JC Stays: One Broad Street Brighton

How smart is Brighton's high-tech hotel?


Technology is wonderful — at least when the humans controlling it make it work. One Broad Street is hailed as a smart hotel for the tech savvy and, by and large, that’s what it is.

But having arrived at the six-storey townhouse in Brighton’s Kemptown district after a 15-minute walk from the railway station, realisation dawned that the codes for front door and room entry had not, as promised, been texted to me.

Matters were resolved after two phone conversations and five minutes outside in the cold. Yet, once inside, I instantly warmed to the property’s virtues.

Think of it less as a hotel — there are no on-site staff or communal spaces — and more as a modern, compact and competitively priced room to use as a getaway base.

They’ve gone unashamedly for the loft-style experience, with distressed brickwork and wooden features plus foliage on the bedside walls.

There was a small hanging rail for clothes, as well as a hair-dryer, iron and ironing board, and my kitchen area included a fridge, microwave, kettle, coffee-maker, crockery and cutlery.

The bathroom shower was both simple to operate and effective — and in a nod to the locality, the wall lamps had something of a nautical flavour.

Brighton beach is just around the corner and my room had a sea view of sorts — if I sat at the table by the window.

On that table, stood a tablet, which is programmed to fulfil the role of reception staff and concierge, offering information on local neighbourhoods, things to do and restaurant and bar recommendations.

You can also use it to order in food or arrange taxis, although in truth you are barely a few minutes on foot from dining, drinking and quirky shopping options galore. (If bringing your own car, good luck with that as Brighton parking is horrendous).

The WiFi worked without incident and although the smart TV did fleetingly outwit me, the apps were useful and Netflix was already logged in.

Returning to the property after dark, it was mildly irritating to find the key pad for front door entry was unlit (another case of the technology being smarter than those in charge of it). But my room was cosily warm and with little noise disturbance in or outside, I slept soundly.

And on awakening? A message awaiting me on the in-room tablet with a reminder about check out.


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