Deciding where to stay in Brighton is not as easy as it seems. The city is the main seaside resort in East Sussex, just 47 miles (76 km) from London. Not only that, but it boasts fantastic architecture, loads of pubs, and a relaxed vibe. Brighton has pretty cool neighborhoods too.
Brighton has hotels for all tastes and budgets. We just spent a week in the city and stayed in several hotels. What can we say? We are hotel queens! Therefore, you’ve got nothing to worry about. You’ll find the hotel that’s right for you.
The city’s most famous building is the Royal Pavilion. King George built it in 1823. In fact, Brighton is an architect’s dream. You will see some of the best Regency architecture in the Kingdom. Besides, it’s also known for its liberal atmosphere. Called the UK’s gay capital, it’s family-friendly too.
The Best Areas to Stay in Brighton
The best place to stay in Brighton is on the seafront. We are talking about the area from Hove to Kemptown. It’s a 2.2-mile (3.5 km) seaside promenade overlooking a splendid pebbled beach. The best hotels in Brighton on the seafront are here. There are also eateries of every kind.
Evidently, the beach is the city’s biggest draw. Walk to the Brighton Palace Pier. Music lovers will recognize it from the Who’s masterpiece Quadrophonia. You can see the entire coast from the Palace Pier. There are games, restaurants, and coffee houses. If you have kids, you’ll gravitate here. They’ll love the games!
It’s the best place to enjoy a killer sunset. You will see the remains of the Brighton West Pier floating on the sea. Walk to the 162m (531 ft) i360 British Airways tower. Have a cocktail while enjoying breathtaking views. The Brighton Beach Bandstand and the Angel of Peace monument are near.
We Recommend These Hotels on the Seafront:
The Grand Brighton
The best hotel in Brighton is The Grand. It’s an 1863 Victorian masterpiece that’s worth every penny. Everything is classy and sumptuous at the Grand. We loved our room’s Egyptian cotton linens and coffee maker. The complimentary breakfast is delicious. Even if you don’t stay here, stop for tea or dinner at its incredible terrace.
Brighton Harbour Hotel & Spa
You won’t find a better spa in Brighton than at the Harbour Hotel & Spa. We are talking about a massive basement with two Jacuzzis, a sauna, a gym, and an incredible pool. The fully refurbished 19th-century seafront property has modern-day conveniences and loads of character. Most rooms have sea or i360 views.
Not everything is about the beach in Brighton. As architects ourselves, we love the city center. It’s the area north of the coast, south of the train station and west of West Street. You will see gorgeous Victorian and Regent buildings. Besides, the parks in the center are absolutely lovely.
From the beachfront, walk to Regency Square. Russel Sq. is nearby. The biggest shopping mall in the city is there. Churchill Square Mall is a shopper’s paradise and a great place to chill if it gets too hot or cold outside. The area around Western Road is full of shops and restaurants.
Continue along Western Road till you reach the Jubilee Clock Tower, the city’s most famous landmark. The St. Nicholas Gardens are behind. Don’t forget to enter St Nicholas Church. Look for the 14th Century font. Zig zag around the area till you reach the train station. The incredible Toy Museum is in front.
We Recommend These Hotels in the City Centre:
Our favorite hotel in Brighton is the Pelirocco. The 1820s townhouse is on Regency Square. Thus, you can walk everywhere. Every room is different, but all are plush. You will love the cocktails at the bar as much as the complimentary breakfast. Pelirocco is one of the best luxury boutique hotels in Brighton.
The 200-year-old Brighton House is also on Regency Square. Considering its location and class, it’s great value for money. The service is as grand as the house. Ask your hosts for local tips, and they’ll be happy to help. The complimentary breakfast is pretty good and includes a wide range of teas.
The Lanes used to be the old fishing town. The narrow lanes were built in the 18th Century between West Street and Old Steine St. Today, restaurants, antique shops, and galleries line the cute little streets. Let’s not forget pubs galore! Therefore, The Lanes is where to stay in Brighton if you like to party.
You will know you are in The Lanes when you see the incredible Royal Pavilion. The monumental palace looks British, Indian, and Chinese! Not only that, but the gardens are gorgeous. The inside of the Palace is as dazzling as the exterior. Take your time, and enjoy the grandest building in Brighton.
Don’t forget to check the Old Police Cells Museum. It’s a donations tour only of 200 years of police activity in the city. From there, walk to the Old Steine Gardens. The buildings that tower above the gardens are beautiful. Look for the Victorian Fountain and the War Memorial.
We Recommend These Hotels in The Lanes:
Hotel du Vin& Bistro
The Hotel du Vin & Bistro is a collection of Victorian and mock Tudor houses in an unbeatable location. Every room is big and comes with a desk, coffee maker, and a great shower. The bar pub is very popular amongst locals. They offer a wide range of teas, whisky, and, of course, wine!
We stayed once at the YHA Brighton and loved it. It’s the best inexpensive accommodation in Brighton. They offer clean, simple rooms with private bathrooms, some with views, within minutes of the beach and the center. As you can imagine, the atmosphere is relaxed. It has a cool coffee house in the lobby.
Kemptown is the seafront area east of Brighton Palace Pier. The pebbled beach is lovely, even in winter. Note that the naturist beach is to the east, in front of Sussex Square. No worries, you’ll recognize it. The Premier Brighton Marina and Boatyard are next.
