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Hotel Hilton Metropole Hotel 4 star
Brighton, United Kingdom -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

With its history, grandeur and class, the Hilton Metropole probably just pips it as the swankiest of the traditional seafront hotels. It may have changed hands many a time since its opening just before the turn of the 20th century, but it has managed to keep its allure and standing and is a fine tribute to Victorian England. That said, it has also succeeded in dragging itself into the 21st century with good facilities and a partial makeover. The standard of service expected from a Hilton is certainly present at this Brighton hotel, which is suitable for all types of traveller whether they be a family, a couple or friends.

  • Seaside
  • Family
  • International Standard
  • Well located
  • Gastronomy
  • Charm
  • Flight
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    Location 3.0 /10

    The Hilton Metropole occupies a seafront spot which is only to be expected of a hotel of its standing. Right next to the Brighton Centre for conferences and concerts, it is just in front of Churchill Square and all its shopping as well as minutes' walk from Brighton Pier, The Lanes, North Laine, the Pavilion and a host of restaurants, bars and shops. 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). If you are arriving by car, the hotel has a 206-space secure car park charged at £16 per day. Alternatively there is an NCP car park not far away which charges £15 for 24 hours, although this is further away and is not manned.

    Accommodation 8.45 /10

    A range of accommodations are on offer to suit both the business and leisure traveller and differ in size, amenities and view. The basic room is of a generous size and is available as a single, twin, double or family. The renovated rooms have a warm red and orange colour scheme with the bed's plaid, the cushions, the curtains, lamps and carpet motif all adhering, along various hues, to this concept. The beds, dressed in quality cotton linens, are framed at the head by dark wood paneling which integrate spot lights for reading. Each has a small seating area with two armchairs and a table and amenities include flatscreen television, alarm clock, tea and coffee facilities, iron and ironing board, safe and minibar. Some of the family rooms are quite tight for space so if there are more than three of you ask for one of the more spacious ones. The spotless bathrooms in the basic rooms are tiled modestly in white and have a round sink on a dark wood vanity. There are bathtubs with shower and the toiletries come from Crabtree & Evelyn. The deluxe rooms are divided into those with a sea view and those without. They are much more spacious than the standard rooms and share all the same amenities and boast in addition a more spacious living area and in some cases a balcony on which it is just possible to sit and have a drink looking on to the two piers. Several of these rooms have a larger bathroom, so ask when booking to be placed in one of these if you require more space. The largest rooms, the suites, have a reasonable sized bedroom plus a separate lounge with sofas, coffee tables and its own television. Its bathroom enjoys extra comforts such as separate bath and shower, double vanity, scales and bathrobes and slippers. The condition in all of the rooms, whether renovated or not, is impeccable and we saw no evidence of wear and tear.

    Overview 8.95 /10

    The perfectly symmetrical red terracotta-fronted building is the most attractive on the seafront. Once through the revolving doors you'll enter a grand lobby which extends for tens of metres before you with, at the far end, two staircases leading to the first floor (another marble one leads off from the left hand side of the lobby). The floors and lift entrances are in marble while from the beautiful moulded ceilings hang Art Deco chandeliers. Various 'objets' enrich the space such as giant vases, lamps and watercolour paintings while the pillars that line the hall lengthways amplify the standing of the hotel. Both the porters and reception desk staff will greet you warmly and the check in is nothing less than professional and hassle-free. The presence of class extends to the staircases and corridors where beautifully restored mouldings give a regal air and various water colours and prints of Brighton and elsewhere add colour and character to the large, open spaces. As you'd expect, the fitness centre has a good range of decent cardio and weights machines with television and iPod docking facilities, while there is also a good size swimming pool as well as a well being centre complete with sauna. This latter also offers treatments such as massage, hairdressing and manicures and pedicures. For those wishing to conduct a bit of business during your stay but who don't have their laptops, there is a fully equipped business centre with secretarial, faxing and printing services. For those with their own machines, wifi is available, at a cost, in public areas only. Those wanting to bring along their dogs can do so at a cost of £7.50 per day. Finally, the Hilton Metropole is a very popular venue for conferences and events with over 30 rooms available to hire with capacities of up to 2,000 in which the hotel can also cater for weddings.

    Food and drink 7.95 /10

    The hotel has three main outlets for food and drink. Its main restaurant, Windsor, which is certainly the most grandiose in Brighton, is open for breakfast and dinner. The room boasts plenty of imposing features such as the huge floor-to-ceiling arched windows, the meticulous wall and ceiling mouldings and the elegant glass chandelier which hangs in the centre of the room. To the left hand side as you walk into the room is a raised area where the breakfast buffet is served and from which singers and bands entertain diners on the weekend round the white grand piano. Between the hours of 7am and 10.30am (7am and 11am on the weekends) a copious continental and hot buffet is served which uses local Sussex produce. Then in the evening an excellent European menu is offered (6.30pm until late)which proposes dishes such as wood pigeon on fig purée and celeriac foam to start and loin of lamb or salmon saltimbocca for mains, as well as several vegetarian options. The service is attentive without being intrusive and a civilized atmosphere reined during our meals. If you are around for lunch, then bar 106 will cater to your needs. Accessed from the street (there is not internal entrance) this contemporary joint serves tapas from midday until 7pm and offers all the usual alcoholic and soft beverages, including sangria. Alternatively, take a drink in the Victorian Metropole Lounge bar, just off the hotel's lobby, sunk into a comfortable armchair looking out to sea. Afternoon tea is also served on the terrace every day.

    To know

    The 'H-shaped' building which now houses the Hilton was built back in 1890as the Hotel Metropole and was designed by Alfred Waterhouse who also conceived the Natural History Museum and University College, London. It has seen many changes over the years and has passed through many hands, but is today part of the global Hilton empire. During the Second World War, several hundred allied soldiers from the army and RAF were stationed at the hotel. January of 2010 saw the last part of a renovation which saw all the sea view rooms be updated.


    • Car park
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, sauna, spa

    • Swimming pool


    • History
    • Typically Victorian
    • Level of service
    • Size of rooms
    • Grand dining room
    • Terrace


    • No wifi in rooms

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    • Overall Score nc/10
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