“ Address: 29 Regency Square / Brighton / BN1 2FH „
It seems that the Liberal Democrat Conference is held in Brighton on a regular basis and I am getting used to finding the best places to stay.. The Metropole is a lovely hotel but out of my price range so it had be one of the smaller ones around the conference centre that I would be looking for. I left it late to book so as I imagined a lot of the ones I would have gone for had already gone so I started looking around Regency Square and Russell Square. The nearest one I could find that seemed to be close to the centre and in my price range was the Prince Regent Hotel at 29 Regency Square. This is at the top of Regency Square and just over a 5 minute walk to the Conference centre. It is a large house in a row of similar houses and a couple of the others around it are also now hotels. When I looked at the pictures on the website the rooms look to be very well decorated and some have a four poster bed and balcony. These are the better rooms and the one I had was a basic double room although I had only booked a single. When I arrived the first impression of the hotel was very good. The entire row of houses and hotels were well decorated and the hall way was well decorated. It was here that there were a few problems. Reception was upstairs and there was not a lift. I booked in and was given a room on the 4th floor and there was not a lift. It was a struggle to get the case up the winding stairs and the condition of the carpet did not help. It was very tatty but at least there was tape covering the worst parts meaning that there was less chance of catching my foot and slipping. The website does say there was not a lift but I was not expecting the stairs to be so steep and narrow. When I finally reached the room the door was very basic and did not look very substantial but was easy to open Once inside the room was very dated but was tidy and as mentioned there was a double bed when I had been expecting a single. I paid £40 a night for the room and I would say this was about right as there were few extras or anything to make me think I had made a good choice. The wardrobes seemed to date back a good few years as they were all connected and the bed had been placed in the middle so had storage above it but it was so high that I could not reach it. There were 6 hangers which was plenty and the storage space on the other side had a couple of shelves for underwear. The room had a kettle and there were 4 of everything. The only issue I had here was that there was no milk provided the second day but there was some left on the third. The bathroom was very small and it was not possible to sit down on the toilet and shut the door as it was right up against the wall. There was a small bar of soap and a small shower gel but it would have been enough if it had been needed. I was glad to find a room that was en suite as a number of hotels do not offer this. It seems that Brighton is getting a lot of stag and hen parties who are less fussy and the fortunately the Prince Regent Hotel will not accept group bookings so there will be a lot less noise here than in other places. There are also no pets or children and this is something that I had not seen before but it did mean that there was no crying in the night. There are 27 rooms in the hotel and the website says that some have minibars but mine did not. It also says that rooms are decorated in keeping with the Regency period but for me it reminded me of the carpet and tiles of the 1960s. They are all en suite which is a must for me but I did find that there were many hotels in Brighton that were not. It also says that they have a hair dryer but mine did not although they lent me one when I needed it. From the website it seems that there are some more extravagant rooms but I did not see them. There are photographs of them on the site and they do look like the sort of room I would like to stay in. Breakfast is not included but there are vouchers issued if you want breakfast and these can be exchanged at the nearby Regency Restaurant. It would have been £7 a day but I decided against this and made my own arrangements. You can check in between 2pm and 8pm and this seems to be strictly adhered to as I went for information at about 5 past 8 one day and there was no one around and the bell had been removed - a phone call will enable you to arrange a later check in if you are delayed but I did not feel comfortable phoning for information when I was already there. Check out is 11 am on your last day. Parking in Brighton can be expensive and a lot of areas have Residents Parking Schemes so it will be best to phone in advance and reserve a space as the hotel does have a few allocated to them for their guests. If you find you can't keep the booking you need to cancel at least three days before your first night to save any charges. After that there will be one night's stay taken from the card - you will need to leave credit card details when booking. The entire hotel is smoking free and there is a charge to clean the room if anyone has smoked in it. The website says one nights charge but the sign at reception said it was a lot more - I think it was about £200 which I thought was a lot. This was in a good location and I would not rule out staying here again, but I would certainly phone to ask for a room lower down the house. I was concerned as so many hotels were sold out that week and I thought this may have been really poor, but it was OK and as it was £40 a night I know I should not have expected too much.