After two nights I was not sorry to leave the small ” superior” room at the Mercure for a much larger, cheaper one at the Best Western next door.
I complimented the barman on the service at the Mercure, but this did not compensate for its dreary rooms and common areas. It has too much space to fill with large ballroom restaurant, conference suites as well as smaller restaurant and bar. The barman assured me a renovation programme was in course. Over the past few years we have seen the rise of the boutique hotel and the fall of the more traditional one with teasmade, Corby trouser press and Gideon bible. The Malmaison in particular offers a much sexier brand and you would have thought they may have opened one in Brighton, but certainly not Hove. After all Brighton has long had a naughty reputation of Mr and Mrs Smith booking in to commit adultery for various reasons.
The Best Western did not get off to the best of starts by not explaining how the automatic key worked. You leave it and open, not swipe it. Nor was any help offered with my luggage. However I was impressed by the size and furnishing of the room. It also had a sea view. I met a friend in the bar, which again was modern in its decor and overlooking the sea. At £53 per night it is good value and I would recommend it.