With a rake of visitors attracted to its cultural curiosities, independent shops, and its LGBT+ friendliness – never mind its pebble beaches or party vibe – there’s just not enough hotels for everyone who wants a slice of the action. Add in a continual run of hip events like the Fringe Festival, the Great Escape and Artists Open House, and it’s a seaside town that’s always worth the trip.
Responding to demand, there’s quite the range of Airbnbs on hand. We’ve trawled through the hundreds available to find the very best, including stays for quirky interiors, big groups, luxury chic and stunning sea views.
Book early enough and you’ll have your pick of the bunch.
In a confirmed case of “more is more”, Brighton Candy Box isn’t shy about peppering the entire four-bedroom house with statement pieces and colourful curios that make it a unique stay. Each of the four bedrooms is individually styled, and the vaulted open-plan entertaining area is an ideal place for those all-important pre-drinks. Forget hotel towel robes – at the Candy Box, each guest gets their own kimono for added decadence, and you’ll find other added touches like a record player, books and games. The location is handy too: the townhouse is found in Kemptown, convenient for the Palace Pier, the Lanes and the queer-friendly pubs and clubs around St James Street.
Average price: £399 per night
How much more central could this location be? None. None more central. It’s found in the Lanes, right by the seafront and in the heart of the action, meaning that partygoers can stumble in from any which way after just a few minutes’ walk – just mind the cobbled streets. Mixing its modern feel with original beams along its ceilings, this high-spec studio has a well-equipped kitchen, an uber-comfy sofa for the mornings after, and a hidden bed that pops out on demand. As a bolthole for those who plan on going out-out, it can’t be beat.
Average price: £138 per night
The Regency era was a fruitful one for Brighton: it’s when the unmistakable Royal Pavilion was designed by John Nash and the city’s swathes of vanilla-hued seafront mansions were constructed. So if you stay in Brunswick Square, you’ll be staying in a part of its history – plus there’s the double-height ceilings and sash windows for added opulence. This smartly designed one-bed flat on the square has a compact kitchen and shower room, and is decorated with art by the owner that’s available to buy. The location is second to none: it’s right by the seafront with Brighton on its east side and the gentrified area of Hove on its west.
Average price: £120 per night
The Vessel is a newly refurbished, high-spec townhouse that oozes luxury in every detail. It’s put together by an interior designer, which explains daring choices like a canary yellow corner sofa in the living room, and whitewashed brick wall and dramatic chandelier in the landing. It has five double bedrooms and a single, and plenty of space for guests including a suntrap of an outside space for al fresco drinks. You might not want to leave this stylish Airbnb, but if you do, it’s in Kemptown near the marina and a 10-minute bike ride or taxi into the centre of Brighton.
Average price: £750 per night
Given that large hen parties can be like herding cats, this former sea captain’s home offers plenty of flexibility thanks to its super central location in the Lanes. The pad is ginormous: it houses up to 16 people with five double bedrooms plus two extra beds and two double sofabeds in the living room. It’s a good looking townhouse too: expect Farrow & Ball-painted walls, restored cornicing, sea views from the top floors and a pamper area with illuminated dressing room mirrors. The pièce de résistance is the 16-person dining table that’s just waiting for a private chef for a refined dinner, or muck in together for a help-yourself brunch. Sadly stag parties aren’t allowed.
Average price: £600 per night
Neighbourhood: the South Downs
One for cosy winter nights as much as summer seaside days, it’s way too easy to settle into the country chic of this flint cottage, restored as part of Channel 4’s Old House New Home. Guests can get cosy by the working fireplace, or take a pew at the breakfast bar, accentuated with low copper light shades. The oak beams, the wooden furniture and the plush beds go big on that homely feel. It’s set at the edge of the city near the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park, which is etched with walking and cycling trails that could take up a full weekend. It’s handy that the beach is a five-minute drive away too.
Average price: £310 per night
Neighbourhood: North Laine
It’s all dark-toned boudoir decor in this one-bed townhouse, converted from a chapel dating from 1876. Below the striking stained glass ceiling you’ll find a roll top bath ready for sharing, and the king size bed is as plush as it gets. Just imagine a stylish hotel suite, without the fear of room service knocking. The townhouse is tucked away in a Victorian mews in the North Laine area, which is full of boutique shops and close to the sea. There aren’t full cooking facilities, but a candlelit dinner or two will negate that issue.
Average price: £143 per night
To save your holiday funds for the beach and bars without compromising on a comfortable stay, get acquainted with this keenly priced one-bed apartment. In the hilly neighbourhood of Hanover, it’s a perfectly cosy, lived-in flat that has a sofa bed in the sitting room, and views that stretch out past rooftops to the sea. Kitchen basics like tea, toast, coffee and croissants could even save on brunch money. It’s just a 15-20-minute walk from the Lanes, but craft beer fans will adore the area: local pubs like The Independent, North Laine Brewery and The Geese are within stumbling distance home.
Average price: £89 per night
There’s no better reminder that you’re holidaying in Brighton than waking to an uninterrupted sea view. That’s the main draw of The Hollywood Apartment in the Kemptown seafront, but the list goes on. There’s the gorgeous interiors, with a modern aesthetic of bold colours that pop thanks to light flooding in from its floor-to-ceiling windows. The living room and kitchen are spacious, as is the one bedroom with a king size bed. Happily, the south-facing coastal scene can be taken in from a balcony that’s just waiting to be enjoyed with a glass of fizz in hand.
Average price: £458 per night
From the head chocolatier of short-lived local emporium Choccywoccydoodah comes a four-person Airbnb that’s an explosion of kitsch and colour. Take in the tropical wallpaper, elaborate beds draped with turquoise velvet curtains, hot pink microwaves and a painted blue cloudy sky in the bathroom because why not, and you’ll understand the aesthetic he’s gone for. There’s a tucked-away courtyard to relax in, but just outside are the amenities of Kemptown and Brighton city centre. Both the Palace Pier and the Old Steine, which houses the annual Fringe Festival in May, are just a five-minute walk away, and the sea is across the road.
Average price: £110 per night