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A hop and a skip from Brighton beach, this bright, breezy hostel has an unbeatable location close to the Lanes, the Palace Pier and the Royal Pavilion. However, it's also next to the coach station which can get noisy at night. It originally opened in 1819 as the Royal York hotel and counts Charles Dickens and former prime minister Benjamin Disraeli as former guests. Now it offers a good mix of dorms and private rooms attracting everyone from backpackers to families looking for a bargain beach bolthole. And while the décor now is a little more utilitarian than in Dickens' time, the high ceilings and ornate cornicing in the bar and lounge are a nod to its Regency heyday.

Your expert reviewer

Tracey Davies
Freelance journalist
A travel writer for 20 years, Tracey has written for a wide variety of national newspapers, magazines and websites including Metro, Guardian, The Times and Good Housekeeping. A self-proclaimed connoisseur of hotel breakfasts, she's also the East Sussex hotels expert for the Telegraph.



Location is everything in Brighton - so for simple, good value rooms with sea views, the YHA is pretty unbeatable.

The hotel is a five-minute walk away from Brighton's seafront, city centre and pier.
By car: around 2 hours from London, 3 hours from Birmingham and 4 hours 30 minutes from Manchester.
By train: London to Brighton takes around 1 hour. The station is a 15-minute walk or 5-minute taxi from the hotel.

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Style & Character

It attracts a mixed audience - largely international backpackers, families and those looking for good value digs close to the beach. The residents' lounge and bar is surprisingly inviting to all ages, plus there's a games room, TVs and comfy chairs.

Service & Facilities

The café-bar and games room were welcoming to all - it wasn't just the domain of youth.

  • Café
  • Bar
  • Lounge
  • Board games
  • Table tennis
  • Free Wi-Fi


The Private Ensuite was bright, spacious and comfortable, and the dual aspect windows had cracking views along the coast. We loved the comfy bed and decent shower, plus the free ear plugs to block out the street noise.

Shared room, Private room, Private ensuite room
Facilities include: shared or ensuite bathroom, clothes rail, storage, reading light, air conditioning/heating, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

We loved the cheap beer. The café-bar prices are YHA standard so it was less than £4 a pint. Breakfast was £9.95 for a plate of crispy bacon, sausages, hash browns and scrambled eggs, plus croissants, yoghurts and fruit.

Café-bar: unlimited breakfast served daily (continental option available) from 7:30am. Snack bar menu, pizzas and nachos. Food served between 11am-8:30pm

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