“ 36 Upper Rock Gardens / Brighton, East Sussex / BN2 1QF / United Kingdom / Tel: +44 (0)1273 682939 / Fax: +44 (0)1273 626287. „
The Alvia is a small guest house in Brighton that describes itself as a boutique style hotel but don't be fooled by this promotional blurb. That's not to say that there is anything drastically wrong with this place so long as you are not expecting anything more than a standard seaside B&B. It is graded as a 4 star guest house by the Tourist Board and has won numerous awards over the years. However please note that this place has recently changed hands and many of its awards are actually credited to its previous owners.
One of the things that attracted me to the Alvia is that it offers parking spaces. Parking is notoriously difficult and expensive in Brighton but this place has room for about six cars at an additional fee of £10 per day. One thing that you need to be aware of however is that if you park here you will not be able to use your car at all during your stay since the proprietors don't live here and your car will be locked in. This wasn't a problem for me and it was explained to me that this would happen when I booked it on the phone.
I stayed here for three nights over the Easter weekend between Friday 19th April - Monday 13th April 2009. My room was classed a luxury double which was all that they had left, it cost me £75 per night (for 2 people) plus the additional parking charge. This price included breakfast. I had been told at the time of booking that this was one of the largest rooms in the house and after reading a few reviews where the main complaint seemed to be that the rooms were tiny I was satisfied with this.
Location wise the Alvia is about three-quarters of the way up a very steep hill, but it's only a short walk to the sea and the pier. It is located on the edge of Kemp Town, an area of Brighton that is colloquially known as the "Gay Village". The new proprietors are in fact a gay male couple but although it is described as "gay friendly" it isn't marketed as a gay hotel and during my stay the majority of the guests were male/female couples and families with children.
There are about a dozen rooms set out across five floors, including the basement and the attic space. The house itself is a rather charming Georgian building and the rooms have huge windows so they are very bright. We were allocated a key to both our room and the outer door and were told that we free to come and go as we wished, day or night.
First impressions were quite good. There was a small reception area and the dining area on the ground floor. My room was on the third floor and the stairs were rather steep and since there are no rooms on the ground floor these premises wouldn't really be suitable for people with disabilities. The dining area is quite modern and by the reception there is an area with comfy sofas.
The room I was allocated was adequate but no larger than most standard double rooms in other guest houses that I have stayed in so I can well believe the reports that the rooms are tiny. All of the rooms are en suite with a toilet, sink and shower and there was a bathroom on the second floor and another one towards the top of the house that was shared between the two floors. These were quite spacious and had large bathtubs as well a shower cubicle.
All of the rooms are equipped with hospitably trays; a kettle with tea and coffee but these supplies were never replenished during my stay so it's a good thing that I had brought my own supply of teabags and coffee. There was no refrigerator and the tv didn't even have freeview, which I would have thought would more or less be minimal these days. Other small annoying things included the fact that the extractor fan in the bathroom was filthy, although the rest of the room was clean and the fact that the heating seemed to be on constantly with no apparent means of turning it down. This meant that we had to sleep with the window wide open. I know that I could have complained but these things seemed rather trivial to moan about and coupled with the fact that the owners were not around that much it just didn't seem worthwhile.
Breakfast on the other hand was faultless. A choice of full English, vegetarian or Continental breakfasts were available and special diets could be catered for by prior arrangement. There were cereals and fruit juices (apple and orange) and an endless supply of toast, tea and coffee.
We found a hairdryer in our room but no iron. According to the website the luxury double had an iron and a plasma tv, there was no sign of that either, just a standard portable seated on wall brackets but the poor quality picture on the five available terrestrial channels available on it made it virtually useless. There was a nice stereo system in the room and a digital safe. However since the safe was only resting at the bottom of the wardrobe and not fastened down so any burglar that had broken into the room could have simply carried it away.
Overall I was somewhat disappointed with the Alvia and with hundreds of other guest houses to choose from for a similar price this is not somewhere that I would consider going back to again.
I had never been to Brighton before and even though I knew I had to find and book a hotel. I was a bit worried about this, the reason for the concern about this was that my booking was far from straightforward. Firstly, I really needed a early check in(a very early check in!) as I was travelling through the night(via Ipswich) and would arrive in Brighton with the dawn!
I initially tried the usual value hotels their check ins were 3pm not good! I then tried Brighton tourist information who were worse than useless. I was getting seriously worried by now as I HAD to find a hotel that would let me get some sleep in the day but also one that wasn't stupidly expensive either.
I then had a flash of inspiration and asked on the Money Saving Expert site. I wasn't disappointed and got loads of advice(all I knew was that I needed to be in the Kemp town area) including the Alvia. I looked on the website and really liked the look of the hotel.
