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“Fabulous views, great staff, tired decor, but would return” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Old Ship Hotel

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The Old Ship Hotel
Ranked #14 of 44 Hotels in Brighton
Essex
Level Contributor
109 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Fabulous views, great staff, tired decor, but would return”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2013

A difficult hotel to rate, as the room and bathroom were both in need of renovation, with several tiles missing in the bathroom and mouldy grout,and worn furniture, however these were made irrelevant by the location of the hotel, the fabulous sea views and the wonderful staff, a special mention must be made for the lovely breakfast hostess who took such pleasure in her role and welcomed everyone so nicely.
The rest of the hotel is wonderfully quirky, and has a real character, I believe it is part of a chain but manages to retain the feel of a privately owned business.
Braekfast was average but substantial and more than enough to fill you up for a day at the seaside.
As several other people have mentioned the street below is very noisy, but that is just Brighton, but we managed a good nights sleep in the comfy bed.
Even though it wasn't the smartest hotel I have ever stayed in, I would definatey choose the Old Ship if I stay in Brighton again, as I really liked it.

Room Tip: It is worth choosing a sea view room. Rooms 218/217 are near the lift so can be noisy, as is a fire...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DebCEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PW-GeneralManager, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you for your review.

Our refurbishment programme has commenced with 32 bedrooms already completed and a further 45 now in planning stages. New windows to 45 bedrooms has already been finished with planning permission now applied for another 50 bedrooms.

We look forward to welcoming you back again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (586)
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English first
London
Level Contributor
60 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2013

We visit Brighton four or five times a year. Funny enough, usually out of the summer season, so with hindsight we have had a rather distorted experience staying in Brighton in the past.

As I was on a training course, rather than our usual haunt of Hotel Du Vin, we opted for the much cheaper, but very close by, Old Ship. Those that will read the hotel's blurb will know that this place has been there for years. It's not as ugly as the nearby Thistle or Holiday Inn. It provides limited car parking and has sea views.

This hotel has been through more owners than an old Ford Escort. All seemingly chains, but for one reason or another it has passed hands many times. We stayed here on a whim a few years ago. The rate was about £50 inc breakfast. For the price is was bearable, but no doubt we were given one of the more tired rooms then.

This time round we booked directly with current owners, Puma and its website for two nights over a weekend ( I say current as I read in the press that Puma might be sold in some form or other.) My better half loves the sea, so insisted on a sea view room. Fair enough, It is Brighton after all. The reception area is vast, clean enough and comes complete with a dressed area to encourage possible wedding bookings. The staff are efficient enough and there are plenty of them. We were given a first floor room.

The hotel appeasr to be going through a minor refurbishment. I say minor as the stench of fresh paint in the fire door corridors is almost over powering. And it was fresh paint too, as my jacket will now confirm. My own fault, I should have assumed that the hand-written A4 peice of paper on the ground floor stating 'Wet Paint' should have meant this applied to all the upper floors:)

Yes it had a sea view, yes, it was smart enough, but it was housed above a very busy burger bar. Busy day and night. I know this is Brighton, the bustling city by the sea, but I really don't want to hear what various stag parties graphically plan what they intend to do with the locals. The room was not cheap and although spacious enough, it didn't boast a couple of things that one would expect if you are willing to pay £150+ a night. No room safe. Surely this should be a prerequisite? Even the time we stayed in the Queens Hotel also on the sea front but closer to the Pier, they offered us a room safe. Ok, so the safe was not even fitted but just sat on the floor of the wardrobe. I i kid you not, I could have picked it up and took it home with me! Anyway, back to the Old Ship. The room was big. A walk-in wardrobe, tea and coffee facilities. What it didn't boast when we arrived, was mains electricity. At first, I thought it was just the TV, but all the plug points were not working in the room. This combined with the noise emanting from the burger bar tipped us to call reception and ask for a room change. They politely told me that the hotel was full and it would not be possible to move. However, they would send a maintenance man to check the electrics. And if we felt the same was the following day, they would look to move us.

It appears the trip switch was flicked and we had electric!

When you are in Brighton, there is plenty to do, and we did it. There are reviews elsewhere. Upon our return, it was clear that the combination of being so close to the action, and in a very old hotel with minimal glazing, that we would have to hunker down and see if we could at least some sleep.

