The Old Ship is the oldest hotel in Brighton. In 1559 there are records of an inn on the site known as the Shippe, the Hampshares, Brighhelmstone. In 1650 it was renamed the Old Ship when the New Ship was built opposite (now Hotel du Vin). In 1651 King Charles II fled the country on a coal brig owned by local man Nicholas Tetterell. When he received the royal bounty for this in 1671 he acquired the freehold of the hotel . It’s the headquarters of the Automobile Club that organises the Veteran Car Rally that takes place in the first Sunday in November. Charles Dickens and Thackeray stayed here, the latter using the hotel for the honeymoon seen ina Vanity Fair.
However a hotel, whatever its interesting history is not a museum, and like many a large seafront hotel it has a difficulty in keeping up with the times. It has large lounge, bar and restaurant areas plus ballroom to fill. I upgraded to a sea view superior room which was spacious but the furnishings could have been more modern. The bathroom was equally spacious with good toiletries. A bathrobe was included. The service was below par. I had to wait an hour for room service on Saturday night for my dinner and on returning to my room at 2-30 on Sunday it had not been cleaned. This led to a one way row with an eastern European maid who could not speak any English. The food was reasonable. I had dinner with Polly on Sunday night. I chose mackerel pate and loin of pork. She her normal fish, cod. Neither of us, as we caught up our news, commented on the food. It’s more central than either the Mercure or Best Western, which I have already reviewed, and generally a better option.