At the weekend as a Birthday treat, Liam’s mum booked us 2 nights at the George IV Guesthouse in Brighton. Set inside a period townhouse, the hotel is tucked about 5 minutes walk from the town centre and overlooks the West Pier.
We headed there on Saturday afternoon and by the time we had got off the train it was freezing cold, blowing a gale and chucking it down with rain. It didn’t take us long to find Regency Square, but we couldn’t find a single sign that said George IV Hotel on it. We walked passed the actual hotel a couple of times before I realised that the confirmation email said The Artist Residence at the top which actually had a very clear sign!
When you first arrive, you have to press a buzzer to the Reception to get in. When we walked in, we first noticed the Breakfast room on the right which had what my mum would call “a really Brighton” vibe in that the chairs were all mismatched and vintage-looking, painted in a kitsch fashion. There were china teacups on all the tables, and various art prints on the walls.
Rounding the corner to the Reception (narrowly missing falling down some stairs), there is a sofa with pretty patterned cushions, a white desk with a single Macbook on it, and 1 member of staff who checked us in. We were assigned to Room 23, a superior double room with a sea view. Fancy.
Walking up to your room, you have to go up some narrow stairs that gave the hotel a bit of a hostel look. As it was quite dark, you have to turn on light switches which are on a timer at the bottom of each flight of stairs. Again, the walls were decorated with prints as well as posters from previous Brighton Festival events.
When we reached the outside of our room, we came across a small bookcase in the hallway which had a variety of books including a few Harry Potter books, a classic edition of Lord of the Rings, and various other titles. As well as that, they had the really classic versions of Mastermind, Pictionary, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit along with a couple of other games I didn’t know like Addiction.
Making a note to definitely have a go at a few of them (especially due to the fact the weather was going to prevent us from doing much else that day), we went into the room to take a look and drop down our heavy backpacks. The rooms are really well decorated with antiqued furniture. You get a small flat screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities and a hair dryer. You also get Free wi-fi, but we could only get it working on my iPad.
Once we were settled in, we went to go and buy a couple of necessities (seeing as we both forgot our toothbrushes and toothpaste), as well as some treats for later on. We did also go out for dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant called Casalingo, which was delicious and only a few minutes walk from the hotel. Other than that, we were mostly confined to the room that evening playing games.
Note to self: a sea view hotel sounds lovely, but when there’s gale force winds outside, it becomes really quite noisy! We didn’t get a huge amount of sleep on the Saturday night, as at midnight some drunken idiots were setting off fireworks right outside the hotel, and then at about 1:30am a car alarm went off for half an hour. We were both pretty stroppy about this, given that we were looking forward to a relaxing weekend after our many woes of awful neighbours where we live.
In the morning we were up at 9am to go and grab our complimentary breakfast as part of the booking deal (served between 8am-10am). The choice of food is a bit limited which is why we only took advantage of the facilities for one of the two mornings. We both had American style pancakes with Greek yoghurt and berry compote, which was nice but very sweet. I think both of us only ate about half of it.
After that, we showered and got dressed before heading into Brighton town centre to shop and meet the family for lunch and drinks. The shower in the hotel was pretty standard, although the tap temperatures were pretty sensitive so it was a struggle to get it ‘just right’. The toiletries supplied were mostly BeeKind products which were nice and relatively luxury.
By 6pm, the weather was just as bad as the previous night, so rushing back to the hotel again, we were stuck with having little more to do than a few games and watching TV. We both felt a bit disappointed with the weather because it had restricted us from doing much more than we could have done at home, but grateful that the hotel had the board games, otherwise we’d have been really stuffed. At least that night of sleep was mostly uninterrupted (other than me having a horrid headache, probably from tiredness!).
Monday (my birthday) was our check out day, which you have to do before 12pm. I think that’s pretty reasonable. We were out by about 10:30/11 as we didn’t fancy the breakfast again and instead went for the standard Wetherspoons option before more shopping and the train journey to my parents for present-opening (I’ll do a separate post on the presents soon!).
Overall, the George IV hotel was good for its proximity to the city centre, and some of the facilities it provided. It’s downside mostly lie in the lack of double glazing to keep some of the sound out (and warmth in!), and as it is such an old building, it creaked a lot in the night and early mornings when people were moving about. The staff were friendly, but mostly an unseen entity as they leave you to it in the mornings and late evenings.
I think the hotel is definitely better for a short stay, which it seems was what most people were doing anyway. Any more than 2 nights would have been too long, particularly at this time of year when there isn’t as much to do in Brighton which doesn’t cost a bomb or keep you warm and dry.