'I'm proud of my city and love running a hotel and bistro here'

Herve Guyat, owner of the New Steine Hotel & Bistro and the Kemptown Trading Post on St George's Road
Herve Guyat, owner of the New Steine Hotel & Bistro and the Kemptown Trading Post on St George's Road

FOR our Taste Q&A this week Nick Mosley talks to Herve Guyat of the new Steine Hotel & Bistro.

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Herve Guyat, owner of the New Steine Hotel & Bistro and the Kemptown Trading Post on St George's Road.

What led you to a career in hospitality?

I left my hometown of Biarritz in the South of France 36 years ago to start a career in London’s prestigious Bond Street and Sloane Street working for Valentino and Cacharel. This is where I got my first eye for detail and beauty.

In 1990, I decided to move away from the fashion world and back to my first love – hospitality – working for prestigious hotels. I started at the Abbey Court Hotel in Pembridge Gardens, Notting Hill Gate. The hotel was hub of fashionista and designers with the likes of John Galliano. It was quirky and quaint and would later inspire me when designing the New Steine Hotel.

I then went on to work at a few townhouse hotels, the Royal Thames Yacht Club, and a couple of central London 5-star hotels including the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair.

On 27 July 2000 I moved to Brighton to put all my expertise into opening my own boutique property, New Steine Hotel.

Describe the offering and ethos of the New Steine Hotel…

We always offer a warm welcome and some quirky entertainment including art exhibitions, cabaret nights and our popular Supper Club.

Tell us about your accommodation offering…

I’ve always done all of the interior designing. The last refurbishment was recently completed in May 2021, mixing the Georgian style of the building with my own personal gallic touches.

When I remodelled the New Steine Hotel, I ensured we had different type of rooms to accommodate all sorts of customers: executive rooms for business travellers, family rooms, twin rooms for friends sharing some leisure time in Brighton and single rooms for guests who are on a budget.

The pandemic was clearly a challenge for hospitality; do you think the cost-of-living crisis will be more or less challenging for the industry?

It will be very difficult for us hoteliers. We use a lot of energy to keep our guests warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Buying quality produce for our bistro is also going to be a challenge as well, as is ensuring our employees wages are increased enough for them to face the cost of living themselves.

With so many full units and lots of small independent businesses, are you positive about the presentation of St James Street now?

Yes it is getting better and I think the St James Street Business Alliance has helped a lot. Although I would like to see less antisocial behaviour and more police presence.

What other local businesses do you visit and enjoy on your time off?

I enjoy visiting lots of different restaurants in Brighton including Burnt Orange, Flint House and Hove Place. Being a gay man myself, I also enjoy the fact that Brighton has its own LGBTQ scene and that I am able to visit many of the bars.

Having lived and worked in Brighton for many years, has the city changed for the better?

I definitely believe the city has changed for the better offering more – and better – attractions, hotels and restaurants. I’m very passionate about my city. I’m proud to be part of the Brighton and Hove Hotel Association as well as the St James's Street Business Alliance. Both organisations help make a positive difference to the amazing city we live in.

New Steine Hotel & Bistro, 10-11 New Steine, Brighton BN2 1PB

01273 681 546 • www.newsteinehotel.com