The Grand Hotel Brighton offers all you could want for a break away in Brighton…
Brighton is a city as charming as it is quirky, constantly bustling with the aplomb of a city that runs to its own tune. It has a bit of everything – from coffee shops tucked away in the Laines, to wine bars, fancy restaurants and casual eateries, to theatres, a comedy club and spas. There is always something going on, a steady stream of people fulfilling tasks, exploring the city and heading in and out of the shops it can sometimes feel a bit of a whirlwind. If you are looking for somewhere away from the hustle and bustle and into an oasis of calm, The Grand Hotel Brighton is the ideal location.
The Grand Hotel Brighton is as iconic as you can get, its traditional facade, while having experienced a recent face-lift, still retains the classical Italianate style as crafted by London architect John Whichcord at its conception in 1862. The Grand Hotel Brighton has always been architecturally pioneering, having the first elevator outside of London, and in 1862, being the tallest building in Brighton. It quickly built a reputation within the upper class of the time as a luxury and indulgent place to stay. It’s high profile repute has carried it through the decades and it still today is one of the most luxurious hotels to stay in Brighton. And it is easy to see why. A recent major refurbishment has restored much of the buildings historic clout, managing to retain its former charm while feeling updated, fresh and still utterly indulgent. Check in, and head up in the elevator to reveal bright, airy corridors with beautiful wall decor, plush carpets and grand light fixtures. Push open the door to your room – we stayed in a beach front suite – and you are greeted with muted decor in shades of grey and a deep teal.
Baby pink accents provide pretty splashes of colour – such as on the bedspread, curtains and sofa, while contemporary nuances peek through in the glass-topped table and wooden desk with a large television. The room is flooded with light which tumbles through floor to ceiling windows, you can smell the salt spray from the ocean beyond and hear the waves caressing the shore just a stone throw from your balcony. This is the sort of place where you sit and your coffee goes cold as you stare mesmerised at the hustle of bustle down below, transfixed at the view. Fix yourself a Brighton Gin with a dash of tonic while getting ready for dinner and watch as the sun sets, shades of orange and red rippling over the water.
The bed is as comfortable as you could wish for, fat pillows just begging to rest your head after a long day of exploring, crisp white linen with a feather-light duvet and a soft mattress daring you to find a better nights sleep elsewhere. There is a large wardrobe by a full-length mirror complete with two chairs and a table, the ideal space for getting ready for a night out, and the bathroom, while not huge, is still well sized, with a bath, large sink area and plenty of light.
Before dinner, be sure to head to the GB1 bar for a gin & tonic – head down between 5 and 7pm during the week for a special happy hour, where selected cocktails and gin and tonics are just £5. The bar is a contemporary space, with puddles of blue lighting, silver-toned accents and high chairs surrounding the bar.
The restaurant itself continues to marry classic design with contemporary touches and offers seafront views beyond large windows. Brighton air works up an appetite like no other and GB1 is here to satisfy that. And what else can you eat when in one of the country’s most famed cities for its seafood, than just that. The kitchen here opts for classic seafood, emphasising their philosophy of blending quality with simplicity.
A 2 AA rosette restaurant, it offers a fantastic choice of the finest and freshly caught seafood from Brighton’s shores. Executive Chef Alan White brings his passion and innovative flair to each and every dish, with a menu that shifts with the seasons. Start your meal with fresh oysters and a glass of Prosecco while your peruse the menu, taking it at a languid pace, enjoying the flavours and tastes as you decide what to have. From here, you can enjoy starters such as crab with creme fraiche, lime and black pepper, soft poached quail eggs with smoked haddock kedegree or scallops caught just off the coast of Brighton. Each is cooked with precision, full of flavour and presented in a way that almost makes them too good to eat.
Mains wise, you can choose from GB1 favourites – such as Cod, Sea Bass, classic Haddock ‘n’ chips, Lobster and Chargrilled cauliflower steak, among others. There is a good selection here and it’s easy to see why they made the cut to this particular column. Dishes are a cut above your average restaurant here, but they aren’t pretentious. The haddock and chips for example, features a large battered piece of soft fish, with fat, triple-fried chips, golden and crispy in colour and covered in salt and vinegar. It is accompanied by mushy pea puree and tartate sauce and makes for a fish and chips dish you’d be hard to rival. GB1 restaurant Brighton is not pretentious and dishes such as this show you can have a fine meal without scrimping on portion size. There is also a grills section with dishes such as fillet of beef, wagyu beef burger, rump of lamb and corn fed chicken, as well as a market fish section with fish caught on the south coast and landed in the early hours on the Hove shores. This includes Plaice, Dover Sole, Lemon Sole, Bream and Lobster. You can add a range of sides to your dishes such as mojo potatoes, cauliflower rice, creamed spinach and green beans with garlic. As with the starters, flavours are the main focus here, and you won’t be disappointed. The hardest thing here is the choice as there are so many dishes which catch your eye.
Finally, be sure to save room for dessert – you’ll regret it if you don’t. Choices include chocolate fondant, poached winter fruits, lemon curd and vanilla cheesecake, carrot cake, peanut buttter pana cotta, and a range of ice creams and sorbets. They are indulgent and delicious and the ideal way to round off the meal. Finish your evening off with a cocktail in the Victoria Bar before retiring off to bed, or heading out to one of the nearby cocktail bars in Brighton.
Wake the next morning to the sun streaming through your window and take some time to admire the West Pier and the i360 before heading to breakfast in the GB1 restaurant. Opt for a freshly cooked dish such as poached eggs or avocado on toast, or make a beeline for the buffet with a selection of pastries, breads, cereals and hot options, including everything to make a full English.
Once you have had your fill, wander down to the Grand Brighton Spa, a hidden oasis just one floor below the building. We recommend you try the Winter Warmer treatment You start your treatment by selecting your favourite scent from three Natural Spa Factory warming massage candles, before being led to your treatment room. Lay on a warm bed, the scent of candles and toasty towels in the air and enjoy a warming massage to the back and back of legs with your candle of choice. The nourishing oil is perfect to soothe tired muscles and fill you with bliss for an indulgent 40 minutes. When your massage has finished head to the relaxation room with a cup of peppermint tea and a magazine where you can feel the worries and stress melt away. You can find more information on the Grand Brighton Winter Warmer treatment here.
The Grand Hotel Brighton offers everything you could want for a relaxing and utterly indulgent break by the sea. From the second you walk through the revolving doors, to the second you unwillingly drag your case back out of them, you are presented with the ultimate in five star treatment. It is a true respite from a city that, while it is truly amazing, can sometimes be a little too much, and gives you the chance to enjoy the best of it, while escaping at the end of the day to your own little sanctuary. It is a large Hotel that manages to remain feeling intimate and special, that encapsulates its magical and historic heritage, without feeling the least bit dated. For something special and that you will remember forever, there is nowhere else to pick but the Grand Hotel Brighton.
The Grand Hotel Brighton
97-99 Kings Rd