 70 spaces exclusive for guests. Spaces are limited, so it is recommended that guests book alongside their room to guarantee availability. For those who missed the boat, a 10% discount on parking at the NCP on Church Street may be offered at reception.
The hotel’s superb location entertains a host of restaurants such as Yo! Sushi and Las Iguanas, should one wish to immerse themselves in an authentic international experience. The Chilli Pickle Restaurant is not only phonetically appealing but invites the soothing scent of legitimate Indian cuisine. Privately owned, the rustic restaurant can be viewed through a clear panel overlooked from reception, with guests welcomed by an award-winning menu. It is highly regarded as one of the most authentic Asian restaurants in Brighton, having been awarded Winner of The British Curry Awards in 2010 for innovation, as well as acquiring a mention in 50 Best UK Curry Houses in The Independent. Due to its growing popularity, it is advised that those wishing to visit on a Saturday evening especially should book at least three weeks in advance.
I arrived on a deliciously scorching summer day, having tucked into some potato cakes for the first time, which proved surprisingly sweet with a starchy tang and rubbery texture. “Where Freddie Mercury meets the Maharishi” is how the hotel described itself, with each floor presenting a different coloured spread suited to any attendee. I was welcomed into the hotel lobby by sliding double doors printed with iconic quotes from a host of celebrities, emitting positivity and success. A blob like reception desk welcomed check in, housing friendly and informative staff.
I was allocated a superior double room, which maintained an apricot orange and grey theme, with an open plan bathroom which admittedly left little in regards to privacy. Though what stood out most, was the two seated sofa directly opposite, situated in front of a sizable window overlooking the street below, undoubtedly providing the ideal opportunity to revel in the bustling atmosphere of the city. Those who aren’t so keen could choose to skim through a selection of magazines or guides, detailing the ideal hotspots to visit in the area.
I was relieved to visit a hotel with internet access that actually worked. Signing into the hotel’s WiFi proved completely hassle free and I was surfing the net within minutes of arrival. The number of TV channels provided weren’t exactly generous, but acceptable considering guests are encouraged to go out and explore. The gift of a disposable camera was a nice personal touch, with an additional charge to develop. The room also comes inclusive of a fully integrated sound system and eco-friendly toiletries. A miniature recycle bin promotes a strict green initiative, with a shaving kit and toothbrush handy for longer stays. A small vanity kit storing cotton buds, cotton pads and an emery board is convenient, strengthening the hotels’ appeal to a wide audience.
My guest and I were excited to discover a personalised note from guest services, inviting us to attend the hotel’s aquatic themed cocktail bar for a couple of complementary cocktails. Aptly named ‘Merkaba’ after the common meditation, the distinctive venue welcomed relaxation, with additional screenings reminiscent of a seaside county. Fresh fish aquariums were available to view amidst timber slated curved walls and rounded furniture. More notably though, the bar staff were extremely welcoming in accommodating our drinks needs, with a stunning presentation of the Strawberry Daiquiri and non-alcoholic Pina Colada ordered. The bar is not exclusive to hotel guests however, as locals are warmly welcomed, conveying a feeling of familiarity.
The ‘Blackbox’ photo booth proved a memorable highlight as we were handed a complementary token and thus preceded for souvenir snaps, a suitable culture for anyone visiting. We were given a detailed history of the monument, with a member of bar staff speaking of its credible German influence. A guided tour of the hotel by Duty Manager Lukasz was an admirable touch, where we were primarily shown the inexpensive Penthouse Suite, characteristic of its 300 year old carousel, its black tiled steam room and free standing bath, all accessible at around £250 per night. Sunday is the cheapest night to book (as is the norm for any hotel in the area) with all rates dependent on the date of stay. A handful of rooms offer disabled access. Two spacious conference rooms named ‘Mercury’ and ‘Rishi’ are available for use on site, with glacier mints neatly presented in the centre of the table. Both areas provide the ideal destination for business presentations or well-being classes if required. I ended up skipping the continental breakfast in favour of a few minutes extra sleep. If you do choose to have it, it is usually served in the cocktail bar between 0700 and 1000hrs. The opulent comfort of the bed certainly invited a deep sleep, as I awoke to an invitation to sample “Express Checkout” where guests simply have to seal their keys in an envelope ready to drop at reception on the way out, further demonstrating the hotels dedication to customer service. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who wishes to stay in the area.
PLACES TO EAT: FOODILIC
Without a doubt, Foodilic is one of my favourite restaurants to visit in the high street. With a generous display case of mixed salads and mains, the venue offers an all you can eat buffet at the affordable price of £6.45 or alternatively you can take away for the fixed price of £5. Spinach and mushroom salad with a walnut dressing is on offer to tempt, with a succulent beef bourguignon on the side, tripled with a less exotic pasta salad with a generous serving of pesto. Situated on North Street, around the corner from Churchill Square, the petit restaurant aims to serve food that promotes a healthy lifestyle. GTW would highly recommend a freshly squeezed fruit juice or ice tea as the perfect accompaniment to any meal. Desserts are available for a number dietary requirements, such as sugar free, egg free, flour free and dairy free, should it be required. With a two storey seating area for guests, Foodilic can comfortably cater for larger groups either in the restaurant or at an outside location of choice. It’s well worth a visit.