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“Perfect Hotel!!!!”

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Sea Spray Boutique Hotel
Ranked #17 of 95 Brighton B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 September 2010

We have just enjoyed a Bank Holiday stay in Brighton and stayed in Sea Spray. We normally stay in one of the larger hotels in Brighton but saw Sea Spray on the internet. We were pleasantly surprised. Very friendly staff and the room was beautiful. It was in a great location without all the noise of local pubs and clubs. If I had to think of one thing to change it would be the winter duvet as it was a bit too warm but it didnt really cause a problem. We treated ourselves to breakfast in bed too! It was lovely, not the sometimes cheap bacon and sausages we have had in some hotels. We definatly returning to Sea Spray. Thank you.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank joyce82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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713 - 719 of 894 reviews

Reviewed 31 August 2010

Me and my partner dont usual stay within the uk but the experience we had in this hotel will definately bring us back to brighton, stayed in the manhattan penthouse room and it was wonderful. Think we spent alot of our time in the room it was so nice. The service was 10/10, on arrival they were willing to help at all times.
I will be coming back to this hotel and will recommend to friends and family.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank tez-fran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2010

Warm and welcoming. Staff friendly. Clean and modern accomodation. Good value for money. Central location giving easy access to all Brighton has to offer. 2 minutes from seaside

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank keithmc4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2010

Boutique = Code for Packed In, small and hot?

Great service and could not do enough for you. Shame the hotel is so small - I could not walk up the stairs with my bag beside me. The room was so hot and little ventilation - fan was six inches wide so hardly moved the air.

The bathroom was tiny - as you sat on the loo your chin is on the sink - to take a shower i reversed into the bathroom - closed door and then proceeded to a very good powerful shower.

I do recommend Sea Spray - Just dont expect a lot of room as it was tiny. (And I am average sized.)

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled on business
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Thank Louisc57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2010

I have stayed in many hotels in my time but have to say this was absolutely fantastic, staff wonderful, room spotless with everything we required even called room service for breakfast which was hot and full English. Wonderful massage in their treatment room left me walking on air! Have recommended all my friends to visit - can't speak highly enough and am looking forward to our next visit.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank paulineob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2010

We travelled as a family of three and stayed in the Boudoir for four nights.
Friendly and efficient welcome on arrival (our luggage was taken to our rooms whilst we parked the car). Public areas are well maintained and very clean and tidy.
The Boudoir suite consists of two adjoining rooms with a bathroom. Rear bedroom opens onto a small enclosed yard. Room was well presented with crisp clean bed linen and towels.
The highlight of a stay here has to be the breakfasts - service is prompt and friendly with an excellent quality cooked breakfast. If you sit in the bay window seats, you have a lovely view of the pier whilst you eat.
We found Brighton to be an excellent family short break destination - don't miss the open top bus tour and the evening ghost walk (very entertaining) and of course the pier. Plenty of dining options in the lanes to suit all needs aswell as some lovely small restaurants just at the top of the road - we enjoyed Pavel (Indian) on St James St.

Just a small criticism - we think the term "Boutique" is stretching it a little when applied to the Boudoir suite (cannot comment on other suites which may be smarter) but a few cosmetic improvements in our room (e.g. Better wardrobe provision; elimination of numerous extension cables and suface mounted electrical installations; bathroom upgrade and a small amount of inexpensive double glazing) could improve this room dramatically.
On the whole this was a great hotel and a very comfortable stay.

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1  Thank Isaac-Kite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2010

Having read the rave reviews on Trip Advisor about the Sea Spray, my husband and I stayed there for 2 nights in August 2010, but we were really disappointed with the hotel and we wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending it to others.

We paid £244 for a 2 night stay (Thur - Fri) in the Hove Actually room, which is rated as a "Luxury Double", but we were a little disappointed to find out on arrival (there’s no mention of it on the website) that it was a basement room, and our only view was of the feet of people passing on the street outside. Although the room itself was a decent size (and the bed was really comfortable) there was zero privacy because people were able to (and did!) peer down through the net curtains into the room from the street above. We could have kept the other curtains closed all the time for privacy, but given the heat and stuffiness of the room it wasn’t something that we wanted to do.

On the subject of lack of privacy and proximity to the street, we accept that it’s not the hotel’s fault that someone was retching loudly over the railing outside our window at 2am (hmmm, lovely!), but it was partially the hotel’s fault that their employee fell down the wet outside steps leading to the narrow space outside our window, smashing the empty bottles that she was bringing down to put in the dustbin cupboard that was located right outside our window.

