brightonwave hotel reviews

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The Times Newspaper - Saturday 1st July 2006

OH, TO BE in Brighton in the summertime! Sunbathing on the beach, walking along the front in shorts and shades, slurping on a 99 ice-cream cornet. If only it were so. The reality on my visit: grey skies, lashing showers, gale-force winds and drinking plenty of coffee to warm up. Thank goodness, then, that I had a nice hotel to which to retreat. “We prefer to describe ourselves as a modern, contemporary B&B,” says Shaun Trumble who, with his partner Martin Torrens, owns Brightonwave, an eight-bedroom Regency terrace in Madeira Place, a three-minute skip to the beach and close to lively bars, restaurants, clubs and shopping.

Never having visited the city before, I was grateful when Trumble sat me down after my arrival and proved to be a veritable local encyclopaedia, pointing out local attractions and advice on where to drink, dine and party.

Downstairs at Brightonwave is a living room/breakfast area with sofa, newspapers, DVD library and a laptop for guests. There is free wi-fi throughout if you’ve brought your own computer. The art here and in the bedrooms, all by local artists, changes every three months and is for sale.

My room, on the first floor, was spacious, with a comfortable, modern four-poster and thick duvet, flat-screen TV with DVD player, plenty of wardrobe space, a small balcony and a compact shower room with Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. Having a peek around later, I saw that some of the other rooms’ bathrooms were extremely compact, but Torrens assured me: “We make sure guests know what they’re getting.”

There’s no dinner at Brightonwave, instead Trumble recommended Terre à Terre, ten minutes’ walk away on East Street. For a committed meat eater, this veggie restaurant was a revelation: the food was packed with flavour, beautifully presented, and served by friendly staff. I loved the ravioli butter cookie crumble with asparagus milk shake, and didn’t take too much persuading to follow up with rhubarb and custard with peppertree madeleine.

Back at the B&B, breakfast the next morning was very tasty. I went for the full English, although I could have chosen from a wide selection, all cooked by Trumble, including pancakes and fruit, bacon and brie croissant or tarragon mushrooms on toast.

All in all, very enjoyable. Fingers crossed that next time I visit Brighton, the sun comes along, too.

Bottom line: Will Hide paid £130 for a four-poster balcony room with breakfast. Doubles start at £90. Sampling the fare: £33 for two courses, wine, water and service at Terre à Terre (71 East Street, 01273 729051).

What we think: Great location, nice vibe.

Best thing: Friendly owners.

Worst thing: Some street noise — a minor quibble.

Access all areas: No.

Need to know: Brightonwave (01273 676794,, 10 Madeira Place, Brighton, East Sussex.

Room: 8 out of 10.

Food (breakfast): 9 out of 10.

Service: 9 out 10.


The Globe and Mail Newspaper - Canada 14th June 2006


Special to The Globe and Mail

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND -- John Cleese has a lot to answer for. Legions of English seaside hotels have struggled against the image of monstrous service and shabby rooms created by his popular Fawlty Towers TV series, with visitors half-expecting ranting managers and idiotic staff as part of the package. In reality, most establishments have moved on from the days of serving Siberian hamsters to health inspectors, with one city leading the charge.

Arguably the country's most vibrant seaside resort, Brighton -- a one-hour train ride from London -- has never relied solely on holidaymakers. While other coastal towns slipped into paint-peeled obsolescence when the Brits began switching en masse to overseas vacations in the 1980s, the locals here focused on attractions to please themselves. The result is a hip seaside city dripping with galleries, nightlife and a labyrinth of back streets lined with independent stores, quirky coffee shops and charming pubs.

When it comes to accommodation, Brighton is also ahead of the curve. Traditional B&Bs, guest houses and hotels are being slowly reclaimed and updated, with an attention-to-detail, boutique approach permeating both high-end and mid-range properties.

In the mid-range stakes, Brighton Wave is a 19th-century townhouse transformed into a stylish, very comfortable B&B. At the pricier end of the market, Drakes Hotel has become a byword for luxury pampering. And among the cheap-as-chips properties, St. Christopher's Inn combines backpacker-friendly dorms with great-value private rooms. Together, they offer the kind of innovations that would have forced Basil Fawlty to roll his eyes and close his doors for good.