When I made the initial enquiry the lady was helpful and didn't think I was odd! She did agree to a very early check in but did warn me that it was dependant on room occupancy the previous evening which I fully understood. However she did say that even if the room was not available I could at least arrive and wait. This was good enough for me and I booked the room.
So fast forward to October everything went well the day before and having travelled through the night I arrived in Brighton about 6.45. The hotel is about a ten minute walk from the Brighton Dome. I arrived just before 7, totally exhausted, desperate for a shower and a sleep in that order.
I was met with a huge smile and made to feel so welcome. I was allocated a room in the basement as the owner felt that I would be able to get a decent sleep without being disturbed. She told me that nobody would disturb me. She very kindly carried my bag down the stairs and let me into the room, wished me a good sleep and left me.
Upon entering you are in a small vestibule type area. There is a large full length mirror and coat hooks. Directly ahead is the bathroom, it is a decent size, fully tiled with loads of space to put make up etc on with a large shower, and loads of loo paper! The bathroom is very clean and welcoming. There are two large dispensers one with body wash/shampoo and the other has body lotion. I am sorry that I can not remember the name of the products other than to say that they were of very high quality, were made by a company in Peterborough and were available to purchase for £10 per bottle from reception.
Going out of the bathroom the bedroom is to the right. Despite my being totally exhausted I was struck by how nice this room was. The bed was large, very inviting and had four very plump pillows and a beautiful silky burgundy cover. The bedding was clean and plentiful. There was extra bedding in the wardrobe should anyone need it. As the room was warm and had a very cosy feel I would doubt that you would.
There are beautiful burgundy full lenth curtains covering hte large bay window. The feature wall(opposite the door is a taupe shade and the rest of the walls cream. Very modern and tasteful. Such a stylish room.
There was a TV and kettle with plenty of supplies(including a couple of very tasty bickies) two cups and two glasses. A desk with lots of information about Brighton in general and the services the hotel could offer. There were two very comfortable chairs in the room and bedside lights that cast a warm glow.
The wardrobe is large with loads of hangers. There is also a safe hidden in the wardrobe. Also I noticed a CD player on the mantelpiece. The print on the feature wall was large and very modern. Perfect for the room.
The shower was delightful and I sank into bed. It was as comfortable as it looked. I slept well and was not disturbed in any way.
I woke about 11am and felt great. I didn't really see many members of staff for the rest of the day as I was in and out but when I did see anyone was greeted warmly.
Again I slept very well & honestly was delighted with the quality of the bed.
Breakfast is served in the dining room at the front of the hotel. There is a choice of full English or continental. My waitress was very attentive and took no time to bring my piping hot coffee. You serve yourself with cereals and juices. I was given the choice of white or granary toast and even better she listened to how I wanted my egg(I hate runny fried egg)
The breakfast room was clean and modern. The crockery was all white and ultra modern. The wave pattern from Vilceroy and Booth. The food was well cooked and there was more than enough. A request for a coffee top up was greeted with a smile and took no time at all to come.
When it came to check out time it was problem free. I was chatting to the owner who is lovely. Nothing was too much trouble for her. I mentioned that I had bought a pint of milk (I didn't feel it would be fair of me to expect extra milk given that I was there for essentially an extra day) she said I should have got milk from the hotel and it would have not been a problem.
This hotel is really a gem. The hotel is about two minutes from the sea which is at the bottom of the road. I loved it and can't wait to return. I would have no hesitation in recommending this to anyone. Also as a lone female traveler I felt safe and comfortable at all times.
A lovely friendly boutique hotel, just up from Kemp Town seafront, the Alvia Hotel is easily accessible from the A23 and offers car parking for a nominal fee - if you book it!
The room I stayed in was clean and contemporary, with a comfy bed, fluffy cushions and plenty of space. Various other rooms in this small hotel are apparently incredibly luxurious, with four poster bed, sea views or a patio, but these were all booked up.
At £95 per room per night, including a wonderful English breakfast, The Alvia is very good value for money.
I made use of their wireless internet, as did other guests, which was quick and hassle-free.
They offer a concierge service, if desired, but my stay was too busy to fit in any of their treats - massage, beauty treatments and many affiliations with local bars and restaurants to take advantage of.
Despite a busy scehdule, I found my time at The Alvia very relaxing, and the staff could not have been more helpful. Everything you could wish for is available, just ask!
Derived from a term personifying sustainability and wellness, the 'Alvia' incorporates the spirit and vibrancy of Brighton, and gives you the opportunity to appreciate it, whether for business, leisure or pleasure...The Alvia is never stuffy or formal, but is about relaxation and friendliness, an escape from your usual routine, where we look forward to introducing you to Brighton.