I reckon a grand total of three hours. Brighton is truly a 24 hour hive of activity in the summer! As I said we have had a distorted view in the off season. But the hotel played its part too. A premium price doesn't always relate to a premuim room. We called reception, not in a mood or anything, but we needed to move and they did say call back. The receptionist who answered wanted to know who we spoke to.This didn't matter, we still wanted the move. They offered us a room three floors above where we were. Slightly older than the previous one, but we gladly took it.
The breakfast is acceptable here. Welcomed by an very enthusiastic manager, you get escorted to the large dining room. It's a buffet. so plenty of it in terms of variety, but not great quality.

When we thought we had a restless night on the Friday,Saturday night took it to a whole new level. Needless to say, after all these years, Brighton is still a raver's paradise. The constant repetative beats echo across the sea front relentlessly until 5am. The punters are almost as loud. And the beach while not packed harps back the the film Quadrophenia, we dozens opting to sleep on the beach. The irony of paying for a sea view but without the sleep compared to the room further back has not passed me.

Although not very evident on the hotel's own website, other sources claimed that it housed a free to guests 24-hour gym. And it does! Tucked away near the basement car park access is a compact room that while it's not Virgin Active boasts a whole host of resistance machines and dumbell sets. This air-conditioned haven was empty but very good. And a real plus point too!

So, in short. An acceptable hotel which off season or maybe even mid week would be worth a try with a sea view. Much better than the Queen's Hotel. This place was so bad we lasted eight hours before we sought sanctuary in Hotel Du Vin. The Thistle is more prominent. We actually won a prize of a weekend for two here a few years ago. Great, We love Brighton! And we are partial to a Thistle/Guoman establishment too. Alas, there was no hot water for the entire duration of our stay. The staff were so unhelpful, we have never set foot in there again.

If you are limited on budget, then the Od Ship has some decent deals, some of which include breakfast and dinner, but why would you? Brighton and Hove have some great eateries.

Room Tip: Book a sea view peak season at your peril! AT the very least ask for anything above the third floor...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Paul F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PW-GeneralManager, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you for your review.

Feedback such as this is great for us to use to improve things that are within our control and plan for things that cannot be done so quickly

I hope we can welcome you back again
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fleet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2013

You cannot fault the location of this hotel. Right on the seafront, ideally placed for The Lanes and the main town centre - when you see how much other hotels in the area are charging, you'd be crazy to stay elsewhere. Everything was clean (except the outside of the windows, but with the amount of seagulls flying around, you can't really blame them for that!) and the bed was very comfortable. We stayed for two nights on a package that gave us breakfast, and the breakfasts were very yummy. Everyone we spoke to was so friendly and professional which makes all the difference.

We stayed here first almost 7 years ago, and coincidentally were given the same room again this time. Admittedly, the decor was exactly the same, so perhaps looking a bit tired and dated. However, I have noticed people uploading photos of new decor, so I guess it's going through a makeover at the moment - great stuff. Hopefully the new owners can modernise it a bit.

That said, I would still recommend it without question.

Room Tip: Seafront rooms are amazing for their view, but can be a little noisy on a Friday and Saturday night...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Laesning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PW-GeneralManager, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Many thanks for your review.

We aim to keep our pricing as competitive as possible in order that guests enjoy value for money. Whilst at weekends we cannot discount as heavily we are able to offer even better offers during the week.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2013

The team at the Old Ship Hotel made our Company visit to Brighton a very pleasant experience. It is very convenent for the Brighton Conference Centre as well as good restaurants nearby. The Old Ship was a very comfortable and friendly venue which I can definitely recommend.