Original artworks, plush floor-to-ceiling headboards and a DVD library for those in-room flat-screen TVs: Brighton Wave is a three-year-old boutique B&B that firmly challenges that idea of mediocre English guest houses.

On a street near the waterfront -- some rooms have sideways views of the sea if you press your face against the windows -- that adjoins a bustling area of funky cafés, guests are treated to the kind of luxury flourishes usually reserved for more expensive properties.

Behind the door of this grey, unassuming Victorian property, the walls are lined with eye-catching paintings and photographs by local artists.

The creative visuals are complemented by a dining room of matte-black tables and chairs mirroring the pricier end of the Ikea catalogue.

In the eight rooms, the beds dominate, with their giant suede headboards adding a designer élan and their huge snow-white duvets thick enough to require heavy lifting equipment. Each room has a compact, modern, ensuite bathroom with shower and heated floor, while some also have 19th-century hearths, stuffed with tangles of Christmas lights to simulate a cozy fire.

Free wireless Internet access is offered -- the house laptop is available for those travelling sans computer -- and there's a free can of candies and chocolate bars in every room.

Alongside these small but important details, it's the laid-back welcome that makes Brighton Wave worth the money. Geared to leisure rather than business travellers, guests don't have to be up at the crack of dawn for breakfast, with most ambling downstairs after 9 a.m. for a menu of brie-stuffed croissants, blueberry pancakes and the highly recommended mushrooms on toast: a mountain of thick-cut, lightly cooked 'shrooms that provides a perfect morning kick start

Essentials: 10 Madeira Rd.; 44 (1273) 676794;

Rates and rooms: Eight rooms, ranging from one with a four-poster bed and a tiny balcony to large twins and doubles. Rates, including breakfast, from $160 to $320.

Top draw: Stylish, artsy and convivial.

Needs work: Rooms should include ironing facilities.

Alistair Sawdays

"In a Regency parade of unremarkable guesthouses, the Victorian, funky and distinctive ‘brightonwave’. Come for a fresh blast of sea air - and Shaun, who does everything: designs, cleans, cooks, greets. The feel is stylish but laid back, and friendly ... There are sober suede banquettes to relax on, a laptop to surf, and minimalist black tables set with white china for tarragon mushrooms on toast (or fresh blueberry pancakes); simpler breakfast may be served in your room, until 10.45 at weekends. Upstairs, fat duvets and lush linen, chocolate bars and flat-screen TVs, a pale metal four-poster (king-size) and balcony in the biggest room ...  Everyone’s favourite city by the sea teems with shops, restaurants and bars; make the most of Shaun’s knowledge of where to go - and have a great time sampling the results. Plans are afoot for pampering weekends and the sea is over the road."

"When we heard that brightonwave hotel wanted to be on, a very selfish and smug part of us wanted to keep it to ourselves - it's simply too good for you. The idea that strangers can delight in it's slick, chic and immaculate splendour sparks a wish to protect it as a fabulous Brighton secret. Another part of us wants to blatantly boast about it. This is a glittering jewel in the Brighton hoteliers' crown - the very real proof that we have some of the most fashionable and innovative hotels in this city.
Rooms are designed with excellent taste and, although contemporary and highly stylish, have a real sympathy to the original features of the townhouse building. The subtle tones instantly relax and the beds are so inviting, with pure-white immaculate duvets, Goldilocks would have had an absolute field-day. In this case though, the fairytale would need to be adjusted to allow her to watch the flat-screen telly and rummage through the CD and DVD collection on offer before retiring.
For those who need to work while away (you really won't want to with everything else on offer) there is wireless net access and a space in each room to set up your laptop and make contact with the world. Our REALBrighton office design is taking on a whole new slant.
Breakfast in bed or downstairs is served at a respectable hour and the service is superb. Once you've checked in and paid up-front, everything is included in the price - so no haggling over hotel bills on your way out. It's no wonder that guests have described this hotel as "a real discovery", "classy", "a gem" and "refreshing" - it truly is a special place. The only danger is that you'll barricade your door and refuse to leave..."

"Wifi enabled contemporary hotel featuring regular exhibitions of original pieces of art by local Sussex artists. 8 luxury ensuite rooms all with flat screen TVs, DVDs, CD players and oversized suede headboards. Centrally located for all shops, bars, restaurants, nightlife and conferences. Across the road from the sea. 4 Diamond Silver accolade hotel focussing on a personal attentive service."

