IBIS BRIGHTON CITY CENTRE, EAST SUSSEX
WHAT’S THE SCOOP? Ibis is one of the world’s best-known budget hotel brands, with more than 2,000 properties around the globe. It offers stylish yet affordable accommodation, and you certainly won’t be disappointed if that’s what you’re looking for in the vibrant city of Brighton. All Ibis hotels are dog-friendly – and although this was Ernie’s first stay in a big chain hotel, it definitely won’t be the last.
ARE MUDDY PAWS WELCOME? Very much so. There’s an extra charge of £10 per night for dogs but for this, you will get a dog bed and food bowl in your room, complete with kibble and water. The hotel staff also left us a lovely handwritten note, welcoming Ernie to Brighton and wishing us all an enjoyable stay, which was very sweet.
As the hotel is very close to Brighton station, the road outside so can get busy so I specifically requested a quiet room – which we got. Ernie wasn’t too sure about the hotel lift at first but by the time we came to check out of the hotel, he was jumping in and out like a pro.
AND WHEN I’M DOG TIRED? Chill out in one of the simple but stylish hotel rooms. Ours, Room 706, was away from the bustling main street and had a sea view, which was a lovely surprise. The comfy king-size bed was the main attraction but there was also free WiFi, a flatscreen TV, complimentary toiletries and tea and coffee-making facilities – all great for a budget hotel. As we visited during Pride month, we were gifted a colourful heart-shaped biscuit too, which was a nice touch.
A quirky “pod” style bathroom made the most of every inch of space and the boardwalk-style floor reminded me of being on a cruise ship. The room also had a pocket-sized guide with information about the hotel and local area. Without it, I would never have known there was a special ironing room on the fourth floor – handy for business travellers. It also informed us that we had to leave by midday, which I thought was very generous. Many hotels would class that as a late checkout and make you pay extra for it!
HOW ARE THE SCOOBY SNACKS? There are a whole host of fantastic restaurants within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel but if you don’t fancy going out, that’s no problem. The downstairs lobby area not only serves as the reception, but it’s also where you’ll find the bar and restaurant, which doubles as a coffee shop during the day. An all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast is served here each morning, too.
If you’re not feeling particularly sociable, you’ll be glad to discover the extensive food menu in the room as well. It has everything from Chicago Town pizzas to Caprese salads and is available 24 hours a day. Simply text your order over via WhatsApp (very modern!) then collect your food from the bar.
ANY FOUR-LEGGED FRIENDS TO PLAY WITH? No, but Brighton is a very dog-friendly city and you are sure to meet plenty when out and about.
WHERE’S GOOD FOR WALKIES? Brighton’s sandy beach is just half a mile from the hotel. Dogs are not allowed during the summer months but can still enjoy a walk along the promenade. Click here for more information about the local beaches and to find out which ones are dog-friendly all year round. The trendy North Laine area is just steps from the hotel and Preston Park – the city’s largest – is roughly a 20-minute walk away.
The rolling hills of the South Downs National Park will keep you busy, too. It runs from Winchester to Eastbourne and there are plenty of walking trails to follow in the area, not to mention great views. Devil’s Dyke, a V-shaped valley owned by the National Trust, is probably the closest to Brighton. For more suggestions for things to see and do in the area, check out my Ruff Guide to Brighton & Hove.
WHAT ERNIE LOVED: The fuss from hotel staff, the free kibble, being within walking distance of the beach
WHAT I LOVED: Having all the main attractions on the doorstep, the thoughtful touches left by the housekeeping team, the hotel’s modern design
GET ON THE DOG AND BONE: Rooms at the Ibis Brighton City Centre start from £68 per night. Breakfast is available for an additional £8.95 per person. Join Accor Hotels’ Le Club and earn points – plus an additional 10% off – when you book direct. For more information about Ibis Brighton City Centre or to book a stay, call 01273 201000 or visit the Accor Hotels website.
Brighton is notoriously bad for parking but at the time of writing, the Ibis had linked up with the RCP car park on North Street (a five-minute walk away) to offer guests parking for £14. This is half of what you would normally pay for a 24-hour ticket, but be sure to get your parking token validated at reception to receive the discount.