Getting in the Mood at Drakes
My right ankle is dangling over the lip of a free-standing bath positioned in front of large Georgian windows where I can watch the wash of the sea. There is a trail of rose petals around the bath leading to the bed, where my She Said Exotic Boutique Love Hamper is waiting. No wonder Australian pop diva Kylie Minoque encamped at the Drakes Hotel to chill in May 2006 prior to relaunching her career after treatment for breast cancer!
What we love most about Drakes is its hip attitude towardcelebrating life and love. Where else would you open your bedroom door to find a Butlers in the Buff calendar photo shoot in progress throughout the hotel? As one guest wrote in the hotel’s comments book, “A photo opp around every corner! Rooms are the best in Brighton, but the best part of the Drake experience would have to be the staff. Lovely…”
The seafront 20-room hotel is named for a friend’s country house that the owner admired, and which ambiance he hoped toemulate. What a stunning success! Two years in the making, Drakes features tray ceilings, £5000 sofas upholstered in French silk, handmade “VU Spring” beds, elm doors, reclaimed bamboo floors, a 7 ft. wide bed, the largest in Brighton, and more. Each of the double rooms is individually designed, getting more elaborate and pricier with each floor. (If you are past your mid-life crisis and your knees ain’t so good, you might select a lower level and lower-priced room as there isn’t a lift – only a dumbwaiter for luggage, and a the magnificent cantilevered staircase).
On another night we night we stayed in a split-level bedroom with its wet room downstairs. When I descended the stairs, low lights turned on to illuminate my way, along with under-floor heating. A figure-flattering mirror was hung at the bottom, transforming me into a lovely Nude Descending the Staircase. No big surprise that Drakes was voted by Condé Nast Traveller magazines as one of the world’s best hotels!
Talk about the personal touch!. Not only are concierge-trained staff on duty 24/7 in the ground floor lounge bar, but they even sometimes ring guests prior to arrival to see if any special arrangements are needed. Case in point – one couple was relocating to Brighton so Drakes phoned to ask if arranging appointments with real estate agents would be helpful!
Adding to the elegance is the onsite restaurant, the Gingerman, which is separately owned. The second in Brighton, the 40-cover Gingerman features modern European cuisine, and a staff that always keeps their cool, making it an obvious favorite for touring bands and celebrities.
If you’re courageous enough to drive to Brighton, be sure to book your parking space at Drakes ahead of time. The center of the small circular drive is dominated by an ornate water fountain, leaving parking spaces for perhaps four cars. Additional parking can be arranged a few blocks away, but navigating the entrance is tricky if your car is large or your English driving skills dodgy.
If You Go
For more information about Drakes Hotel, click onwww.drakesofbrighton.com.
Get up-to-date with everything Brighton has on offer atwww.visitbrighton.com.
Order your Love Hamper, “a variety of cheeky adventurous love products to share with your partner” from She Said. “Bursting at the seams with sexy stuff they are a recipe for escapism and naughtiness and make for a great surprise.” Choose from a personal massager, silk eye mask, tickle feather – you get the idea.
all photos are by Richard N. Every
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