Pros

  • Seafront location in the city center of Brighton
  • Rooms have flat-screen TVs, kettles, and in some, ocean views
  • British and European restaurant and bar with patio dining
  • Afternoon tea service with Champagne
  • 400-year-old cellar for private dining
  • Fitness center with cardio and weight-lifting equipment
  • 12 fully equipped meeting rooms
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Dogs welcome (for a fee)
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Cons

  • Most rooms and areas are dated
  • Reports of cleanliness and maintenance issues
  • Complaints of overheated rooms and lack of hot water
  • No air-conditioning or mini-fridges in rooms
See More Cons

Bottom Line

The 154-room Old Ship Hotel is a three-and-a-half-pearl property set just across the street from the beach in Brighton’s city center. This historic property, which dates to 1559, has a mix of modern and dated decor throughout, including in its guest rooms that vary substantially. While renovated rooms feel fresh, others show wear and tear. All rooms have flat-screen TVs and coffee/tea facilities, while the best options have sea views. However, rooms lack air-conditioning and mini-fridges. Standout features include a huge sea-facing terrace, and a centuries-old (supposedly haunted) cellar for private events. There are also a small gym, a restaurant and bar, and several meeting rooms. Though not directly across from the beach, Blanch House is a stylish, boutique alternative with free cooked-to-order breakfast and a Champagne bar. 

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https://stage.oyster.com/brighton/hotels/the-old-ship-hotel/photos/the-hotel/

Amenities

  • Cribs
  • Fitness Center
  • Internet
  • Pets Allowed

Oyster Hotel Review

The Old Ship Hotel

Scene

Historic hotel with a beachfront location and a clientele of couples -- but TLC is needed

The Old Ship Hotel is just across from the sea and appears as if it once had a grand feel, but has passed its prime. The Regency-style building features numerous bay windows and a street-level terrace extending its length. Here, the clientele of couples and friends are often seen drinking or dining underneath simple beige umbrellas. This property claims to be the oldest hotel in Brighton with parts of the building dating back to 1559. Violinist Niccolo Paganini stayed here in the 19th century and today the hotel maintains a grand ballroom in his name. Another historic highlight is the private-dining cellar, around 400 years old. As for decor, it varies between modern and dated in public areas and rooms, making for a mixed experience among guests. The lobby has an elegant feel, with an antique wood desk, framed historic photography, and floral-patterned carpeting. However, the restaurant and bar have an odd mix of new and tired elements, like a wall-sized carnival photograph and bland maroon carpet. The hotel has tentative plans to renovate the remaining rooms, but for the time being, inconsistent decor and maintenance issues get in the way of what could be a lovely property with an intriguing past. 

See More Scene

Location

Across from the beach in Brighton's city center

The Old Ship Hotel is about as “beachfront” as any hotel can get in Brighton. It’s located across a busy street from the beach in a lively area filled with restaurants, bars, and shopping. The Brighton Pier takes five minutes to reach on foot. The city's cultural quarter is also nearby, including the Royal Pavilion with its gardens, and Brighton Museum & Art Gallery -- all within 10 minutes' walk. The Churchill Shopping Center, a mall with stores and eateries, is an eight-minute walk from the hotel. There’s a bus stop in front of the hotel (Ship Street station) and the Brighton train station takes 16 minutes to reach on foot. It’s about 45 minutes to Gatwick Airport from the property, by car or train. Central London is an 80-minute train ride or about two hours by car. 

See More Location

Rooms

Some rooms renovated with sea views, others dated with maintenance issues

There's a pretty wide disparity in room quality here. Only 30 of the 154 rooms have been renovated as of spring 2016. The newer rooms feel modern and elegant with a light-blue-and-cream color scheme across padded headboards, swallow-print wallpaper, and contemporary wood furniture. The other rooms -- though homey and somewhat classic -- are past their prime with dated carpet and wallpaper, and visible wear and tear in furnishings. Many guests staying in unrenovated rooms have complained of cleanliness and maintenance issues. 

All rooms include flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and kettles for coffee and tea. However, mini-fridges and air-conditioning are not provided. Many guests report experiencing overheated rooms and being unable to lower the heater. Bathrooms are average, with white (sometimes loose or chipped) tiles and showers or shower/tub combos. Gilchrist & Soames toiletries and hairdryers are provided. A lack of hot water can also be an issue, according to guests. 

The largest option is the two-bedroom Master Seaview Suite, which has a separate lounge area. Guests do recommend upgrading to Seaview rooms if possible. With the hotel's location next to the beach and pubs, some rooms can get noisy.

