Hundreds of guests received a rude awakening in the early hours after smoke filled a hotel atrium.

Close to 500 people staying at Brighton’s Thistle Hotel in King’s Road were ushered to the fire exits at 3.15am this morning (August 27) after alarms went off.

Two fire crews rushed to the seafront and to the hotel’s giant atrium were the smoke was believed to be coming from.

After a 30 minute search – and after smoke had died down – it was concluded that the source had been a burnt out air conditioning motor.

All guests were then allowed back to their rooms. There were no injuries.