Contributor/ Sophie Coughlan
Best Known For
Drakes of Brighton is as famous for its ever-growing list of celebrity guests as it is for its prime location on the pier front. With famous fans ranging from Kylie Minogue to Benedict Cumberbatch and from Woody Allen to Cate Blanchett, this is a hotel with some serious star credentials.
The Good Stuff
Created by award-winning architect Michael Phillips and interior designer Tim Shepherd, drakes of Brighton is a boutique hotel with style. With nods to its original Georgian townhouse roots, you’ll fall in love with its sweeping staircase, free-standing baths and unrivalled sea views. You won’t be left disappointed by the restaurant, either; its nabbed the highest score of all restaurants in Brighton for the 7th year in a row in The Good Food Guide 2015 – and for good reason.
An eclectic mix of visitors means there’s always something – or someone – interesting to see here. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a glimpse of a starlet exiting into a waiting cab. If you’re not, you’ll still see plenty of bohemian couples and friends mixing with more well-heeled visitors; this is clearly the place to see and be seen. Service is with a smile, and the charming staff are as keen to show off the hotel as you will be to try it out.
Inside the Hotel – 9/10
drakes of Brighton features just 20 guestrooms, each bespoke and most with a pretty impressive sea view. Those lucky enough to book one with floor to ceiling windows will find it hard to drag themselves away, and the hotel’s made it even more difficult by furnishing them with expansive baths directly in front. If you can wrestle yourself away from the most indulgent bubble bath you’ll take all year (coupled with a bottle of champagne, naturally), you’ll find yourself pretty impressed with the huge beds, Egyptian cotton sheets and flat screen TV with Sky, too (in case you don’t want to leave your room). Star gazers will be delighted if they’re staying on a particularly clear night too, as many rooms come equipped with a telescope.
The reception bar continues to capitalise on its enviable location, offering killer views out to the sea, and a good perspective of everyone checking in and out of the hotel – perfect for people watching. But it’s the restaurant which comes most recommended; elegant, highly acclaimed and serving the likes of local partridge and slow cooked loin of monkfish – what’s not to love?
If you’re in a rush heading back to commute to London like we were the next morning, don’t think you need to miss out on a classic hotel breakfast – arguably a highlight of any overnight stay away from home. We were blown away by the sheer speed at which they launched into making us some of the finest Eggs Benedict we’d ever had – from kitchen to table in under 7 minutes flat. Talk about Power Breakfast.
Outside the Hotel – 9/10
The cobbled streets, cute cafes, pebbled beach and infamous pier – all within just over an hour from London, make this a firm favourite for those after an achievable weekend getaway. Whether you fancy eating fish and chips on the beach with friends, beating your boyfriend at the coconut shy, clubbing with your queens at Legends or impressing your wife at The Salt Room, there’s something for everyone.