Artist ResidenceBrighton hotel is more than a pretty 19th-century façade; this central Brighton stay has views of the sea and West Pier, reclaimed industrial decor, artist-designed interiors, a seasonal produce-loving mod-Brit restaurant and a rum-soaked bar.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in 3pm, earlier subject to availability. Ask at reception if you've arrived early and need somewhere to stash your bags.
Double rooms from £90.00, including tax at 20 per cent.
Rates generally exclude breakfast; à la carte options range from £4.50 to £10, and include house-made granola, buttermilk pancakes, ham hock hash, shakshuka and a hearty full English.
The Set restaurant keeps a rooftop herb and vegetable garden: crops are used in the kitchen (and leftovers composted to keep the garden green).
At the hotel
Free WiFi. In rooms: Bramley bath products, coffee and tea-making facilities with bags from Joe’s Tea Co, free biscuits and bottled water, flatscreen TVs with freeview, Robert’s DAB radios.
Our favourite rooms
The 11 ‘artist’ rooms have been individually decorated by local and international artists, and 13 ‘house’ rooms have up-cycled furniture and limited-edition prints. For views of the sea and (what remains of the) West Pier, pick a south-facing room. Room 23, a bigger ‘house’ room, has large double windows, art prints and a claw-foot, roll-top bath with a sea view.
Light layers for seaside strolling and cycling, an artistic ensemble for the evening, to fit in with the hotel’s creative aesthetic.
Guests with mobility issues should request assistance when climbing the five steep steps up to the hotel. There's a lift, but it's a little bit of a squeeze.
Pups are welcome in some rooms for £15 a night a pooch; a comfy bed, towel, food and water bowls and treats will be supplied for their stay. Please check on the availability of a dog-friendly room before booking. See more pet-friendly hotels in Brighton.
Children aged six and over can stay; however, the buzzy restaurant and bar and a lack of in-house child entertainment makes this more suitable for a couples weekend.
Residence uses LED lights and green cleaning products when possible, reclaimed materials and eco-friendly Farrow and Ball paint. The hotel supplies guests with bath products from eco-conscious brand Bramley, and the restaurants and bar recycle. The fish served in the restaurant is from sustainable sources and locally sourced produce is used whenever possible.
Sit by the bar and watch the chefs deftly put dishes together in the open kitchen; they'll often talk you through them as they work.
Anything goes – the more colourful, the better. Take a cue from your artistic surroundings and channel your inner East-London gallery-goer.
Through the reclaimed metal doors of the Set, head chef Dan Kenny and his team create enticing modern British dishes, served alongside matched wine flights. This stylishly snug industrial-chic restaurant shows the chef's shopping lists and pop-up events by scribbling them on the tiles. The seasonal, rotating menu is guaranteed to have plates (almost) too-pretty-to-eat. A Chef's Table tasting menu can also be served on request, and will be tailored to your preferences.
Cocktail bar The Fix is in the building to the right of the main resturant, featuring tropical prints and quirky neon lighting. The bar itself is fashioned from corrugated iron and reclaimed wood from the West Pier, and a mere handful of tile-topped tables keep things cosy. The bartenders are enthusiastic about their craft, working from a reassuringly concise menu that focuses on refigured classics and all-new creations, all of which are concocted by The Fix’s lead mixologist in line with the seasonal ingredients used in The Set menu; try a refreshing Aperol Caipirinha or the Truth be Told, a lively blend of jalapeño water, absinthe and coriander.
Dinner is served until 11pm in the Set. You can drink in The Fix until midnight.
No room service, the restaurant and bar are just downstairs. Forage in the nearby delis for a late-night picnic: cheese from La Cave a Fromage, pork pies and sausage rolls from the Grasmere Farm Shop and tapas to go from Mediterraneo.
At the top of Regency Square, looking down to the sea, Artist Residence is close to Brighton’s beach and has everything you'd want on your doorstep: galleries and acclaimed restaurants, the Pier and Brighton Pavilion.
The closest major airport is Gatwick International; from there, Brighton is a 30-minute train ride or a 45-minute drive away. Cars are available to hire from Avis at the airport.
