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Hotel umi Hotel 3 star
Easyexperts
Brighton, United Kingdom -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

This perfectly placed hotel is a great budget option for leisure stays of any length. Although there are no dormitories, it does have a hostel feel to it and indeed has a fairly young clientele as well as a philosophy close to that of a hostel. The rooms are basic but clean and functional and there are some good facilities for a hotel of this standard, including a restaurant and bar. Guests and staff seem to mix in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and there is certain buzz about the place. Possibly not one for a romantic weekend away, but perfect for groups of friends looking to make the most of what Brighton has to offer at the weekend.

+
  • Seaside
  • Family
  • Party
  • Well located
  • Flight
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    Location 7.68 /10

    It could be argued that the umi has the best location in Brighton as it's on the seafront but also a straight line from the railway station at the top of the road. Standing on the corner of King's Road and Middle Street, it is pretty much at the centre of things, close to all the major attractions, as well as the town centre, the Brighton Centre and of course the promenade. It can get a little noisy at times, especially weekends, with party-goers and stag and hen dos dominating the streets around. Trains from the station, a 10 minute walk or 5 minute taxi ride away, serve Gatwick airport (30 mins) and London (50 mins on fast train). There is no private parking but there is an NCP car park on Russell Road which charges £20-25 for 24 hours.

    Accommodation 7.70 /10

    Although technically the hotel offers several different categories, all the rooms are pretty much the same, with only their surface area changing. There is actually very little of note in the rooms, with them being painted entirely in off-white and just a few old prints on some of the walls. The only other modicum of colour comes from the matching blue carpet and bed plaids. The furniture consists of unremarkable light wood cupboards and drawers, which provide plenty of space for storage, and in most rooms there's a table and chairs (sofas in the largest rooms). Amenities in clued flatscreen television, tea and coffee facilities, safes and hairdryers (some also have trouser press). The bathrooms are a little dated, but are clean and spacious and have toiletries in holders (some of the larger rooms have a double vanity on the bathroom). Try and get a sea-facing room as the ones out to the back look onto an unsightly court. That said, these former can be quite noisy from the traffic and pedestrians going past at night. There is no air conditioning in the rooms, but fans and heaters can be provided.

    Overview 7.70 /10

    The exterior of the umi is quite grand, with balconies supported by arches and quite a bit of intricate moulding in white in opposition to the pale yellow colour the rest is painted in. It is just a shame that the rust running down the walls from the metal fixtures has not been cleaned up. Right in the top corner of the building, on the roof, is a spire, although with the sea right in front of the hotel, it is rendered slightly useless. The reception area, which can get a little crowded at times, is fitted with shiny black and white tiles and has mirrors with a rounded square pattern on with, a painting of a Japanese woman in traditional dress and partly stained glass windows with a coloured diamond pattern. The area is brightened up with an orchid plant while you'll find a PC for surfing the internet (£1 for 10 mins). The staff behind reception are very welcoming and patient (they were excellent in dealing with our numerous requests), and seem to be the type of people who would stay in a hotel like this (especially the young Dutch interns). Getting to the rooms is easy as there are two lifts just behind the reception and the corridors, although a little worse for wear, are kept clean and are not too complicate d to negotiate. The rooms to the right of reception is both a lounge and, later on in the evening, a bar, where guests can meet friends, do a bit of work or enjoy a drink in front of the television or with a book. The hotel is strictly non-smoking and animals are not accepted either. There is complimentary wifi throughout the hotel.

    Food and drink 7.20 /10

    For a hotel like umi, it is quite impressive the number of eateries it boasts: a breakfast room, a coffee shop, a restaurant and a bar. The first is just to the left of the lobby and therefore has a view onto the promenade and sea, which you can take in by grabbing a seat at the window bar with its funky white stools. Breakfast is the standard continental (toast, cereal, yoghurt etc) with the option of a hot breakfast in the form of a full English, bagel sandwiches eggs and porridge. This same space, and the room next door, turns into 'yumi' after breakfast hours, the hotel's coffee shop, which serves pastries, sandwiches and jacket potatoes throughout the afternoon. The hotel's restaurant, the umi Grill, which happened to debut during our stay, is just next door, and can be accessed either from the exterior, or through the bar/lounge. It's strangely set up (although that has much to do with the shape of the room) but does have views of the sea and a nice stained glass window at the back. There is not much in the way of decoration, however it is a correct setting and is well lit. On the menu is essentially the kind of food you'd find in a pub, nachos, chicken wings and Caesar salad to start, with steaks, burgers and a few fish dishes to follow. The food was reasonable and the prices too, although the service was very slow and the poor young girl looking after us was a little out her depth. That said, we ate there on the restaurant's first night and they were taken by surprise at the high number of clients.

    To know

    umi is a privately owned hotel and is part of the Lowy Group who also own The Kings hotel, Queens Hotel and The Best Western. It was opened in early 2008, replacing the old Bellgrove, which was also part of the same group. If you like this hotel, then you might also like to stay in umi London or even umi Moscow! Note that breakfast is always included in the rate although one not comprising breakfast is available.

    Equipment

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

      beauty salon, Turkish bath

    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Prime seafront location
    • Friendly staff
    • Yumi coffee shop

    disadvantages

    • Basic rooms, some tired
    • Courtyard view unpleasant

    Traveller Reviews

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    • Overall Score -/10
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