And likewise it was the hotel’s fault that when we rushed to the fire escape to see whether she was badly injured, the fire escape door wedged against the ‘Fire Escape’ sign above it and could barely be opened half-way unless it was given an almighty tug…so much so that by the time we’d managed to open the door wide enough for her to get inside, the poor girl had managed to haul herself to her feet and make her painful way back up the outside steps.

What we would agree with that other reviewers have said is that the reception and breakfast room staff were friendly and helpful, and the hotel itself is in a fabulous location, with some great restaurants and bars within a 5 minutes’ stroll, and the sea a minute’s walk away. They were also fine about us leaving our bags at reception on the last day and collecting them after 2pm, so that was a nice touch.

However, the hotel is really let down by its stinginess in the little things that make the difference between ‘average’ and ‘luxurious’. For instance, this is the only 4 star hotel we’ve ever stayed in where you have to pay an additional £5 a night to have your bed made and your towels, toilet rolls and tea/coffee replenished. Unless you’re willing to pay for this ‘additional service’, your coffee cups stay dirty from the day before and your bed stays unmade.

It’s also the only hotel where – over the course of our 2 night stay – we were provided with just one hand towel between two people, and one snack-size pack of biscuits (containing two biscuits) between two people. Sorry, but if that’s your idea of ‘4 star boutique luxury’ it’s certainly not ours!

The room and the bathroom were clean enough – though the grout in the shower left a little to be desired – but the toilet seat and the sink plug were both broken, which just added to the overall impression of a hotel that really wasn’t worth the ‘luxury’ description and the £120+ a night price tag.

The hotel advertises free wifi everywhere on the premises, but it was impossible to get wifi in our basement room, and even in the breakfast room and reception the only wifi my iPhone could find originated from the Marine View guesthouse next door (to which I didn’t have the password).

The breakfast was OK. Most hotels these days have a buffet system for fruit juices, cereal, fruit, yoghurt etc. so that guests can help themselves to as much or as little as they want, but the Sea Spray doesn’t do this, which added to the impression of stinginess. Whilst I’m sure the servings were perfectly plentiful, it gave the impression that the hotel had put a price tag on everything and didn’t want guests to take advantage. On our second morning we skipped the hotel breakfast completely and went to The Farm Café for brunch – it cost us £20 but was worth it.

This is the only negative review I’ve ever written, because I usually think that if you can’t say something nice you shouldn’t say anything at all. However, this hotel just doesn’t offer value for money. If we’d paid £65 a night we’d have thought “fair enough, that’s what you get in a budget hotel”, but we paid almost double that price and it wasn’t worth it.

I’m not trying to suggest that the hotel is terrible, because it isn’t, and with a bit of effort it could transform itself into a luxury boutique hotel – but it’s not one yet.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank EnglishJane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NBoyce, General Manager at Sea Spray Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2010

Thank you for your review which I read with concern and immediately called a full team meeting to ascertain what happened for you to not have a satisfied experience. We take all feedback seriously during or after a customer’s stay. I would rather a customer alert us to things during their stay so we can rectify things straight away and we do have signs and a hotel info pack urging you to do this because we really do want to help and improve things as soon as possible.

Unfortunately all businesses, and hotels being one of these, are not perfect all the time, particularly during peak season with high occupancy. But we are here from 8 am till 10 pm at night on hand to help and change things for the better – with sometimes one or two members to hand on front desk.

I have addressed each point you raise with some explanation and we are making changes if we are not clear on some issues. One thing we do say is that some of our rooms are on the lower ground level. These rooms are still very comfortable rooms and all have large windows allowing natural light in - in fact the Hove room is one of our lightest rooms as it gets the full afternoon sun into a very wide window. We do not advertise it as having a view and we have ensured that the good quality voile is such that pedestrians cannot see into the room.

We are not sure why this room would be hot or stuffy apart from it was August as most of our lower ground rooms are cool (a distinct advantage of them in the summer months when it is hot) but we will look into this point.

The rate you paid £122 per night with breakfast for weekend peak nights in August is distinctly average for Brighton. In fact the third party booking site you used said that the average price in Brighton for a double room is £123 per night so we do feel we are being competitively priced. The room is a good size as you point out with newly refurbished bedroom, carpet, curtains, luxury leather bed, dressing area and a new flat screen with dvd player, ipod dock and minibar. All of these features contribute to the luxury tag of the room, in addition to it including our award-winning breakfast.