Fast trains from London Victoria or London Bridge will have you there in an hour. Trains from Birmingham New Street to Brighton take just over three hours. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from Brighton station.
Although it’s set back from the beach, Artist Residence has views of the sea and the remnants of the West Pier. The hotel is at the Hove end of Brighton, but still within walking distance of iconic sights; it’s central.
If you’re a first-time visitor to Brighton, carve out some time to see the Royal Pavilion, the former seaside pleasure palace of King George IV. It’s a little bit of history and a lot of ostentation, but thoroughly regal. Then swing by Brighton Pier and let your inner child loose on the carnival rides and nostalgic seaside fun. Poke around the independent shops, art galleries and boutiques of the Lanes, where you’ll also find plenty of spots to stop and refuel. If you’ve been inspired by your creative surroundings, find limited-edition art prints for your own abode at Unlimited or Art Republic.
Nature lovers can watch ponies and deer frolic at South Downs National Park, which is only a 20-minute drive away, and spend a day rambling through the countryside. Or borrow bikes and cycle along the beach to Hove. In the evening, check out the entertaining offerings at Brighton Dome; you may be able to catch a concert, dance performance or quirky spoken-word showcase.
Unsurprisingly, seafood abounds in Brighton. Only a 10-minute stroll from Artist Residence, The Little Fish Market serves up fresh fish and regional produce in a coolly casual setting, punctuated by local art work. For a classically British fresh-fish menu, look to nearby The Gingerman Restaurant. The Salt Room has a more modern take on British cuisine, specialising in fish and meat cooked over charcoal. Wander down Brighton Lanes and pop into petite restaurant 64 Degrees, where chef Michael Bremner whips up an ever-changing menu of small plates in the open kitchen. Sit at the pass to watch the master at work, and don’t pass up the burnt onion pappardelle if it’s on offer.
Vegetarians, Brighton has rolled out the red carpet for you… There are some very fine veggie and vegan eateries here. Terre à Terre has the prettiest meat-free plates that'll get everyone excited: halloumi in chip-shop batter with vodka-spiked tomatos and lemon Yemeni dressing, aubergine fried in tahini with wasabi and yuzu pesto, dark chocolate mousse with clementine sorbet and other delights. And award-winning vegetarian restaurant Food for Friends has been dishing out herbivore fare since 1981. If you can’t get enough of your greens in one sitting, take home one of their cookbooks for Meatless Mondays at home. Stylish English's Restaurant & Oyster Bar has been a fine-dining favourite with locals and visitors for 70 years. You’ll find classic seafood dishes and modern British cuisine and, if you look closely, former patron Dame Judi Dench’s photo on the wall.
French-style bistro Mange Tout serves leisurely brunches, locally roasted coffee and sustainably sourced tea; order the cinnamon French toast topped with fruit compote, a melty croque madame or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and a buttery croissant.
The Flour Pot Bakery makes freshly baked bread and breakfast favourites daily. They also offer a winning combination of Small Batch coffee, tasty sandwiches and cakes, making a stop at either of this bakery’s Brighton locations a good bet. For a heartier brunch or lunch, swing by The New Club, an American-style restaurant in a restored building on the seafront. It’s best for brunch and burgers. For afternoon cakes and tea, try artisan bakery Sugardough, which has a Hove location and a spot in the Lanes.
The Ginger Pig pub is a short stroll towards Hove from the hotel. Trendy The Urchin pours out craft beer and serves up shellfish. For a relaxed atmosphere, amble over to The Temple Bar Brighton, which serves Firebird 'brewery fresh' Bohemia Pilsner straight from the brew tanks.
‘What do you give the American who has everything?’ I wondered as Mr Smith’s 30th birthday approached. I settled on a thoroughly British cultural experience, something he could never experience back at home in his native Southern California – a rainy weekend by the seaside.
