My Self-Care Retreat at the Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel

*Press Trip

Since Violet was born over two years ago, I’ve have never had a childfree night. The only night I’ve had away from Violet was when I was giving birth to Pearl – and that was hardly restful! So, it is fair to say I was in need of some well-deserved ‘me time’ and a good nights sleep! A couple of weeks ago, an email dropped into my inbox from the team at the Mercure Hotel in Brighton asking me if I’d like to come and stay at the hotel, following their £3m renovations. I immediately went on auto-pilot and drafted an email to politely decline – I knew we wouldn’t be able to find childcare for a whole night! But that email was never sent! Something must have distracted me and I put my phone down, saving the email in my drafts. I went back to my emails a few hours later and decided to just decided on a whim to say yes! I could go on my own and take the time out for some well needed self-care. The hotel booked me in and I excitedly counted down the days until my little ‘break away’ – that’s the beauty of living in Brighton, you can take a holiday in your own city!

So, this weekend I packed my bags and headed into town to the Mercure, which is located right on the seafront, near the iconic West Pier and Bandstand, it’s in a beautiful location and perfect for weekend breaks in the city as it’s walking distance to all the popular sights, shops, restaurants and bars. The hotel is a stunning regency listed building, the new renovations a blend of Regency splendour mixed with quirky Brighton charm. When I walked into the lobby I was greeted by a  gorgeous dark blue inky lobby, filled floor to ceiling with artwork – the staircase displaying grand pieces of art, with a gold rail – it was quite something!

I headed up to my room which was a  Privilege room on the second floor –  as I opened the door I was taken aback by how spacious it was for a hotel room! With airy high ceilings and loads of space, it felt huge for little old me! My room had a full seaview with views of the West Pier and I instantly felt calm and relaxed – I’d only been away from home for 15 minutes and it felt like I was on holiday. I explored my room, finding the Nespresso Coffee machine and made myself a cup to drink as I began to unwind looking over at the beautiful blue sea below.

Before I knew it, it was time to head into town for my hair appointment – I’d been desperate to get my hair done for MONTHS but just never have the time, so my blonde highlights had completely grown out and my dull, mousey hair had taken over – I just didn’t feel like ‘me’ at all. I decided to get quite a bit cut off, taking it to shoulder length and asked her to lighten it as much as she could in one sitting! As she dried my hair, I felt so much more like me again! I love being blonde and don’t feel right without my highlights! My lovely hairdresser also curled it as I said I was having dinner in the hotel. I left feeling a million dollars, my hair literally bouncing with every step as I walked back to the hotel – I felt physically so much lighter after such a big cut but I love it!

I headed back to the hotel, had a quick freshen up in my room and headed down to the lobby to meet my friend Kirstie for dinner in the main restaurant – The Goulty. The menu has plenty of choice for all different tastes and as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options too. The restaurant has huge windows looking out onto the sea and we were lucky enough to grab a sea view table. Of course, being my night away I just had to have a cocktail, I ended up going for a Signature G&T, which is the Mercure’s take on the classic drink – just what the Dr ordered! We had a three course dinner – my food choices were the French Onion Soup to start, Falafel Burger with chunky fries for main, with Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert. I thought the food was pretty tasty, but I have to say it didn’t ‘wow’ me. It seemed pretty standard hotel food and didn’t quite live up to the grand feel of the hotel following the renovations, which was a shame. I had a lovely time catching up with Kirstie though and not doing the washing up is always a bonus!

Back in my room, I got ready for bed and had a shower under the huge rain shower – I’m quite fussy when it comes to showers, but this ticked all the boxes for me! Especially loved the buttons to control the flow. The bathroom was filled with modern touches, I also loved the mirror with inbuilt light around the rim.

That night I drifted off to sleep quickly in my huge bed ALL to myself – I barely had time to check my phone or listen to my audiobook, I wanted to get as much sleep as possible and I was exhausted! I thought being by the road, my room might be noisy but with the windows closed I didn’t notice the road at all, I could hear music from the lobby though, but at this point it was quite mellow and not an issue.

I woke up a few times in the night, which I thought I might – I think my brain is wired to wake up every few hours now. In the end I slept in until 9am, the final hours in bed just dozing, waking up and dozing again – honestly this was the best part of my stay! Getting to lay in bed with no children clambering all over me and nowhere to be – I enjoyed every moment. I’ve not been in bed past 7am in the last two years so it was a massive luxury! Not in any rush, I had a slow start getting out of bed and ready for the day and it was just perfect – watching the calm sea out of the window over a coffee and putting my make-up on, it felt like another world to my usual mornings!

I headed down to breakfast – I absolutely love a hotel breakfast so I was pretty excited! The offerings were all the usual things you would expect – I managed to have a three course breakfast, with eggs, beans and toast, followed by yogurt and fruit and pastries.

My stay had whizzed by in the blink of an eye and it was time to check out. I had visions of me sitting for hours in my room with my laptop, writing whilst I looked over the sea, but in reality time just flew past. I think next time I need to stay a week! I really enjoyed my stay and was so impressed with the renovations at the hotel. I had expected as the Mercure is a chain, maybe they would lose personality to follow corporate guidelines, but that is not the case at all. The Mercure Brighton Seafront is as vibrant and quirky as you’d expect for a Brighton hotel and more. My room was plush, luxurious and so amazingly comfortable – I had a great night sleep. The hotel is in the ideal location for a weekend break in the city too. The only minor negative about the stay was the food – it was good, but it didn’t blow me away but in the grand scheme of things, this was just a minor detail.

I realised by having my first night away from the babies, that you don’t realise how depleted you are until you step away from your situation.  I hadn’t realised just how much I give and how much I’d lost any sense of self. Of course, they are worth every second but I really loved having some time for me to to feel slightly more human again. I really hope I can do it more often – maybe I won’t be lucky enough to stay away for a night in a hotel, but I’m going to make time to do the little things like getting my hair done or just time away with a change of scenery. It has done me the world of good!

For more information or to book a room at the Mercure Brighton Seafront, see their website here.

Thanks for the wonderful stay!

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