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UK seaside hotels reviews

Royal Albion Hotel, Brighton

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Royal Albion Hotel

This Grade II listed building may occupy a prime seafront location in Brighton, but it’s one of the worst hotels we’ve ever inspected. Read on to find out why.

Our score:

  • Off-peak price: £49-£69
  • Peak price: £115-£205
  • Dog friendly: Yes
  • Disabled access: Yes
  • Date inspected: November 2018

This elegant Grade II listed building with its Regency-style balconies and Corinthian columns occupies a prime position on Brighton’s seafront. However, venture inside and the cracked walls, peeling wallpaper and stained carpets offer a sharp contrast. This is a Britannia, after all, rated the UK’s worst hotel chain six years running. A ripped leather armchair is patched up with duct tape and chewing-gum clings to a bannister, adding to the musty air of neglect. Outside, the sun terrace is a minefield of cigarette butts and bird’s mess – evidence that the listless staff have given up on their surroundings altogether.

The Location: 4/5
The Building: 2/5
Cleanliness: 0.5/5
Customer service: 2/5
Description matching reality: 2/5
Value for money: 2/5


The sea view fails to distract us from the dated, tatty furniture and the stained lampshades, thick with dust. Just a glance at the bed – two rickety singles on wheels pushed together – is enough to bring on a bout of sciatica. What’s more, the flimsy pillow could double as a bookmark. Sadly the broken jacuzzi bath offers no salvation. Instead we chase the drips in the weak shower and practically remove a layer of skin with the scratchy, paper thin towels.

Bed Comfort: 1/5
The Bedroom: 2/5
The Bathroom: 1/5

Food & drink

The empty bottles and half-eaten remains of room service clutter the corridors for the entirety of our stay. Meanwhile, the breakfast buffet is the stuff of lukewarm nightmares with grease-soaked fried bread and a selection of straight-from-the-tin fruit and tomatoes. There’s a choice of eggs: scrambled, watery and anaemic or boiled until the yolks are tinged grey. And if that doesn’t kill your appetite, the bitter chicory-laced coffee surely will.

Food and drink: 0.5/5

Our verdict

Tired, shabby and hopelessly neglected – the Royal Albion makes Fawlty Towers look like the Ritz. Avoid at all costs.