Brighton Rock

I’ve mentioned a couple of times in other posts that we recently stayed, for the first time, at a Hilton, but it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually posted our experiences.
So, we were invited to a ‘function’ at the Hilton Metropole, Brighton; most of the guests would be staying in the venue hotel, so despite there being a Holiday Inn only fifty yards away, we booked the Hilton.
As we drove down to Brighton it occurred to me that in all my travels, I have never before stayed at a Hilton, anywhere.
When I was a child my parents spoke, almost reverentially, about the London Hilton on Park Lane; those were the sixties, before there was a hotel in every UK city.

(Picture courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Hilton Metropole is situated on the Brighton sea front, almost opposite the burnt out remains of the west pier.

There’s a lay-by outside which conveniently has double yellow lines, so unloading the car to check in can be a challenge.

As we entered the lobby we quickly noticed a queue of around fifty people waiting to check in, but the reception staff were efficient, and the lobby staff plied the queue with orange juice, and found a chair for Val while she waited for me to check in.

Our room was on the sixth floor, along the sort of long, dark, forbidding corridor that older, British, hotels seem to specialise in. The room was compact, verging on cosy, with windows that looked out on a light-well.

The hotel is laid out, appropriately enough – but surely coincidentally – as a capital letter ‘H’, parallel to the beach, so while a quarter of the rooms have sea views, most don’t. The room itself had been recently refurbished and well furnished, with plenty of drawer space, a mini-bar, tea and coffee making facilities, a large, flat-screen TV and a wardrobe that housed an iron, ironing board, hair-dryer, mini safe and two (count them!) coat hangers.

The en-suite bathroom was modern and well finished, if a little snug. The only problem with our room was that it was stiflingly hot, the thermostat read 18 degrees, but despite leaving the windows open all night (in mid-November!) we were still toasty hot all night long.

The hotel advertises WiFi, and while I spotted their ‘Hilton Honours’ network, I didn’t bother, from our room I was able to enjoy a good public BT Broadband signal.

For the record, our evening function was well organised, and the food was of a good standard, nothing to fault there, while breakfast on Sunday morning was plentiful, and constantly being refreshed by the staff.

Yes, parking is expensive at £20 per day, the car park is under the back of the hotel, and appeared to be reasonably secure.

On speaking with friends who were staying at other hotels in the area, £20 a night would appear to be the ‘going rate’, and there are suggestions that this is a deliberate policy of the local ‘green’ dominated Council. I can’t believe that they seriously expect to force tourists onto public transport, so it serves to generate revenue.

So, my first stay at a Hilton, and yes, all in all it was okay. I’m not sure that I’d hurry back, but I wouldn’t have a problem if I were invited to another function there.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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