Trip advisor
"We stayed at the Brightonwave from 17th to 19th Feb.
We were on a tight budget so we opted for the luxury double (they're all luxury rooms) and were warned in advance that this came with a "compact bathroom". We arrived about an hour later than we had hoped (trains, eh?) but Sean didn't seem to hold it against us that we'd made him miss an art exhibition - he showed us around our room in great detail and pointed out all the things we needed to know (where the guides were, where the chocolate was kept, where the corkscrew was stored) before leaving us alone to admire our room.
The room was beautifully decorated in muted modern colours with a sash window overlooking a quiet courtyard. The bed was very comfy and the room equipped with a small LCD tv with a DVD and CD player.
The bathroom is indeed very small on the double rooms - it's in a sort of plastic pod, similar to a very posh caravan. Although it was a bit of a squeeze (we're both over six feet tall) it was very well equipped and also had nice toiletries.
If you can afford the extra it's worth going for a bigger room to get a more spacious bathroom, although we did feel we were fully warned by Tripadvisor and the hosts. Breakfast every morning was fantastic - the selection of food offers something for everyone with a choice of about 6 different options all served with lots of juice, tea and coffee plus fresh fruit salad and cereal if you need it. I'd especially recommend the pancakes or the filled croissants. It's all cooked to order by Sean and served by Martin along with advice on what to do and where to go (with particular emphasis on good delis and lunch venues).

I'd definitely stay here again. On previous visits to Brighton we have always stayed in the Hotel Du Vin but we booked Brightonwave as HdV was full. In future we'll be coming here instead as it offers better value, a fantastic breakfast and the nicest hosts you'd care to meet."

"With countless e-mails to respond to every day, I rarely take the trouble to write anything I don't have to, but I think the Brightonwave Hotel is worthy of a mention. My wife and I stayed just one night as a last minute 'get away from work' break, but it felt longer as we were relaxed from the moment we walked through the door. I have stayed in many 'top' hotels around the world, but this was as good an experience as I have ever had. Most of what I would say has been said already, and I can only concur.
I suppose what generally tends to put me off smaller establishments is the image of the tired old B&B, with a lop-sided bed and a ancient telly with a dodgy picture. The upside of such places is that you usually get a smile from someone who genuinely cares about their business, rather than having to smile because it's in their job description - as found at most chain hotels. This is where the Brightonwave comes into it's own - it offers rooms of exceptional comfort and appointments (as described by others on here), together with the welcome from an owner who does genuinely want you to enjoy your stay.
I think the position of the hotel is pretty much ideal, very close to the beach, shops and excellent restaurants.
Lastly, the breakfast is worthy of a mention. The menu was thoughtful, our request for soya milk greeted with a 'not a problem' attitude and, after fresh fruit and muesli, our English breakfasts were perfectly cooked."

"The owners go out of their way to make guests feel welcome. The 4 poster bedroom is fantastic and yes you can see the sea from the window. Just about to go for our second visit and expect to return many more times yet."

"Having read all the reviews on this site I was interested to see if Brightonwave was as good as it seemed...... it was!!! The room was fabulous, location was very convenient for all the non-touristy restaurants and bars (and some excellent ones were recommended by the hoteliers) and the breakfasts were yummy - all fresh and absolutely no trouble catering for little requests. Whilst it may seem expensive (compared to usual "B&B's" it is) but you have to remember that this is more than that - it's a boutique hotel! I recommend it."

Late rooms
"Brightonwave is a chic hotel centrally located within minutes walk of the sea, Brighton Pier, conference centre and shopping areas. We are a 4 Diamond Silver Accolade NON SMOKING hotel with 6 fully ensuite luxury bedrooms all with flat screen TVs, DVD and CD players.
Wi-fi (hotspot) capability and internet access availability adds to the contemporary feel of the hotel. We focus on providing a personalised attentive service to all our guests.
Rates include breakfast with a selection of; fresh fruit salad, delicious home made blueberry pancakes, a healthy full english or vegetarian and tarragon mushrooms on toast, all cooked to order or you may choose a continental breakfast in bed.
At weekends breakfast is served at a civilised time (9.45am to 10.45am) perfect for sleeping off those late nights enjoying all Brighton has to offer. Late check outs (Noon) are an additional feature of our relaxed weekend breaks."

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