The employee’s unfortunate accident was due to her own decision to attempt to put some recycling away during the pouring rain. A manager did not instruct her (she is new) and she had not put on gripped footwear which is a hotel policy for cleaning rooms and using stairs. She had changed into her own footwear as it was towards the end of her working day. I personally heard the noise and went to her assistance within minutes and helped her upstairs, into the kitchen and ensured that she didn’t need professional medical attention – which she did not thankfully. This all happened in minutes and if you had left the room to go to the hallway door then you could have missed this.

With regard to the fire exit, we of course have investigated this. We take fire risks very seriously and have all a newly approved Fire Risk Assessment and approved fire system using the latest technology. The door you used (which is not an official fire exit) was perfectly serviceable on our last inspection in June. However, as with all old buildings, wood expands and contracts (particularly after a wet period which we had just had) and this was the case here. We have had our maintenance company attend to this problem and thank you for notifying us via this review. We will now be undertaking weekly checks to avoid this again. This door is in fact not part of our fire exit routes as we have the fire exit from the main door and our fire system is so sophisticated that the fire department has agreed only the main exit is needed. We choose to have a secondary exit as additional due diligence on behalf of the hotel, and access to our recycling room – which should have been the exit the new member of staff use but she forgot about it! A human error I am afraid – but one that retraining has rectified.

With regard to your room not being serviced and the hotel’s alleged charge for this service, comes as a great surprise to me and the team. We do not charge for this basic service and never have done! All rooms are serviced every day without charge. However if a customer puts their ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door then we oblige naturally. Some customers inadvertently do put the sign on the wrong way – the opposite side says ‘Please make up my room’ and this may have been the case with your sign that day. I have looked at the worksheets for your stay and it had been marked on your room that this was the case and she could not service the room that day.

The one bath towel you mention is because our laundry company had a broken machine for two weeks and we were limited to laundry during this period. With our peak occupancy we decided we had no option but to do this for this period to ensure every room received towels. During a one night stay this is usually ample as we also provide two large bath sheets and robes. On a service, towels are changed daily if requested. In addition we also have signs saying if you require extra things (more towels, different pillows such as feather or fresh milk) please ring reception and we will gladly oblige. The machine is fixed now and we are enjoying our normal levels of laundry again.

We always put in a very good selection of teas/coffee/fruit and mint teas/2 packs of biscuits and hot chocolate so I am sorry if this was not the case in your room for your stay. Again we have talked to the housekeeping team to ensure this is being done and the duty manager will spot check this is happening.

The maintenance you talk about in the bathroom again could have been sorted out in minutes if you had alerted us to it. The plug needed to be unscrewed a little (it is pop-up plug and with a lot of usage gets pushed into the channel a little too far to pop up) and the toilet seat was not broken, it again needed the screws tightening up underneath as it was a little wobbly - again another usual hotel problem during high use in peak season. All staff are trained to deal with these minor adjustments and are happy to do this immediately during your stay.

We choose a waitress service during for our breakfast so that it is more like a restaurant service. We offer customers refills all the time during service and we believe this is a superior experience for our guests, in fact we always get great positive feedback about our breakfast quality and service.

I am very pleased you thought our staff were friendly and helpful and I have passed on this feedback, thank you. And thank you for commenting on our location as ‘fabulous’ – we do agree it is a great spot in Brighton! And we do look after our customers luggage all day if need be so that they can go and enjoy Brighton to the full on day of check-out! You say it is a ‘nice touch’ and we are glad this is well received every day!

Once again, I hope you can see how seriously and passionate we are about our hotel business and the feedback we receive by the detail I have put into this response! I must reiterate that everything you have raised has been examined and improved upon or I have attempted to explain what were the circumstances around the issue. I would say that most of the concerns you had could have been dealt with at reception with one conversation and a small about of additional action on our part (which we urge customers to do) . We are always wanting to improve and meet or excel our customers expectations but sometimes we need to be alerted at the time in order to do this as swiftly and as efficiently as we would like to.

I apologise that you felt that you did not get value for money during your stay and I assure you that we will be increasing our efforts to ensure that we achieve our goals of making our customers completely satisfied in the future. It would be wonderful if you gave us another chance to prove this is the case!
Yours sincerely Neil Boyce, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sea Spray Boutique Hotel

Address: 26 New Steine, Brighton BN2 1PD, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Brighton and Hove > Brighton
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 95 B&Bs / Inns in Brighton
Price Range: £48 - £133 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sea Spray Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 10
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