So off we trekked to Brighton, umbrellas in hand. The train from London Victoria was delayed – ‘Magnificent.’ I thought, ‘The most English start to the weekend possible.’ The taxi driver who picked us up from Brighton Station had never heard of Artist Residence (Mr Smith, who’d hitherto assumed all British drivers had the encyclopaedic training of London’s cabbies) was aghast. The driver did, though, know the address – Regency Square is a green seafront plaza flanked almost entirely by hotels. We’d stayed in one of the least salubrious of that number several times, the sort of place where the seafront location only just made up for the cheap-as-seagull-stolen-chips mattress and the all-night noise from the neighbours. I had much higher hopes for Artist Residence.
Those hopes were instantly encouraged by the neon sign beaming to us from the half-moon window above Artist Residence’s hot-pink door; once inside, we found ourselves surrounded by Friday night in full swing, with the Cocktail Shack off to the right of the check-in alcove and the Set Café’s bar just to our left. Despite the all-encompassing carousing, check-in was a swift delight, and we were soon snuggled up in the lift (do not attempt to share the lift with anyone you’re not also planning to share your bed with – it’s that tiny, as you’d expect in an historic Brighton townhouse.)
We flopped onto our sizeable bed and surveyed our temporary beachside home, quickly declaring the it a winner: Mr Smith loves a roll-top bath in the bedroom and I love things people will like on Instagram, and our Bigger House Sea View room had both. (We’re also both fans of Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers, of which there were several on the vintage desk.) The rain was already pounding on our windows, blurring the iconic view of Brighton’s burnt-out West Pier, but the rumbling in our stomachs couldn’t be ignored.
We put our hoods up and trekked all of two minutes to the New Club just round the corner: although our previous stays on Regency Square hadn’t been anywhere near as comfortable or stylish as our Artist Residence jaunt, we did always eat well, and dinner at the New Club’s a stone's-throw favourite. After far too much mac ‘n’ cheese and milkshake (I’m pregnant, the calcium’s good for the baby) followed up by a sticky date pudding with whiskey-toffee sauce (I’m pregnant, I really miss alcohol) we let the sea breeze blow us back to the hotel, where we took the advice we’d overheard the waitress giving to the table next to ours at dinner: ‘You have to go to the Cocktail Shack tonight. It’s the best place to drink in Brighton.’ The bartender sympathised with my knocked-up-cocktail-lover woes and mixed me a Desmond Tutu, which somehow tasted like it might have alcohol in despite being fully midwife approved (Mr Smith very kindly conferred with me every time he ordered to make sure he only got tipples I fancied sipping. Mr Smith is really nice.) Then we remembered that roll-top tub, and poured ourselves back into the miniature lift for a lengthy soak before bed – the only thing that could’ve made the evening lovelier would’ve been bathrobes to slip into once we de-bath-ed.
We slept through breakfast, dozing to the sound the rain, as was the birthday boy’s wont (plus, we were still rather stuffed full of the night before’s cosy comfort food). When we did eventually drag ourselves out of the supremely comfy king-size bed, we didn’t feel like venturing too far – handily, our oysters-and-lobster lunch from the Regency café 30 seconds from the hotel made for a perfect – if unorthodox – beachside breakfast. It was then that the sun peeped out for a minute, and we made our only mistake of an otherwise error-free weekend: we went to the pier. Brighton Pier can be brilliant (I especially love it on cold and foggy days when there’s no one else weird enough to wander along it) but on that sunny-ish Saturday in May we found it packed with barefood vaping banshees screeching at their awful offspring. We quickly learnt our lesson and legged it back to our home-from-home on Regency Square for another lounge in the bath before dinner.
…and it really was quite a dinner. Artist Residence’s Set Restaurant serves, as the name suggests, a choice of three set menus of seasonal British cooking – all inventive, and all delicious, as far as we could judge from our own meals and the satisfied utterings overheard from the neighbouring tables. (If you, like me, have a life-long love of the milk that’s left over after you eat all your Cheerios, the cereal-milk ice cream is a must.) It was the sort of meal that leaves your appetite so entirely sated you can’t imagine ever eating again… but remember, we’d skipped breakfast, and if I have any sort of raison d’être it’s hotel breakfasts. Mr Smith’s, on the other hand, would be Sunday-morning lie ins, so I dragged myself alone from that glorious bed and hoped the pancakes in the Set Café would be worth it… and they were, topped with mounds of cream and berries. They would, in fact, have made perfect birthday [pan]cakes, had the birthday boy not stayed snoozing upstairs.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Artist Residence Brighton’s Guestbook below.
