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Hotel The Lanes Hotel 0 star
Easyexperts
70 Marine Parade, Brighton and Hove BN2 1AE, Royaume-Uni Brighton, United Kingdom -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

This is it, the real McCoy. For those looking for a bone fide Brighton bed and breakfast experience, The Lanes is the place for you. Sure, this place isn't going to win any design awards or culinary excellence prizes, but it is quintessentially English with its doilies, woodchip wallpaper and penchant for floral-patterned upholstery. It boasts a seafront location, clean, comfortable rooms and a staff made up of the owning family. An historical property, it's recommended for all types of traveller, especially foreign visitors wanting to get a taste for good old fashioned English hospitality.

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  • Family
  • Well located
  • Charm
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    Location 8.0 /10

    While The Lanes is one of the last hotels on the seafront on the way to the Marina, it does enjoy a seafront spot just a few minutes' walk from Brighton Pier. The Lanes, North Laine and other major attractions can be reached within 10 minutes by foot while the commercial centre is a little further beyond. The immediate vicinity holds little of interest, just a few shops and a pub at the top of the road. 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 arrive by car, you'll be pleased to know that there is a free car park right in front of the hotel, which operates on a first come, first served basis. If there is no space, coin-operated meters are available nearby or alternatively there are several public car parks in the area.

    Accommodation 7.70 /10

    The rooms at The Lanes Hotel are by no means the most modern in Brighton, not having had any real renovation for a good 15 years. However, they are nonetheless clean, functional and of a good size. Standard rooms, most of which are situated at the back of the hotel (others at the front have a small balcony which can be used for smoking), are decorated in a fairly sober fashion with white woodchip wallpaper, wall lamps, a few small watercolour prints and, in some, cases flowers. The beds are dressed in various old-fashioned covers, and each have a cushion placed their head, just in front on good old wooden headboards. They each have a simple desk on which is a telephone (from which you can only make outgoing calls by asking reception), tea and coffee facilities, a hairdryer and above, a flatscreen television. Both the seating and curtains, whose material sometimes matches, are upholstered in heavy floral patterns, while the wardrobes and drawers, in contrast, are plain, solid dark wood affairs. You'll also find a trouser press in the room although if you require an iron and ironing board or somewhere to keep your valuables, you'll have to contact the front desk. The bathrooms, are, like the rooms a little dated in terms of design and colour (some seem to have been retiled relatively recently), but are in fairly good condition and have either shower cubicles or baths and basic, unbranded toiletries. Larger versions of the standard room are available for family occupancy (up to 4) and group occupancy (up to 7). The balcony rooms, which are slightly bigger than the standards, boast really the only balconies that can be used comfortably on the whole seafront but the room has the same amenities. The four-poster room has a large double bed with drapes and its own spacious balcony, although again, the amenities remain the same, while the premier room also has a four-poster mahogany bed and great views over the sea from the large bay window.

    Overview 7.45 /10

    The exterior of The Lanes is a unique building on the seafront, largely due to its whitewashed balconies which seem to have been put there as an afterthought (and indeed were, apparently by a distinguished English colonel who served in India). The lobby, as is so often the case, paints a pretty detailed picture of the rest of the hotel (unlike the artists who painted some of its artwork). Its carpet is one that would usually be found in a traditional pub, there is a bell on the reception desk to attract attention and the seating is upholstered with a typical floral motif. Just off of the lobby to the left is the Noel Coward Suite, which is a large communal lounge with television, library, aquarium and a quaint, tiled fireplace on whose mantelpiece rests typical English plates and vases. It is a comfortable space with large, solid armchairs pulled up at glass-topped table where soon guests will be able to enjoy snacks too. You'll see as you wander round the hotel that many of the building's original features have been kept, such as the stained glass windows. It is true to say that much of the décor hasn't ben updated for a good while, but this is part of the hotel's charm and doesn't mean that the hotel isn't clean and tidy and functional. The hotel has complimentary wifi throughout and smoking is allowed in the rooms. Children are welcome, although animals are not accepted.

    Food and drink 6.95 /10

    With a name giving rise to unwarranted high expectations, the Star Bar is actually a small pub-like bar counter in the lobby opposite the reception desk with a modest selection of wines, beers and spirits served throughout the day. The hotel's breakfast room is off the lobby to the right and is known as Novello's Restaurant. Again, the grandeur of its name is somewhat misleading, however the room does have its charm, due largely to the walnut paneling on top of which is a collection of English porcelain, but also to the nicely laid tables with upright serviettes and selection of jams and conserves. Look out also for the stained glass window at the back of the room but try and grab a seat towards the front in order to stare at the sea while dining. Served between 7.30am and 10am (8am and 10am on the weekends), breakfast consists of a continental offering followed by a cooked English breakfast or eggs cooked the way you like. There is a small surcharge for breakfast in bed.

    To know

    The Lanes is run by a local family who bought the property 15 years ago, and have been in the Brighton bed and breakfast game for several generations. The mother of the family, who is never to be seen without her apron round her neck, leaves no doubt as to who the boss is. A lovely, honest, stern looking lady with enough stories to fill at least a week (if we hadn't have had other places to go you get the feeling that we would indeed have spent seven days at The Lanes listening to her mentally-stored history of the last 40 or so years of Brighton), she clearly takes a lot of pride in her little business, and rightly so, it's a dying breed, as is she. Her and her daughter make up a rather amusing double act as each try to get a word in edgeways while the other is talking. The building has a rich history, having been the home of playwrite Noel Coward.

    Equipment

    • Internet access

    advantage

    • Location
    • Family-run
    • Size of rooms
    • Balconies
    • Free parking

    disadvantages

    • Dated décor
    • Smoking permitted throughout

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score -/10
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