Hilton Metropole

What’s the revamped Doubletree by Hilton Brighton Metropole like?

We roadtest the classic seafront hotel following its recent multi-million pound restoration

In a nutshell? Right on Brighton seafront, this landmark hotel has just rebranded as DoubleTree by Hilton Brighton Metropole following a major £26 million refurbishment. It originally opened in 1890 and has hosted many a celeb over the years, including iconic duo Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

The interior and vibes? It’s grand, in a London, Parisian or Venetian way: think gleamingly opulent marble staircase (pictured below), shiny floor tiles, plus curved leather banquettes, burnished mirrors and ochre panelling in the bar and restaurant. Oh, and of course some of the best sea views in the city.

Hilton Brighton
The grand central staircase. Photo: PR

What was good about the rooms? We were lucky enough to have a super-spacious boudoir with sitting area, table and super comfy king size bed – so big, in fact, you almost had to WhatsApp your partner to communicate.

Best of all was the wrought-iron veranda (pictured below) from which you can gaze at the sharp blue horizon and drink in the panoramic seascape. To the right is the remains of the West Pier, destroyed 25 years ago; to the left there are sailing boats, swimmers and even a wind farm in the distance, and the rattle of mastheads from boats on the shingle.

Hilton Brighton
What a view. Photo: SE

The vast i360 Tower is also prominent, with its pod of tourists gliding up and down, while immediately below is the roar of the coastal road.

Anything on the snagging list? Nothing major: unusually for such a luxurious room, with a good-sized bathroom, there was no overhead rain shower (although the shower cubicle was very decent). And we did, in fact, have to pop down upon arrival to ask for loo paper, probably an oversight at the start of a packed Pride weekend.

Hilton Brighton
The Metropole Bar and dining room. Photo: SE

OK, let’s talk food. There are a handful of dining options at the hotel, but we ate at the revamped Metropole Bar & Restaurant. Starters included the zingiest gochujang cauliflower I can remember, caramelized and moreish, while artichoke bruschetta was surprisingly buttery, with raw courgette and basil pesto.

For mains, a chargrilled rib-eye was perfectly criss-crossed but just shy of medium-rare, yet the excellent chimichurri sauce offered a more than salvatory zestiness. And we loved a shallow bowl of expertly grilled Loch Duart salmon (pictured below), crisp-skinned and resting on a fragrant tomato orzo, with shaved fennel, a hint of tangy lemon and pea shoots.

Hilton Brighton
Pan-seared salmon with orzo. Photo: SE

What’s the service like? Super-friendly, and just a little on the leisurely side. But you’re on holiday, remember: you can linger over the wine. And throughout our stay in reception they were admirably helpful on what was a very busy early August weekend.

To drink? The bar specializes – of course – in cocktails, but we enjoyed an ice-cold Cotes De Provence. And there’s plenty of beer-drinking going on on the seafront terrace.

Breakfast? Fantastic, from the cereal bar to the stalls piled with fruits, meats, cheeses, bakery and hot food. Special shout-out to the talented chef whose poached eggs were explodingly orange, while a spicy veggie omelette was “made with love”, she said with a smile.

Hilton Brighton
Restored: by night. Photo: PR

Any other facilities? Lots: take your pick from health spa,  swimming pool and sauna, or a gym, all on the lower floor.

Where else can we eat in the city?  As one of the UK’s top foodie destinations, there’s everything from sensational vegan sushi to outstanding small plates: read our recent guide to 12 of Brighton’s best spots here. And when you explore, take time to promenade the whole length of seafront, meander in the Lanes, climb up to bohemian Kemptown, and swish over to bougie Hove – for starters.

A day trip? We recommend the historic town of Lewes, around 15 minutes on the train. It’s a nice contrast to Brighton & Hove: hilly, with river walks, stunning medieval architecture and outstanding local breweries (read our guide here).

In short? This is a beautifully restored, well-located and competitively priced haunt to explore the famous coastal city; if your budget stretches a little further, do book that all-important sea view room.

Double rooms from £108 or find out more about the Doubletree Hilton Brighton Metropole here

Weekendr stayed as guests of Doubletree Hilton Brighton Metropole

Main image: Stephen Emms

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