I'm showing my age. Oh, how I wanted to stay in a nice traditional hotel in Mayfair or Knightsbridge! But no, my partner talked me into saving some (well, lots of) bucks/pounds by staying at this hip, trendy hotel in some remote neighborhood that's popular with the hipster crowd. Swell. My partner thinks he is an eternal 35 year-old but I am not young, hip or trendy. And I was NOT looking forward to staying at the Hoxton. That's putting it mildly; actually, I was truly pissed that we were not staying at Blake's.
My mood towards the yet unseen Hoxton Hotel worsen after the nine hour flight and the two hour drive (thanks to the tube strike) from Heathrow. Things looked up slightly when we finally arrived at the Hoxton. The lobby is actually quite nice; there's plenty of comfy sofas and armchairs, two fireplaces and elegantly contemporary chandeliers. OK..this place may be tolerable. Check-in went smoothly and the staff were efficient and friendly.
So off to the room...and this is where the Hoxton's decor veers off to the hard industrial look. The lobby was so cozy that I was kind of surprised when we got into the elevator, which looked like the type of lift used in morgues. It was a bit too clinical. And our floor! We're both science fiction geeks and thus had the same first impression: we had walked onto the Battlestar Galactica. It was sort of neat and creepy at the same time. When we walked into the room I turned to my partner and said "Can we now go to Blake's? " The room was so very small. And no drawers! We would be living out of suitcases for five days! Who would design a hotel room with no storage whatsoever? Then it dawned upon me: the Hoxton is just a crash pad for all the partying hipsters. But we had prepaid so there was no switching hotels and I would have to make the best of it. Weeks earlier I had emailed the hotel asking for a quiet room with lots of natural light. Thankfully the staff were able to honor my request. The room (513) was indeed very quiet (even at the height of the partying in the lobby) and had large windows with expansive views of the City. The room decor overall was exactly one would expect for a hotel catering to the twentysomethings, though the harsh gray wall color did give the room a vaguely prison-cell feel. We never could get the television to work and the internet radio kept cutting out but we weren't in London to watch TV so it didn't matter. The shower had great water pressure and there was always a constant supply of hot water; that's something many 5* hotels can't claim. I must give praise to the very efficient housekeeping, especially to the woman who did an awesome job tidying-up our room on May 3rd and 4th. Overall, while the room was tiny we did make it work (despite our suitcases cluttering up what little free space existed) and we got to be comfortable in it.
We had breakfast at the Grill twice during our stay. Once again the service was efficient and the food was quite good. I especially recommend the salt beef hash. The other mornings we ate at the nearby and wildly popular Breakfast Club. The front desk staff recommended this place and it is indeed very good. And this brings me to the neighborhood in general. I was initially not happy at being stuck in gritty Shoreditch but we both grew to appreciate it. We enjoyed wandering an area of London we would never have otherwise seen. There's an exceptional Chinese restaurant called Sichuan Folk that's about a ten minute walk from the Hoxton. I highly recommend it.
The Hoxton was indeed a tremendously good value. It really is best, though, for younger folk with little luggage who need a place to crash for a night or two. I don't mean to sound derogatory as the Hoxton staff certainly made us feel very welcome. And it is a very well managed hotel with much to appreciate. I would have adored this place if I was thirty years younger.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We've been on the Shoreditch scene for a while now, and like the area we occupy, our style has developed and evolved over time, literally from the ground floor up. With 210 cleverly designed bedrooms, The Hoxton Grill restaurant run in partnership with the Soho House group, a destination bar and The Apartment, our meetings and events space, we have everything you might need all under one roof... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hoxton Hotel London