Being Entertained at the Thistle Hotel, Brighton

This evening I was lucky enough to be invited to a bloggers’ reception at the Thistle Hotel in Brighton , which sits out on the seafront next to the ‘Lanes’ and a few hundred yards from the pier.

Having stayed at the Hilton in Brighton before I was expecting a similar experience at the Thistle, but this hotel had some surprises in store! It’s a very interesting building – frankly a bit unattractive on the outside, when you enter that impression changes completely. Ascending some steps you arrive at the reception desk which sits at one end of an absolutely huge atrium which occupies the entire centre of the building, with rooms overlooking it on three sides. At the rear of the atrium is the hotel’s rather chic and trendy Water Bar and the Pecksniff’s beauty salon (they also have a boutique in the town which offers bespoke fragrances) with the restaurant overlooking the promenade at the front of the building, and a raised ‘Library Terrace’ on one side that acts as a breakout area for the well-appointed conference suites beyond.

Of course we got a tour of the premises, taking in the rooms which run down both sides of the 2nd to 4th floor corridors at the rear and sides of the hotel, and the 30 or so rooms which sit at the front, each with a commanding view of the sea. According to the general manager the hotel is almost at the end of a complete refurbishment, and it shows – the sea-facing rooms in particular are very nice indeed, decorated in an understated contemporary style. We also got to see some of the exclusive rooms on the hotel’s top floor, including a double-width suite with a large jacuzzi in the bathroom, and their piece de resistance – the Penthouse Suite. With a design from a London interior decorator you can tell that no expense has been spared here – sumptuous was not the word. The penthouse even has a large outside deck with its very own hot tub to relax in while you sip champagne cocktails and watch the waves lapping the shore! In addition to the conference facilities, the hotel also has a large ballroom with its own bar down on the ground floor and a newly renovated spa with a large gym, pool, sauna, steam room and treatment rooms.

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that I’m uncomfortable talking about hotels and restaurants that are out of my price range, so I will just state for the record that standard rooms can be had for less than £100 a night and the deluxe seaview rooms going for around £150 if you’re prepared to book in advance. Of course the penthouse goes for rather more – around £500, but given what you get for the money I suppose that you could justify the cost if it’s a very special occasion – you certainly won’t find a hotel room with a terrace and hot tub elsewhere in Brighton for any amount of money! On that note, I’m excited to tell you about the competition which will see someone winning a night in the Penthouse Suite – all you have to do to enter is fill in the form on the hotel’s website telling them why you deserve to stay. All I can say is, if you win I will be extremely jealous of your good fortune! The competition closes on 31 March, so good luck if you decide to enter…