The Seven Sins of Justin Salisbury - Founder of Artist Residence
Luxury Travel Guide

class="last"class="last">FATHER'S DAY

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class="last"class="last">CHRISTMAS

class="last"class="last">VALENTINE'S

class="last"class="last">AWARDS
 

The Seven Sins of Justin Salisbury

Founder of Artist Residence
Justin Salisbury
My hotel journey began when my mother was hit by a bus in Brighton. It was a difficult time for my family so I decided to drop out of Leeds University where I was studying accounting and finance to be by my mother’s bedside as she was in a coma. Luckily she managed to make a good recovery through focusing on rehabilitation through art and has moved to Africa to teach deaf children art.

At the time, my family had a run down guesthouse in Brighton called The Malvern Hotel. It was in need of total renovation and had red swirly carpets, doily lampshades and net curtains. Since I was a poorly student and had no financial means to do the place up I started thinking outside of the box and came up with the idea to do a “call for artists” advert on Gumtree. I thought there would only be a couple of replies but we literally ended up with hundreds of artists coming in and painting walls and that was how Artist Residence Brighton was born!

When you’re running a small hotel with no experience aged 20 whilst also doing a full time uni course (I had reenrolled to CASS business school in London) there are many lessons you need to learn.
 
I realised very quickly that getting artwork on the walls is only a small part of running a hotel and when The Hotel Inspector TV show got in touch and asked if we wanted to be on their new series I said hell yes! I knew that I would end up looking like a total buffoon on national TV but to have someone as experienced as Alex Polizzi from the Rocco Forte family train me was something I simply could not miss.

In the end the show was “fairly” kind to me mainly because I think Alex felt so sorry for me as I was completely clueless! We didn’t even have housekeeping sheets or any operational systems of note at the time. Thankfully off camera Alex helped implement many of the systems we use to this very day!

6 years on we have grown tremendously and having only recently opened our third small hotel in London our outlook on the future is really positive. I sometimes think back and wonder what if.. and if my mother hadn’t been hit by a bus I would have probably ended up as an accountant. So I guess you could call me the accidental hotelier...
 
Wrath - What makes you angry about the hospitality industry?
Justin Salisbury Seven Sins
I had sourced at great length some reclaimed wooden boards to replace some horrible plastic lino flooring that was in our Brighton hotel. English Heritage then did a spot check and told me that the 90s lino flooring was listed and that I might need to put it back in place of the old wooden flooring! I laugh about it now but at the time my blood was boiling.
 
Greed - If all your food fantasies came true what would be on your Plate?
Justin Salisbury Seven Sins
Trying new places is always on my agenda. I’m a sucker for looking at websites like the nudge and hot dinners. I still like a good burger like the dead hippie although I’ve had too many burgers now in the last few years.
 
Sloth - What do you do to unwind?
Justin Salisbury Seven Sins
When we have time off we love visiting and staying at other hotels. Last weekend we were at the Pig on the Beach. This weekend we stayed at Ace Hotel in Shoreditch. We’re planning to go to no. 131 in Cheltenham (when we have some time!)
 
Pride - What are you most proud of?
Justin Salisbury Seven Sins
I remember when AR Brighton first started and it was still much to be desired, I got a little snippet of text in my school alumni magazine. I was chuffed to bits at the time!
 
Lust - Is there anything that you are still lusting to achieve?
Justin Salisbury Seven Sins
Its taken us 6 years to really get to grips on how to run hotels. We’re still learning every day! I suppose our main focus now is on food and beverage. I remember staying in the George in Rye and being completely knackered. We didn’t need to leave the building for 2 days because they had good food, comfortable bedroom and nice little snugs to relax in. I would love AR to be more food led in the future.
 
Envy - who are you most envious of?
Justin Salisbury Seven Sins
Sometimes when I stay at other hotels I can get a little bit restless. I usually take lots of notes and photos of the place saving everything into a dropbox folder. I wouldn’t say I’m envious although what The Pig and The Lucky Onion groups have achieved are pretty amazing. I would love to meet Robin Hutson from The Pig one day.
 
Gluttony - have you ever over indulged? 
Justin Salisbury Seven Sins
Usually block this out of my memory but Univeristy was a massive over induldgent!
 
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Seven Sins
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