The Hoxton opened in September 2006 and is owned by Sinclair Beecham, co-founder of Pret A Manger
, who disliked faceless hotels and knew there should be an alternative. The Hoxton Hotel describes itself as an 'urban lodge' which seems apt as it is hard to label. They also say 'budget luxury' but I think that might detract from just how cool this place is. Sure, it's well-priced and there are no hidden costs but it's also a hip, designer hotel with an industrial feel. The Hoxton is funky, great value, and very welcoming.
There are dog sculptures by the entrances to greet you and the double height lobby feels spacious yet the two large stone fireplaces, which are lit in the winter, keep it cosy. The building has a converted warehouse feel with the exposed brickwork but the space was actually a car park before. Brown leather sofas and armchairs provide a comfortable space for meeting friends, but the free wifi means there are always a few people working on laptops. You'll hear funky lounge music to make you feel relaxed and at home. There are DJs here at the weekend.
Reception is off to the left so you are not 'stared at' by staff as soon as you enter and staff uniforms are sponsored by Lee. It is unusual to see hotel reception staff wearing checked shirts and jeans but it doesn't reduce their levels of customer service and I found all staff friendly and approachable.
Free newspapers are delivered every day and there is a Reception 'shop' selling drinks and snacks, including half bottles of wine, at the same prices as supermarkets so it's cheaper than the convenience store opposite the hotel.
Also on the ground floor is The Hoxton Grille Restaurant, a well-priced diner and bar run by Soho House.
Hoxton Hotel - Bedroom© Hoxton Hotel
All the rooms are the same size and although not enormous, they are larger than many London hotels and perfectly adequate for a couple. (A free bed can be provided for under 12s.) Rooms are stylishly decorated (Tower of London
outlined on the wall of the one I saw) and include linen and duck down duvets and a compact granite bathroom with Aveda toiletries.
There are excellent views of the City from the back of the hotel and the large windows actually open. The room fridge is stocked with fresh milk and bottled water daily at no extra cost. And room service is the same rate as going down to the restaurant, including set meals.
A Lite Pret Breakfast is delivered to your room as you mark a paper bag with your choices and hang it on your door the night before. There is an a la carte breakfast option downstairs if preferred but it is not included.
The Hoxton's 205 rooms are nearly always full and they have many return customers. Rates vary according to day of the week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are most popular) and how far in advance you book (book 6 months ahead and get the best rates). Also, look out for the Hoxton £1 Room Sales which are incredibly popular but if you read all of the instructions in advance and log on at exactly the time they say you can book a room at this rate or at only £29. (I know, because I tried!)
Free Calls The Hoxton has an ethos of no hidden charges and is always trying to find ways to add more for their guests. They offer all guests 1 hour free calls to UK, Europe, US (including mobiles) and Australia everyday, and a low rate if you go over the hour.
Hoxton Hotel - Corridor© Hoxton Hotel
81 Great Eastern Street
Tel: 020 7550 1000
Nearest Tube Station: Old Street
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