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Hotel Barcelo Old Ship Hotel 0 star
Easyexperts
Brighton, United Kingdom -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Although this hotel is a major venue for conferences and weddings, it should not be overlooked for leisure travellers as a base for a break in Brighton. A traditional seafront hotel with a rich history, it has large rooms with impressive views, a super location and lots of public space including lounges and a restaurant and bar. It may lack some of the facilities that the other 'big boys' can boast but it has a charm of its own which would appeal to older couples and foreign visitors. There is a reason the Barcelò has survived over 450 years as a hotel and we suggest that you come and find out why for yourselves. Recommended for all types of traveller for any length of stay.

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  • Seaside
  • Family
  • International Standard
  • Well located
  • Charm
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    Location 8.23 /10

    Being the first hotel in Brighton, the Barceló has arguably the finest seafront position, right between the two piers, steps away from The Lanes and just minutes from the town's main shopping centre. The immediate vicinity of the hotel is home to tourist shops, seafront snack bars and further inland other more up market eateries. Trains from the station, a 15 minute walk or 5-10 minute taxi ride away, serve Gatwick airport (30 mins) and London (50 mins on fast train). The hotel does have 50 parking spots which operate on a first come first served basis and cost £20 per night. Alternatively, there are several public car parks in the area, but these are further away and may be more costly.

    Accommodation 7.45 /10

    There are essentially three categories of room, with possibilities of single, double and triple occupancy. Many of the rooms have been renovated in recent months and have managed to modernise without losing touch with what the hotel stands for. The renovated standard rooms have been jazzed up with a floral print wallpaper behind the bed while the beds are dressed in quality cotton linens with colourful plaids (which match the cushions and curtains). The furniture consists of dark wood bedside tables, a dresser, a small table and chairs in the corner and a drawer unit upon which is a regular television. Amenities include tea and coffee facilities, telephone, wireless internet access, iron and ironing board and trouser press. The rooms are not the biggest we saw but certainly large enough for a stay of a week or so with plenty or storage space. The simple bathrooms, tiled in white, have bathtub, hairdryer and personalised toiletries. The non-refurbished rooms have all the same amenities and are similar sizes only they are decorated differently and will soon be updated. With a premium room you are guaranteed a sea view as well as a lot more living space as well as attractive wicker furniture in the room and a larger bathroom with classier fittings. The suite, which features an open plan living area, also has a second bedroom with bunk beds for the kids. Due to its classification as a listed building air conditioning has not been able to be fitted although fans are available. All rooms are in tip top condition and have the perfect balance between modernity and tradition which will please guests looking for a true Brighton hotel experience.

    Overview 7.95 /10

    The Old Ship is housed in an almost perfectly symmetrical low-rise white building on Kings Road. The weather seems to have taken its toll on the exterior's paintwork but the hotel's condition improves as you pass through the pillar-flanked entrance. The lobby is fittingly large for a hotel of this stature and has several parts to it. Renovated just last year it looks in good shape and doesn't betray its past with wooden paneling throughout, smart carpets and both old prints and modern art on the walls. The reception desk is way over to the left hand side of the hall and you'll be well greeted here before your luggage is taken to your room. There are two guest lounges within the lobby: one at the front of the hotel which is more traditional and where you can order drinks and snacks and another in the centre of the hall which is more relaxed and modern-looking and which receives natural light from a sky light right above it. Getting to your room is simple and there is a lift for those who can't manage the stairs, however, along the corridors there are lots of small steps and doors which might make it difficult for less able guests or those with wheel chairs to access their rooms. The hotel doesn't have its own fitness facilities although it does have partnerships with local sports centres whereby guests can get day passes for gym and wellness services - just ask at reception. Wifi is available throughout the hotel and is complimentary in the lobby. If you want to use the internet on your laptop from your room this will cost you £6.50 for an hour or £12 for 24 hours. Alternatively there is a PC and printer for guests' use which is also chargeable. For the most part the hotel's public spaces are well maintained and in good condition as there is a rolling renovation in place, although some of the corridors could do with a lick of paint. The staff is polite and courteous and professional and reflects well the values and tradition of the property.

    Food and drink 7.20 /10

    The Barceló's restaurant, Location 3, is split into two halves, the front section looking out over the sea. The rear of the restaurant, which is where breakfast is served between 7am and 10am (8am-11am at the weekend) in the form of a buffet, is carpeted in deep red and features brightly coloured painted scenes on the wall. It is a cosy setting in which to enjoy either a continental style breakfast or indeed a cooked option with everything you'd expect from an English breakfast. Dinner is served between 6pm and 10pm in the front of the room with is parquet flooring and sea view and guests can choose from a wide selection of dishes on the à la carte menu which features several vegetarian options. Starters include Caesar salad, smoked salmon chowder and seared duck breast with pak choi and a lemon grass and plum dressing while for mains you can choose , among others, moules mariner, fish and ships and squash risotto. Several side dishes are available while crumble, sticky toffee pudding or British cheeses finish off the meal. The restaurant is happy to cater to any dietary requirements - just inform your waiter.

    To know

    The oldest hotel in Brighton, the Barceló Old Ship Hotel dates back to 1559 and has played host to many historical events. In 1819 the Prince Regent's Ball took place here and Nicolo Paganini gave a violin recital here in 1831. The banquet celebrating the opening of the London to Brighton Railway in 1841 was also held here. Today all of the rooms which hosted such occasions are still used and are reputed throughout the country, for example the Paganini Ballroom and the Regency Room. Many illustrious guests have stayed at the Old Ship over the years including Lord Byron, Charles Dickens and Churchill. With such a rich history it is an extremely popular venue for weddings, functions and meetings and events of all different sizes can be catered for.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access

    advantage

    • Location
    • Size of rooms
    • History
    • Traditional décor

    disadvantages

    • No gym/spa
    • No lunch service
    • Some may find décor old-fashioned

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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