Room Tip: The sea view rooms are worth the cost.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PW-GeneralManager, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Many thanks for your review and we look forward to welcoming you back.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I stopped today for lunch and I am compelled to write a review. We were coldly met by I suspect a female manager as she was wearing a suit compared to the waitresses. We asked if we could sit for food and she didn't even make eye contact with me to say yes. She said Jodie would serve us who was a young girl in her 20's. she took our drink order and food order swiftly. After receiving our drinks in good time we then waited a RIDICULOUS 45 minutes for a chicken and cheese wrap and some lamb kofta's. when I went to investigate where our food was Jodie nor manager was anywhere in sight so I asked a female bar tender. She informed me that she didn't know anything about our food as 'Jodie' had finished her shift and went to ask the chef. The bartender then returned 10 minutes later with our food with no explanation and no apology. My boyfriend and I both agreed that if we were not so hungry and had not already paid for our food, we would have most definitely left and gone else were.
Finally when the food did come the wrap was as dry as a bone, lamb kofta's rock hard and had most defiantly been under the hot light for a while.
I've never encountered bad service like it.
I would highly appreciate a reply from a manager

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Galu28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PW-GeneralManager, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you for your review and giving me the further information I requested when I contacted you.

The issues have now been resolved and further training has been given to the team and hope you will return to us as we have discussed.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Brighton hotels

Mabank, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2013

My wife and I stayed for a few days, nice hotel, pleasant staff, cooked breakfast was a welcome start to the day but was cold.

On our final night my younger sister decided rather than drive back home she would also spend the night. Not cheap at all at 180 pounds... but that's what you get for booking at the desk and it being a 4* hotel right? The room should have been wonderful one would think?

I went to collect her the next day and the smell of drying paint was terrible, it had actually made her poorly the next day. I was with her when she complained about this at the desk. The lady at the desk was very pleasant but offered no resolution to this. When my sister had driven off I went back and said that really was not acceptable, and a 'on behalf of the hotel I apologize' does not really cut it when you are sold a room that's not fit for purpose. Personally I would rather stay in a grubby room than a freshly painted one that stank of paint. I don't see how a freshly decorated room that you can't sleep in is something she should have been grateful for?
The lady promised a manager would call me that night, they didn't. When we checked out I complained again, with the lady saying my sister should have complained at check out for them to do something, BUT SHE DID!! I spoke to another manager, again very nice, gave me the hotel manager's business card and assured me they would call my sister on the Monday. They didn't. My sister had to email them and I also sent an email to confirm everything she had said. I got a very generic reply from the manager of The Old Ship basically saying they would make future guests aware of this. What good is that?

Again you would think a 4 * hotel would offer a resolution but she was offered no such thing, just a very hollow apology. There will probably be a reply under this review along the lines of extensive renovations, whatever, The Old Ship is concerned with money not guests.

Room Tip: The upgrade to the beach facing rooms is well worth the money, great view. It is a little noisy outs...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PW-GeneralManager, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you for your review.

As explained to your sister by leaving it to the time of departure to state the room smelt of paint would not allow us to be able to resolve the issue. I was surprised that if the smell was as bad as you stated that this was not highlighted on arrival.

We are undergoing a major refurbishment programme in the hotel and the room your sister was in had been returned to us two weeks prior and several guests being in the room.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Strabane, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
103 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2013

Great location on the sea front, very near pier. Very good value for bed and breakfast. Room comfortable and clean, although the window needed a good cleaning! I'll excuse given that there was scaffolding outside across the road which may have been producing dust.Staff were welcoming and friendly, breakfast very good standard. Only down side, it can be noisy outside at night as there is a fish and chip shop just beside where young people gather on their way home, in fact there was a fight there on one of the nights! having said that it didn't bother us much and overall I would recommend the 'old ship', really enjoyed our two nights there.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms overlooking fish and chip shop, can be noisy!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank clarebradraff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PW-GeneralManager, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you for your great review and we look forward to welcoming you back again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Old Ship Hotel

Property: The Old Ship Hotel
Address: Kings Road, Brighton BN1 1NR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Brighton and Hove > Brighton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Brighton
#7 Luxury Hotel in Brighton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Old Ship Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 154
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The four-star Old Ship Hotel is a historic Georgian hotel with 154 bedrooms, 49 of which overlook Brighton's famous beach, that also has chargeable onsite parking for up to 50 cars. Just a 5-minute walk from Brighton Pier, The Lanes and the city's bars and restaurants, previous guests have included an array of royalty, aristocracy, artists and musicians, such as Charles II & Paganini. Enjoy classic British dishes in the Steak-on-Sea Restaurant, or private dining in the 400-year-old cellars, and drinks on the Al Fresco Bar Terrace on the promenade, before heading out for top-class entertainment in the theatres and clubs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Old Ship Hotel Brighton
Barcelo Brighton

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