The location was great, really easy to get to and nice and close to the beach. It was very nicely decorated, gave me very similar vibes to The Hoxton hotel. The staff were very nice and attentive.
Peace and quiet. It is an old building so you can hear your neighbors and a lot of creaking. Also don't expect a lie in as they had some building work going on, wouldn't have minded so much but would have been nice to have been warned.
ByKar Lok, BlackSmith
Stayed on 16 Jan 2020
The staff because they were very friendly and had great recommendations for what to do locally. The room was lovely with nice bathroom products and a mini bar with products from local businesses.
Lots of room in some of the cheaper rooms. It's a good base for getting out and about in Brighton.
Stayed on 28 Nov 2019
We booked this hotel for a little post wedding mini moon. When we first arrived we were not initially impressed. We checked in around 4pm and as we had skipped lunch we were looking for a light snack and a drink in the bar. The female bar manager was instructing a new barman and completely ignored us. We asked if we could order a snack and were informed there we none, not even peanuts or crisps to go with our drink, when we eventually got it. We later found out that snacks were piled high in a basket in our room, which of course are chargeable. The next day we informed reception that our shower was broken and we were informed that it would be fixed whilst we were out. When we got back 6 hours later not only had the shower not been fixed but our room had not been cleaned. The following morning there was a change of management at checkout who were very apologetic and we were not charged for breakfast that day. Our room, although very small, was nice and the breakfast was delicious. There were some very nice aspects about our stay but we don't think we would return.
Stayed on 18 Oct 2019
The quirky decor and artwork, the style and informality, the food and cocktail bar.
Much room to move. It's very bijou everywhere. Our room didn't have a wardrobe, but did have a great view.
Stayed on 11 Oct 2019
This hotel is pure fun! The room design is very considered: it cleverly uses the limited space to its max with lots of creativity and attention to detail. The staff are welcoming and the food is superb. And before I forget, the location is perfect! My kids absolutely loved it.
Stayed on 1 Sep 2019
We stayed with friends and went to a gig while in town. The location of the hotel was perfect for our needs. The rooms were very clean and the bed comfortable. The rooms are not huge – we had the sea view rooms and they were perfect for a short stay. The food at hotel's restaurant, The Set, was terrific! So good in fact that we ate dinner there both nights we stayed. The breakfast was great too. All of the staff that we encountered were approachable and helpful. We especially enjoyed Lance and Christian, who work in the restaurant – they're knowledgable and fun.
The hotel cocktail bar to stay open late – it closes at 11pm. Also, don't expect totally uninterrupted sea views; the i360 tower is just at the end of the square.
Stayed on 28 Aug 2019
We loved the central location and easy access to restaurants and the Brighton seafront. Lovely staff, we were well looked after. We had the Cosy Double room which was a cosy but great room. Breakfast was excellent.
Parking is across the road in the underground car park, which cost £18 for 24 hours.
Stayed on 26 Aug 2019
The staff were so welcoming and friendly. They really couldn't do enough for us, which was delightful. Their communication was clear and accurate with expectations managed and no uncertainty on our part, just the way we like it. The hotel decor is sumptuous and welcoming. As one would expect there's lots of art on the walls with knowledgeable staff happy to talk about each piece, the artist, where they got it from and why they purchased it. The room we stayed in was designed to perfection: spacious but cosy, modern with period charm, well balanced colours and lovely, thoughtful furniture. The breakfast we had in The Set (the restaurant next door, part of the hotel) was delicious and reasonable. Again, the decor was sublime and genuinely interesting.
We weren't left wanting a thing! Everything we would have liked was there. As an FYI, in case people don't research where they're staying (which does happen), there is no spa/gym/treatments there but that's not what the hotel is about and we didn't expect those facilities.