Don’t forget to ride the 1883 Volk’s electric train along the coast. It’s the oldest electric train in the world! Open from March to October. The Brighton Aquarium is next door. The Victorian basement is superb. Though we have an issue with caged animals, they have an exemplary conservation program.
Kemptown offers more than the beach. Walk to St. Mary’s Church. William Emerson, the architect of the Calcutta Victoria Memorial, designed it in 1878. Look out for the Indian decorations. It’s an all-inclusive church with a huge organ. You can even listen to the Brighton Gay choir!
We Recommend These Hotels in Kemptown:
A Room With A View
A Room With A View is one of the best luxury hotels in Brighton. The listed building offers stylish rooms with sea views! Treat yourself and book a Superior King for the best views of the sea and beyond in the city. The breakfast is top quality. It has parking.
If you are into luxury, book the suite at Square Townhouse. It’s huge, luxuriously appointed, and offers glorious views. The listed building is meters from the beach, on Regency Garden. It offers spa treatments in the privacy of your own room. The onsite bar serves all types of cocktails.
The area is south east of the train station and north of the Lanes. What we love about it is its atmosphere: easy-going and relaxed. You will find loads of coffee houses, vintage shops, and veggie restaurants. In particular, around Kensington Gardens. You can eat burgers too!
The North Laine in central Brighton is where to stay if you are short of time or want to save some money. The hotels near Brighton’s Train Station offer great value for money. Besides, you can walk to the coast and the center in no time. The area is safe, no worries.
If you are into antiques, vintage clothes, and one-of-a-kind items, visit North Laine Bazaar. The area north of North Street is full of art galleries. Trafalgar St is art central. Stroll along Trafalgar Lane to see the city’s coolest graffiti. When tired, choose your favorite bar, and enjoy your favorite drink.
We Recommend These Hotels in North Laine:
Cappadocia Guest House
The best hotel in The Laines is actually a guest house. Cappadocia Guest House offers super comfortable rooms in an unbeatable location. You’ll be surrounded by the best bars and within walking distance to everywhere. The service is warm and professional. We loved the onsite café. Locals visit for its vibe.
Ibis Brighton City Centre
You can’t get any closer to the train station than at the Ibis Brighton City Centre. If you know the French brand you know what to expect. Simple, clean, and comfortable rooms at a good rate. However, by British standards, the rooms are big. It’s got an onsite bar and restaurant.
The posh neighborhood of Hove is east of Brighton. It begins at the Angel of Peace Monument, where the splendid Hove lawns begin. The beach is splendid too. You can bathe in summer and take a leisure walk in winter along the mile (1.5 km) long pebbled beach. Look for the cute beach huts next to the lawn.
Locals play petanque next to the monument. It’s considered the best field in the world. Walk through Palmeira Square admiring the buildings. You can enter the Regency Town House, an 1820 property with exhibits and concerts. Continue along Holland Road. Stop by the 1887 Holland Baptist Church. The 1966 Hove Synagogue is one block away.
Continue to St. Ann Well Gardens. There are concerts in summer, and you can stop to refresh at the park’s café. If you like walking, go to Hove Park. Tall trees and sculptures populate this very English park. You don’t need to be a kid to enjoy the Hove Park Railway. We loved it!
We Recommend These Hotels in Hove:
The Claremont is one of the best 5 star hotels in Brighton. The Victorian Villa is minutes from the beach. We love the garden, where you can have tea or enjoy wine. The rooms are huge and fully equipped. The service is in a class of its own. The breakfast too, with superb coffee and loads of fruits.
The Ginger Pig
Our favorite hotel in Hove is The Ginger Pig. What could be cooler than staying in a former brewery! The restaurant and bar is an institution in the city. The huge rooms come with a coffee maker, a desk, and a bar. It is one of the best places to stay in Hove for couples.
How Long to Stay in Brighton
As you can tell, there are tones of things to see and do in Brighton. The last time we went, we spent 5 days and felt it wasn’t enough. There’s never enough time! If you go in summer, you can stay much longer, enjoying the sea and the vibe.
That said, we all have time constraints, so you are probably wondering how many days are needed in Brighton to cover the basics. We believe that you should at least spend two nights. Once done visiting the city’s attractions and relaxing by the beach, you have to enjoy its famous atmosphere.
Besides, it’s very easy to go to Gatwick airport from Brighton. A couple of years ago, our connecting flight from Bangkok got canceled. Off we went to Brighton. We spent an entire day walking. We booked a fancy hotel and took care of the jet lag in style.
The best way of moving around Brighton is walking. Though the city packs loads of attractions, it is not that big. You can walk all day long discovering new places. You have nothing to worry about: there are coffee houses, bars, and all types of eateries to stop if you get tired.
Biking is another great option. In particular, along the coast and around the parks. There are bike lanes everywhere! Bike safely along the seafront and Grand Avenue. We loved biking from Hove to Hangleton. The city has a shared bike system called BTN Bikeshare. It’s easy to operate.
Take note that it’s better to park your bike in the city center and walk. Brighton has an efficient public bus system that takes you all around the city in no time. No need to worry. The Brits are super polite and friendly and will help you out.