Wednesday 22 August 2018

A Night At The Malmaison Brighton | Travel With Dogs

It wouldn't be Summer without a little jaunt down to Brighton and it's something which has become a bit of a tradition for us this time of year. Having spent a few days at my Mum's in Eastbourne enjoying the air show weekend it made sense for us to extend our break away with an extra night in Brighton. 

Recently we have only tended to book Air BnB's when staying in Brighton as I've found that it tends to work easier when we have our three dogs in tow with us. However, this time around, I really fancied the idea of a hotel and staying somewhere different. After a quick search online I was impressed to find that the Malmaison at the Brighton Martina is indeed dog friendly and it looked exactly like the kind of place we like to stay with quirky modern rooms and a touch of luxury.  

We've only ever stayed quite central in Brighton and having never even visited the Marina before I was quite looking forward to exploring a different side to my favourite seaside city. It is a little further out of town than I'd usually like to be, and probably a good half hour walk to the pier, but the main purpose of this break was to relax so I was ok with just seeing where the wind took us. 

On arriving at the Malmaison we were immediately impressed with its waterfront location and contemporary feel. I must admit that I had some real hesitations about staying in a hotel with three dogs and I had no idea how well they would behave which did leave me feeling a bit nervous! I think all of those feelings were put to ease on check in and seeing how friendly and welcoming the staff all were to us and the dogs. It felt like such a nice change to be somewhere like this and to not feel like an inconvenience because of the dogs. 

We were swiftly shown to our room which was conveniently located on the same level as the reception. We had booked a sea view double room and I had requested a dog friendly room but I didn't really know what to expect, or how dog friendly it would actually be. 

Lets just say that these three settled in pretty quickly! 

First off we all loved the room. It was a decent size and although we didn't bring our dog beds with us, there would have been enough room on the floor for them. The furniture was all gorgeous and super contemporary and colourful - just what we love! It felt so cosy and comfortable and had everything we needed. 

The bathroom was again very modern and clean and had everything we needed. The complimentary toiletries were a really nice touch and it's little things like this that can make a short break away just that much easier. 

A real positive to our room was that we had a patio door which opened out onto a large shared terrace which overlooked the harbour. This made things so much easier with the dogs as we could just let them out there for a quick toilet break rather than leading them all up and taking them out every time they needed to go. I did see other dogs staying in rooms above us which only had small balconies so I was really happy we didn't end up in one of those rooms as it would have made everything feel more difficult. 

My dogs can be quite fussy about where they go to the toilet and it did take them a while to get used to this, but they got there eventually! The good news is that there are nice walks right on your doorstep here, whether it be around the harbour or a longer walk into the town and along the sea front. You are really spoilt for choice! 

Dog toileting aside, the view was pretty decent too! 

It's funny how breaks away with our dogs can seem so simple and straight forward in our heads when booking them but then actually when you're there and in the reality of it it's never as easy as it seems. 

The Malmaison are more than happy for you to leave your dog/s in the room as long as you let them know and leave a do not disturb sign on the door. Initially I had felt that we would be ok doing this but then in reality I knew as soon as we arrived that I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it to them. More so because my dogs can become quite barky if they hear any unusual noises or they're not in their usual surroundings. I really didn't want them to become a disturbance to other guests and I also didn't want to freak them out so it presented us with a bit of a conundrum and ultimately we felt like we couldn't really do much during our stay. 

I did have visions of us wandering around Brighton and visiting some of our favourite places during our stay but in the end I was ok with just chilling and ordering in. The good news is that you can pretty much get everything Deliverood to you in Brighton and I was really happy to find out that they came out as far as the Marina too. Aside from that option there are also an abundance of restaurants at the Marina too so there is plenty to choose from. We didn't really fancy anything available at the Marina and ended up ordering a vegan burrito from Tortilla which I'd never tried before. It was really good although very spicy!   

All in all we had a really enjoyable and relaxing stay at the Malmaison and it did feel like a real treat being somewhere so fancy and having the dogs with us. We didn't get to do as much as I'd hoped for, and I didn't get to go to any of my usual favourite vegan joints, but it was actually quite nice to just take the pressure off and go with the flow a bit. We enjoyed a couple of nice walks along the sea front which is always lots of fun and I also got to see Lois O'Hara's rainbow street art which had been on my hit list! 

Going forward I definitely plan to document more of the dog friendly places we stay at as I know so many of you have dogs too and would be interested in this. I think for me personally and our situation with three of the little critters, staying at a dog friendly Air BnB with a decent outside space is the ideal situation for us as it makes it much more easier to feel ok leaving them inside for a few hours whilst we go out exploring. 

And this is exactly what we'll be doing in September when we go on our main annual dog holiday! Over the past few years we have opted to stay in the UK with our dogs but this year we're braving a long drive down to the South of France and taking them further away than they've ever been before.  They've had their rabies vaccinations and they've got their passports at the ready! We're all really looking forward to it but I keep thinking it will either be the best thing ever or something we will never want to repeat again. Wish us luck anyway and keep an eye on my Insta stories for updates from our journey. It's bound to be an eventful trip! 

Do you have dogs and do you take them away with you? I would love to hear some of your own experiences and recommendations on dog friendly places to stay and also how you manage being away with them. I'm sure if you have one well behaved dog it's a lot easier than three slightly mischievous ones anyway! Also have you ever taken your dog abroad before? I'd love to hear if you have any tips or advice for my upcoming trip. 

Until our next adventure...   


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