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The Thistle Hotel Brighton

Wanting to go to Brighton to visit my new baby niece, we booked a room at The Thistle Hotel, right on the sea-front.

And what a brilliant choice it turned out to be. Sometimes you read the blurb on hotel websites and things don't always live up to your expectations. The Thistle Hotel in Brighton, though, well exceeded all our preconceived opinions.

The fact that it was on the seafront, near the grand old Pier and right near The Lanes, for shopping and generally mooching around, was an added bonus, it's got to be said. Checking in at Reception went smoothly and the man on the desk, whose name escapes me now, was friendliness personified. He told us all about the Otium Leisure Club downstairs and booked our table in The Promenade Restaurant for later that evening.

What a lovely view from our hotel room
We went up to our room on the third floor expecting a standard chain-hotel room but what we had was a revelation. The first thing that struck us both was the amazing view. We were fortunate in that the sun was shining, but I swear it was picture-postcard spectacular. We had the most fabulous view over the sea-front which just about rendered us both 'gobsmacked'. We just about threw our bags down on the floor and simply sat on the chairs by our bay window and watched the world, his wife and numerous seagulls go by. The sun was shining, the blue, blue sea was glinting in the sunlight and I really thought that I could do a week's Summer holiday here quite happily. Forget Spain and the rest of The Med, Britain when the weather's good is unbeatable.

Eventually we did unpack our bits and bobs and went down to the swimming pool in The Otium Club. The pool was overlooked by the Gym where a multitude of very virtuous people were running, cycling, sweating and generally doing everything they could to 'keep fit'! We had a leisurely swim and then 'did' the sauna and steam room before going back to the room to get ready for dinner, feeling extremely relaxed and chilled.

The Atrium Bar at The Thistle Brighton is a real focal point. It says on the website that it brings the outside indoors and it cetainly seems that way. Forget plastic plants and artificial trees - this bar has the real thing!

The Atrium at Thistle Brighton
A few G&Ts in the Bar mellowed us even further and we appreciated the staff's ability to sense when we were ready to order and when we wanted to be called to our table. So often in hotels, the staff are over-keen and simply won't leave you alone for five minutes. Here when we said we needed at least twenty minutes before even considering what we wanted for dessert, the waiter simply disappeared and duly came back when he thought we were ready.

The Promenade Restauarant is a lovely, casual, open-plan place and is appropriately located on the promenade with brilliant views of the sea and the famous Brighton Pier. The menu had plenty to choose from, the food was excellent and everything was served promptly.

When we had breakfast the next day, we did both comment that perhaps the ThistleBrighton could 'up it's game' here. But although breakfast wasn't quite as good as our evening meal, there was still more than enough to choose from and we both ate far more than we needed before going out for a wander round The Lanes to walk it all off.

Brighton Pier
So ten out of ten for The Thistle Brighton! A superb well-run establishment, immaculately clean, great friendly staff, wonderful guest rooms, good food and to top it all a great Leisure Club. If you're visiting Brighton, whether for a Weekend Break or a family holiday, you really will not do better than The Thistle Hotel.

Oops - nearly forgot to say, my new little niece Caitlin is absolutely gorgeous and we will just have to go back to Brighton soon for another cuddle.

, Editor
May 2010
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