With its lively music scene, high-concept bars and annual Pride celebrations, Brighton attracts plenty of young, energetic travellers looking for a cheap place to stay. We’ve rounded up the best cheap hotels in Brighton.
Brighton’s budget hotels are more than just crash pads – a great deal of attention has gone into them, and many can compete with higher-priced boutiques for character and amenities. Surprises abound, including inventive cuisine, specially commissioned artworks and a spread of wellness options. Most of the cheap accommodation is in or around the city centre, though there are a few scattered around the hipster North Laine district.
Who says cheap has to mean boring? Sea Spray defies expectations with its individually styled rooms. The Venetian suite comes with masks and a silvered headboard; other options include a New York-themed penthouse or a geisha’s boudoir. Grab a peacock-printed chair in the dining room and choose from omelettes, full English or vegetarian. There’s even a small treatment room and sauna. The surrounding Kemptown area heaves with restaurants and LGBTQ bars, and the beach is just minutes away.
The Schmotel’s name gives away its playful character, despite describing itself as a “typical B&B”. The design is modern, with shocking pink cushions punctuating the seaside aqua theme of the rooms. There’s free wifi and a breakfast-in-bed service, so you can extend your lie-in after a night of partying. Just round the corner is the Brighton Centre, host to major live-music shows and exhibitions, and you’ll find the delights of the Royal Pavilion and Palace Pier within a 15-minute walk.
Floral wallpapers, Japanese fans and crystal chandeliers are just some of the eclectic features of this characterful three-star hotel. Most rooms also have a four-poster bed and views directly over the ocean. Take in the sea air from the restaurant terrace or retreat inside to Smokeys, an American-style joint serving ribs and enormous breakfasts. You’ll find chic restaurants and old-school pubs in the surrounding city centre streets, and pier amusements 13 minutes’ walk away.
Brighton’s oldest inn dates back to 1559 and blends the old-time charm of wonky corridors and creaking lifts with a swish upgrade by new owners the Cairn Collection. A nautical theme prevails in the rooms, some of which have sea views. Some even have brass telescopes trained on the horizon for ship-spotting or stargazing. On-site restaurant the Mess Deck serves burgers and seafood specials as well as a selection of wines from its 400-year-old cellar.
At the centre of Brighton’s cultural triangle of Komedia, the Theatre Royal and the Brighton Dome, My Brighton could attract punters by its location alone. Yet the interior is a performance in itself, drawing from a jumble of influences including the circus and feng shui – whatever it is, don’t expect any straight lines. The Merkaba bar looks like a time-travel tunnel from a ’70s science fiction film, and the cocktails are similarly creative. Small Batch Coffee serves a variety of espressos, some made at its on-site microroastery.
In a sublime Regency-era square, this Grade-I listed building offers superb access to the Brunswick area, arguably Brighton’s most photogenic district, with spectacular sea-facing gardens and rows of colourful beach huts. Rooms are decked in white and navy, with a subtle nautical theme throughout. Breakfasts range from continental to full English, but are not normally included in the price of the room. You’ll find the Theatre Royal, Pavilion and Palace Pier a 25-minute walk away.
Decked in lush forest greens – and greenery – Selina, in Brighton’s city centre, is the quintessential millennial’s hotel. Check in via the app and step into the lobby, which channels a relaxed hostel vibe in its rattan-filled space. Recharge with daily wellness activities such as paddleboarding and yoga, or join in the Sunday beach clean. The Old Pier restaurant serves unconventional brunches – try the Caribbean waffles – and local beer brands. The i360 and the beach are practically on your doorstep.
Though seemingly far from the action, Brighton’s North Laine district is a shopper’s paradise of flower markets, independent lifestyle boutiques, bakeries and breweries. It’s here that we find the ibis, defying its chain-hotel origins with bespoke graffiti by local lad Sean Lyons and a voguish charcoal-and-scarlet colour scheme. Pick an east-facing room to get a surprisingly good view towards the pier. Fogg’s Bar serves a spread of pub favourites including curries, burgers and caesar salads.