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Regency Glamour that Attracted Princesses and Movie Stars Returns after £26M Refurb
Doubletree Brighton Hilton

A modern spin on the Regency glamour that attracted the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Princess Margaret has returned to DoubleTree by Hilton Brighton Metropole, following a £26 million refurbishment.

We head to Britain’s coolest coastal resort to review the palatial seafront hotel, which made such big waves when it opened in 1890 - designed by Natural History Museum architect Alfred Waterhouse - that special trains were dispatched to take Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill and other eager Londoners there.

Now, 134 years later, we tug our suitcases towards the same, imperial redbrick facade, with a very different experience through its revolving doors.

Brighton Hilton

The revamp is chic and elegant, with deep sea blue panelling, burnt sienna furniture and bold artwork, while sympathetically celebrating its period features, from its grand, sweeping twin staircase and multi-tiered chandeliers to the ornate, 18th Century ceiling.

On check-in, the friendly staff welcome us all with delicious, warm chocolate chip cookies - the offering is so legendary, we discover the hotel’s roof is emblazoned with a giant painting of The Cookie, when we ascend the Brighton i360 the following day,

Much of the refurbishment budget was spent on the hotel’s 321 rooms, which could be seen in our giant, family room on the third floor. 

Doubletree Brighton Hilton Metropole

The opulent and airy space is decorated in moody sea blues, bold tropical wallpaper, salmon and deep emerald headboards, chic, statement lighting and a marble table with welcome chocolates, Brighton Gin cocktails and water awaiting us.

The sofa has been converted into a pristine, marshmallow-soft bed for our two children.

Our floor-to-ceiling windows open onto our own, wrought iron balcony, with panoramic views across some of the city’s best seascapes, as well as the remains of the beautiful old West End Pier, the futuristic space age doughnut that is the Brighton i360, the Upside-Down House and unique buzz of Brighton, from boats and swimmers in the day, to nighttime revellers and drag queens.

West End Pier Brighton

Its prime position means that you can totter across to The Brighton Centre, Brighton Palace Pier, and Royal Pavilion within minutes while The Lanes - the city’s famous labyrinth of of unique boutiques, restaurants and pubs - is just a pebble’s throw away.

There is much excitement and pillow fights before bed - eventually the children tell us to pack it in and the black out curtains and comfy beds ensure we all sleep soundly.

1890 restaurant

The following morning, we head downstairs for the included breakfast at the hotel's grand,1890 Restaurant, with high ceilings, enormous chandeliers and a sandy and blue colourway, echoing the seafront views from its vast windows.


There’s an excellent selection of food, from stalls filled with fruit, cereals and hot porridge, to fresh pastries, muffins, meats, cheeses, and a chef preparing poached, fried, or boiled eggs and delicious little omelettes.

Brighton pool hotel

Afterwards, we take the children downstairs for a morning splash in the 14m heated pool. Children are welcome in the pool from 9am and they ensure it’s never too busy, by asking guests to book time slots. There’s also a whirlpool, steam room, sauna and gym.

We return to our room for our suitcases and enjoy one last look across our balcony at the blue-skied, seaside panoramas.

It’s such a perfect, Brightonian stay, that we have to use one of their cookies to bribe the children downstairs, to check out.

DoubleTree by Hilton Brighton Metropole, Kings Rd, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN1 2FU. Rooms from £128/night

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