I’ve been reviewing hotels in London for long enough now to know that while Covent Garden / Earl’s Court / South Kensington are worthy areas to be based in, I desperately needed to get away and try something new; something that wouldn’t feel neither touristy nor corporate, something that would take me away both figuratively and literally. Cue The Hoxton Shoreditch.
Tucked away on a busy street in the heart of hip and lively Shoreditch, this is London’s premier and absolute best hipster hotel and hang out; one that didn’t make me feel like an outsider despite the fact that I am far from a hipster myself.
I was also intrigued by the honest pricing policy and the no-frills approach to boutique hotels, where guests simply don’t pay for things they don’t need.
The Hoxton Shoreditch
I was assigned the Hox Cabin, which is only bookable by request. “Back of a caravan meets East London cool” in The Hoxton’s own words, this quirky room features a very anti-sterilised decor (unlike what’s currently being done in most hotels around the world) with a colourful, fabric-heavy decor with plenty of patchwork quilts, vintage accessories, and reclaimed wood headboard surrounding the square bed.
It’s also worth pointing out that there were plenty of power sockets and flat surfaces throughout the room, something I really appreciate as a multimedia content creator with way too many wires and devices to count.
Indeed, as you can see, the Hox cabin over at Shoreditch holds heaps of style and character, expertly combining the iconic Shoreditch edge and the Hoxton stylishness. Additionally, each of the admittedly modest but cleverly designed and functional rooms come with everything required for a comfy stay, from the mattresses to the rainmaker showers. And then, there’s free and fast Wi-Fi, an hour of phone calls, fresh milk, tea and coffee.
What more could you possibly want out of a hotel?
This may be my only complaint – let’s just say I was glad to be a solo traveller that night, as the shower situation would’ve been a bit awkward otherwise. This room isn’t one for the prudes; the in-room rainfall shower just doesn’t leave much to the imagination.
A little frosting would’ve been nice, is all I’m saying ;-)
This is the complimentary light breakfast bag I was given right before I left. It features a fresh fruit, an orange juice, and a granola yoghourt, which is exactly what I needed after spending three days sampling London’s afternoon teas. And because I run on low sleep when I travel, I was able to prepare tea to go along with my brekkie, like a proper English person.
As far as on-site amenities go, the Hoxton has just enough to keep any traveller happy. The throbbing lobby features plenty of seating space, often taken by local entrepreneurs typing away their five-year plan on a shiny new Macbook or girlfriends catching up over coffee; as a solo traveller, I opted to try one of the books in the overflowing bookcases (The Glass Virgin, if you were wondering)-which made me perfectly content, sitting on the lush leather armchairs, basking in the London sun. This is precisely what the Hoxton’s mission is all about:
“We want to be more than that: providing a place where guests can hangout alongside the locals and submerse themselves in the neighbourhood with vibrant, welcoming public spaces.”
There is also an acclaimed restaurant named the Hoxton Grill, part of the Soho House group; the dining room is both informal yet refined, with New York-style red leather banquettes and copious steaks on the menu. Also available: weekend brunches, swanky wine list, and occasional live DJs. Just what the doctor ordered.
Clearly, there is no such thing as staying in Shoreditch and being bored out of your mind. The see-and-be-seen neighbourhood doesn’t lack in activities; here are a few of my favourites, which will undoubtedly keep you busy during your stay at the Hoxton:
- A London east-end food tour
- A Shoreditch street art walk
- Pizza East (atmospheric pizzeria)
- Ceviche (Peruvian restaurant)
- Columbia Road flower market
- Geffrye Museum (London history museum)
- Dumpling Heart
- Ozone coffee roasters
- Callooh Callay (cocktail bar)
- BOXpark Shoreditch (pop-up boutiques)
- Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium (cat café)
- Beyond Retro (vintage shop)
- The Old Truman Brewery (former brewery turned into creative market and beer hall)
- Luna and Curious (collective boutique)
- Queen of Hoxton (club with rooftop bar)
- Dishoom (refined Indian restaurant)