After a super-cool staycation in the UK? Look no further than this boutique hotel…
Right on the seafront on one of the UK’s most famous pebbled beaches is the Artist Residence. This Brighton hotel is the original in the hotels group and when it first opened the co-founder commissioned the coolest local artists to decorate a room each, in return for a hotel stay. Since 2006, the hotel has grown in size (as has the hotel group, now with locations in Oxford, Cornwall and London) but many of these original rooms, all named after the artist who decorated them (Bonnie & Clyde, Charlie Anderson and the street artist responsible for inspiring the notorious Banksy, Blek le Rat), still have the same murals on the walls, floors and ceilings – many of the unique artworks now so carry huge value in the art world. The newer rooms, as well as the hotel corridors, feature hand-picked framed artworks from other renown artists – think Maria Rivans, Pure Evil and William Blanchard. It’s an art lovers dream.
The hotel vibe has the perfect mix of luxury and chill. The staff are super friendly and welcoming – you’ll feel like you’re chatting to an old friend but at the same time you know that your every need is going to be seen to and that you’re in safe hands. We loved how informal the check in was and it felt like we were home away from home straight away.
Plus, Brighton is only a couple of hours from London and is one of the best seaside locations in the UK. Sold.
Cosy and luxe. Rooms are booked by size and they keep it simple, but each is unique so when you arrive your actual room is a surprise (although their general manager told us they have regulars who often request particular artist rooms so we recommend emailing ahead with any requests like this). Our room had a view of the sea beyond the iconic Regency Square, a copper bathtub (complete with organic Bramley products) and a Roberts radio – on arrival you’ll want to enjoy all three straight away, all of which can be done simultaneously = win. The vintage chic furniture is individually sourced by the owner and you can really feel that every detail has been thought of and considered so carefully, it definitely works. Their signature style will give you serious interior envy. And all rooms come complete with the modern mini bar – local gin, Rococo Chocolates and Tunnock’s caramel wafers – all perfect accompaniments to that relaxing bubble bath.
Where to go
You won’t want to leave the room but when you do you don’t need to go far for good food and hand-crafted cocktails – the hotel is home to the buzzy cocktail bar The Fix and their resident restaurant The Set does a breakfast worth staying for. We opted for the pancakes as they were recommended by a fellow guest on the next table who was a New Yorker, so if that isn’t enough of a reason to order them we don’t know what is (oh and the other guests were friendly just like the staff which was another treat for a Londoner).
Walk off your breakfast with a beach stroll and turn left to wander around the Lanes that Brighton are most famous for. While you’re out and about stop for coffee at Cafe Coho and check out Our Daily Edit on Ship Street for eco-friendly Veja, Carharrt, Norse Projects and luxe Scandi fashion brands. Be sure to walk around the newly expanded Art Republic store. This is the place to buy art and they work closely with the Artist Residence team too. The walls are lined with amazing artwork from the usual famous names as well as incredible pieces by up-and-coming new talent. We couldn’t leave without buying a Ben Eine print, but art can be expensive so we love that they offer the opportunity to spread the cost over 20 months at no extra cost.
In the evening, we recommend you head towards the sea again and walk right to the local Hove area where you’ll find The Ginger Pig – one of the best pubs in the UK and only a 30-minute walk from the hotel. We recommend you walk along the seaside path so you don’t miss the cute and colourful seaside huts that are all over Instagram, time it well for the sunset which is just lush. The menu is both traditional and brilliant, all ingredients are sourced from local Sussex suppliers and the interiors are super chic – think comfy green velvet banquette seating and marble tables. We didn’t want to leave, but then we had that room waiting for us back at the hotel…
So, what are you waiting for? Double rooms start from £95 per night. Visit artistresidence.co.uk for more information and to book.