See More Rooms

Features

Restaurant and bar with large outdoor patio, small gym, and elegant meeting rooms

The Old Ship Hotel offers a couple of dining choices, including British and European cuisine at the Steak-on-Sea restaurant, or light bites and drinks at the hotel bar. In the summer, there’s alfresco dining on the restaurant’s patio. A breakfast -- buffet and cooked-to-order -- and afternoon tea with Champagne are offered each day but both cost a fee. Private dining can be arranged in the hotel’s 400-year-old candlelit cellar. There’s also 24-hour room service. The hotel’s gym is renovated and clean, with fairly modern cardio and weight machines as well as lots of free weights. There are 12 fully equipped meeting rooms and ballrooms, a business center, and free Wi-Fi throughout. Limited valet parking is available for a daily fee, and dogs are welcome (for a nightly deposit). 

See More Features

Oyster Hotel Review

The Old Ship Hotel

Scene

Historic hotel with a beachfront location and a clientele of couples -- but TLC is needed

The Old Ship Hotel is just across from the sea and appears as if it once had a grand feel, but has passed its prime. The Regency-style building features numerous bay windows and a street-level terrace extending its length. Here, the clientele of couples and friends are often seen drinking or dining underneath simple beige umbrellas. This property claims to be the oldest hotel in Brighton with parts of the building dating back to 1559. Violinist Niccolo Paganini stayed here in the 19th century and today the hotel maintains a grand ballroom in his name. Another historic highlight is the private-dining cellar, around 400 years old. As for decor, it varies between modern and dated in public areas and rooms, making for a mixed experience among guests. The lobby has an elegant feel, with an antique wood desk, framed historic photography, and floral-patterned carpeting. However, the restaurant and bar have an odd mix of new and tired elements, like a wall-sized carnival photograph and bland maroon carpet. The hotel has tentative plans to renovate the remaining rooms, but for the time being, inconsistent decor and maintenance issues get in the way of what could be a lovely property with an intriguing past. 

See More Scene

Location

Across from the beach in Brighton's city center

The Old Ship Hotel is about as “beachfront” as any hotel can get in Brighton. It’s located across a busy street from the beach in a lively area filled with restaurants, bars, and shopping. The Brighton Pier takes five minutes to reach on foot. The city's cultural quarter is also nearby, including the Royal Pavilion with its gardens, and Brighton Museum & Art Gallery -- all within 10 minutes' walk. The Churchill Shopping Center, a mall with stores and eateries, is an eight-minute walk from the hotel. There’s a bus stop in front of the hotel (Ship Street station) and the Brighton train station takes 16 minutes to reach on foot. It’s about 45 minutes to Gatwick Airport from the property, by car or train. Central London is an 80-minute train ride or about two hours by car. 

See More Location

Rooms

Some rooms renovated with sea views, others dated with maintenance issues

There's a pretty wide disparity in room quality here. Only 30 of the 154 rooms have been renovated as of spring 2016. The newer rooms feel modern and elegant with a light-blue-and-cream color scheme across padded headboards, swallow-print wallpaper, and contemporary wood furniture. The other rooms -- though homey and somewhat classic -- are past their prime with dated carpet and wallpaper, and visible wear and tear in furnishings. Many guests staying in unrenovated rooms have complained of cleanliness and maintenance issues. 

All rooms include flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and kettles for coffee and tea. However, mini-fridges and air-conditioning are not provided. Many guests report experiencing overheated rooms and being unable to lower the heater. Bathrooms are average, with white (sometimes loose or chipped) tiles and showers or shower/tub combos. Gilchrist & Soames toiletries and hairdryers are provided. A lack of hot water can also be an issue, according to guests. 

The largest option is the two-bedroom Master Seaview Suite, which has a separate lounge area. Guests do recommend upgrading to Seaview rooms if possible. With the hotel's location next to the beach and pubs, some rooms can get noisy.

See More Rooms

Features

Restaurant and bar with large outdoor patio, small gym, and elegant meeting rooms

The Old Ship Hotel offers a couple of dining choices, including British and European cuisine at the Steak-on-Sea restaurant, or light bites and drinks at the hotel bar. In the summer, there’s alfresco dining on the restaurant’s patio. A breakfast -- buffet and cooked-to-order -- and afternoon tea with Champagne are offered each day but both cost a fee. Private dining can be arranged in the hotel’s 400-year-old candlelit cellar. There’s also 24-hour room service. The hotel’s gym is renovated and clean, with fairly modern cardio and weight machines as well as lots of free weights. There are 12 fully equipped meeting rooms and ballrooms, a business center, and free Wi-Fi throughout. Limited valet parking is available for a daily fee, and dogs are welcome (for a nightly deposit). 

See More Features

https://stage.oyster.com/brighton/hotels/the-old-ship-hotel/photos/the-hotel/

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Babysitting Services

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Basic Television

  • Beach

  • Business Center

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Concierge

  • Cribs

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Pets Allowed

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Rental Car Service Desk Onsite

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.