Rebecca Hall heads to the popular seaside resort town of Brighton on the UK’s south coast and discovers more than floral chintz at The Square Townhouse.
Although the UK isn’t renowned as a sun and sea destination, Brighton, on England’s south coast and a mere half hour drive or public transport ride away from Gatwick airport and an hour and a half from London, has long been a favourite weekend destination for Londoners and a UK seaside break, pulling in both domestic and international visitors year round.
Its beach gets packed in the summer, the Palace Pier has amusement rides for all, including the futuristic i360–a moving observation tower offering views from 450ft, and don’t leave without sampling that great British staple, fish and chips–a symbol of all seaside towns. Festivals galore, the UK’s most popular annual Pride event, and quirky shopping and restaurant choices in The Lanes, Brighton makes for an eclectic UK break.
There was once a time when regency buildings in English seaside towns were either derelict or B&Bs with chintzy bedspreads and wallpaper.
Not anymore, as I discovered to my delight when I was invited to spend time experiencing one of Brighton’s newest accommodation offerings, The Square Townhouse.
Where it is
If you’re looking for a romantic break, or to treat yourself to a boutique yet affordable stay, The Square Townhouse has you covered. You’ll find it in Kemptown, a fashionable area of Brighton and the heart of the LGBTQIA+ community, more specifically on New Steine with its gated central garden.
A stone’s throw from the seafront, train station and Pavillions, the location can’t be faulted. Watch the seagulls tread the grass and hear the sea from your bed, I found it a reassuring night sound to lull me to sleep.
The Square Townhouse story
In the 70s and 80s, The Square Townhouse was two individual Grade II Listed regency buildings, operating as run-down apartments.
In the early 2000s it opened as a hotel and the current owner, the dynamic and incredibly forward-thinking Ginny Porpora, bought and renovated the property in 2014, effectively knocking two buildings into one–the next-door one also bought. Ginny’s dream project was finally ready to open its doors and welcome guests in 2016.
Rooms & Decor
Although the hotel has a combination of 20 rooms and suites, I felt as if I had a whole floor to myself as the building is well spread out and extends up over four floors (warning: no lift! But the cheerful staff had no problems taking my heavy bag up to the top Bubble Rooftop Suite and Terrace). There’s unique
There’s a choice of six spacious Luxury Sea View rooms that overlook the central garden on New Steine and views of Brighton Seafront.
The one Superior Sea View room on the fourth floor has a king-size bed, again overlooking New Steine’s central garden and the English Channel.
The Townhouse’s Cosy Kings are compact, at the rear of the property with street or city views, although the rooms on the 3rd and 4th floors have a glimpse of the sea. For a slightly larger room, book one of the three Superior Kings at the rear with inland views, the higher floors featuring rooftop views of the city. The Snugs (Helmsley and Bubbles) are on the ground and lower ground floors of the Townhouse at the rear. As the name suggests, they’re ‘snug’, making a perfect hideaway.
The lower ground floor also features two magnificent suites: the Hemsley Junior which has its own entrance and offers a separate reception area and bedroom. The Hemsley Suite occupies the entire lower ground floor of one of the Townhouse’s buildings and is referred to as an upside-down Penthouse with a reception room, a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, a reading nook, and a master bedroom featuring a super king-size bed.
Then there’s the Bubble Rooftop Suite and Terrace with its own bar, Steine Square garden, and sea view and small terrace.
All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with walk-in monsoon showers, the suites also have Japanese or freestanding bathtubs. I found it lovely on a rainy Brighton day to luxuriate in my Bubble Suite Terrace tub with great views across the Square and sea beyond from the comfort of the bath.
Bath, shower, and skin care products by Rituals round off the touch of luxury nicely. Some of the suites/rooms have a fire effect to top off a romantic ambience.
Added extras in all rooms include a Lavazza Coffee Machine, a selection of teas, and still & sparkling Mineral Water.
All images (C) Square Townhouse.
Tell me more about The Square Townhouse
The Square Townhouse, 4 New Steine, Brighton, BN2 1PB, UK
T: +44 1273 691 777 E: email@example.com
Rooms start at £149.00–£180.00 inc. breakfast in low season, rising from £199.00–£237.00 in high season. Suites start at £213.00–£273.00 inc. breakfast in low season, rising from £285.00–£377.00 in high season.
Always best to check with the hotel regarding rates as they’re subject to change, and special deals may be available.
I loved the extra attention to detail throughout with boudoir treasures personally picked out by the owner among the unique antique shops in the town.
The lounge bar is a great place to relax in the evening, gazing out the regency-style window at the square and sea sipping a signature cocktail.
The favourite part of my stay was the full English breakfast on offer with locally sourced ingredients and homemade baked beans, or there was a choice of Eggs Benedict, Avocado on Toast, or Continental Breakfast, among other choices.
The Square Townhouse is approx. 30-40 minutes from London Gatwick Airport (driving or public transport: bus or train) and 1hr 30 mins from London Heathrow.
There’s no car park, but there is on-street parking out front. Ask the hotel to arrange a permit for you.