“ 2 Lower Rock Gardens, Brighton, 01273 670131 „
The Amherst Hotel is situated in the Kemptown area of Brighton, just a stone throw from the prom, and a 5 minute walk to the famous pier.
I stayed there twice in 2007 and would have stayed there more often had I not moved to Brighton at the end of 2007. This is my only regret about living in Brighton, the fact that I can't stay in this hotel again.
The Amherst is a small boutique hotel. I personally prefer this type of hotel to the bigger chains as there is more character. The first time we stayed here we picked it because it had such a good review on tripadvisor (www.tripadvisor.co.uk ). We weren't disappointed.
When we arrived we were warmly welcomed and brought into a very cosy and contemporary lounge/reception. There was a huge bowl filled with Cadbury's éclairs and I couldn't resist myself from dipping in. We were asked if we wanted a complimentary newspaper delivered to our room and we wrote down what paper we wanted. We were then shown to our room. There were quite a lot of stairs up to the room and no lift, so this hotel isn't accessible. It is an old building so this is the reason why.
The room was lovely. It was small but it was very contemporary. The bed was so soft and there was a mini-bar. The items in the mini-bar were normal prices so you were paying a little over the odds for a bottle of wine, but not loads. There was also a basket with complimentary peanuts and crisps (these were refilled everyday). In the room was also a flat screen TV. The bathroom was small but perfectly formed. There was only room for a shower but it was a power shower. There were Molton Brown goodies and also a spare razor, shower cap etc. Every need is catered for in this room.
For me the icing on the cake was that the breakfast was served to your room at a table. At the time there was no room downstairs to have your breakfast, but there is a dining area now. You chose what you wanted for breakfast the day before and all the ingredients are organic and sourced locally. You also pick how much you want of each item, so if you aren't a fan of e.g. bacon, then you can order extra sausages. When the breakfast came it was unbelievable. Simple touches like poached eggs with a sprig of parsley on the top made me think I was in a gourmet restaurant for breakfast. The breakfast menu at the moment is either a Continental breakfast (free) or English breakfast (£6). The newspaper was also hanging outside the door waiting to be read! And this is all if you can tear yourself out of the bed. The bed is so soft and cosy, it really is like a home from home.
The Amherst is a 10 minute walk from The Laines and the centre of Brighton. There is a really nice restaurant around the corner called 'No Name', or if you want to venture further into Kemptown, Muang Thai is a fabulous Thai restaurant and The Kemp Brasserie serves fantastic contemporary dishes.
The Amherst obviously values returning customers as the next time we arrived (we had told them we were returning customers) we were immediately upgraded to the Junior suite. This room was spacious and had a widescreen TV, a couch, a bath and also a fireplace (not needed on this occasion). You could also see the sea from this room.
Since we stayed there the hotel has opened Niche cocktail bar, has a function room and a treatment room is coming soon.
When we stayed there it was £80 per night and I can honestly say it was money well spent. The price has gone up for 2008 and double rooms now cost £120. I felt like the owners really cared about their guests and the little touches made all the difference. Don't pass up on the opportunity to stay at this wonderful hotel if you are staying in Brighton!
2 Lower Rock Gardens,