Stayed on 8 Aug 2019
A beautiful hotel in perfect condition. Our room was perfect with an unparalleled view across regency park, down to the old pier and i360 tower. We chose to eat in the hotel, after looking at lots of local options, and the food was to die for. The lamb main course was one of the best dishes we've had in years and the first and last courses were a close second!
Stayed on 4 Jul 2019
With a perfect view of the sea, the Artist Residence is surprisingly good in every way – very friendly and helpful staff, cosy and comfortable room (we stayed in 27 - the Loft) with all the extras you would want, utterly delicious food cooked in front of you in the Set (restaurant), interesting wines and an uncomplicated chilled atmosphere. Loved it.
Luxury. It' excellent value for money and has real style, but it's shabby chic not luxurious.
Stayed on 6 May 2019
With a perfect view of the sea, the Artists Residence is surprisingly good in every way: very friendly and helpful staff, cosy and comfortable room (we stayed in 27, the Loft) with all the extras you would want, utterly delicious food cooked in front of you in the Set (the restaurant), interesting wines and an uncomplicated chilled atmosphere. Loved it.
Luxury – it's excellent value for money and has real style, but it's shabby chic not luxurious.
Stayed on 6 May 2019
The decor, lovely staff, restaurant and bar, location and view.
Stayed on 9 Apr 2019
All the staff were great. The hotel is ideally set in Regency Square, with a large secure car park a stone's throwaway. The food and room were both excellent. We will definitely stay again this summer - a great stay, thanks to all.
A Heli Pad.
Stayed on 23 Mar 2019
Pretty much everything – location, the bed, the bath, the cocktails, the amazing food!
Complete peace and quiet!
Stayed on 6 Jan 2019
The Artist Residence Brighton remains a perfect bolthole for anyone exploring Brighton and the Sussex coast. What sets it apart? Mostly the individually styled rooms with contributions from local artists, and the uniformly excellent food and drink in the hotel restaurant, the Set, and its accompanying bar. It isn't the biggest place in the world, but what it lacks in space it more than makes up for in comfort and charm.
Quiet evenings (especially at the weekend) or the view of the beautiful Regency Square setting not to be spoilt by that monstrosity, the British Airways i360.
Stayed on 15 Sep 2018
The food in the Set restaurant. The small tapas dishes were delicious.
Lots of space in the cosy rooms. Cool rooms in the summer. The cosy room on the 4th floor was unbearably hot.
Stayed on 4 Jul 2018
Central location; helpful, engaging staff, quirky decor.
Huge rooms or air conditioning!
Stayed on 24 Jun 2018
The room, the decor, the comfy bed, the central location, the staff. Start your stay with an excellent cocktail prepared by the in-house expert in the attached bar and watch the i360 at West Pier ascend and descend at your ease. 5-minute walk back into the city centre and lots to choose from.
Stayed on 2 Jun 2018
The hotel was as stylish and eccentric as I expected it to be – loved Andy Doig's neons in the bar, and Maria Rivans' collages in my Comfy Sea View room. The view of the West Pier was lovely too, and the hotel was close to everything. The tasting menu and cocktails in the Set were incredible and the service was great – I especially liked the hogget :-) The breakfast bap and super spicy Bloody Mary were brilliant too. Staff were friendly too. Plateau wine bar was great and La Choza for Mexican food.
A couple of small things – one of the courses in the tasting menu was substituted and I wasn't told, but this wasn't a huge problem because it was delicious. It would also be great to have a little more flexibility with the check-in time. I didn't get my Smith Extra, but I didn't ask, so was partly my fault, but would be good to have it clearly marked in the room – it's a bottle of bubble bath, but there's a sign in the room saying if you take it you'll be charged and doesn't make it clear it's the extra.
Stayed on 13 May 2018
The staff, location and the bar. Lively place to hang out, great cocktails and set in a perfect location near the sea. Riddle and Finns restaurant on the sea front – great fish supper.
Sea views in every room – you have to pay extra for that.