Arriving at The Hoxton in East London was one of the happiest moments in the world. And I'm not actually exaggerating.
After travelling for around 24 hours (Los Angeles > Dallas > London Heathrow > London Paddington > Circle Line > Old Street Station!!!) upon walking through their big open doors to their cosy lobby and being greeted by their charming staff, this massive wave of homeliness just washed over me. I was home, in many senses, literally home in the country in which I was born and raised and figuratively home in this excessively welcoming hotel.
The efficient and chatty (a combination I approve of) gentleman at check in, whisked us through the process with finesse and travel anecdotes and after a few chuckles and a few key pieces of information we were on our way to our room.
For a hotel that celebrates the "Easyjet" budget model of hotelier-ing (the earlier you buy, the cheaper your room) I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the room. We're not talking a full suite by any means, but certainly bigger than the Paddington hovel I stayed in last time I was in London for sheer convenience that cost a great deal more.
The room came equipped with all the mod cons, tv, hairdryer, Pears Soap (my little sister was a runner up Miss Pears in the 80's so this was very novel for me), safe, wardrobe, fridge, kettle, spacious desk, couch, super comfy bed, shower and for this blogger/social media junkie FREE WiFi! I'd been starved off internet for what felt like a lifetime of travel – so that was beyond welcome.
The room was hip and for a corporate hotel (it's owned by Sinclair Beecham, one of the Pret a Manger founders) had tons of personality and lots of fun touches – I particularly loved the "boring signs". A small Pret breakfast was also included, consisting of a banana, granola and yoghurt and fresh orange juice. The room featured free tea and coffee and even had milk and mineral water stocked in our fridge, free of charge.
Something that I thought was quite fabulous was the travel guide that came with the room. A tiny, credit card sized guide that folded out to reveal all the coolest places to shop, eat and play within the area. Many of the locations featured in the guide had already been recommended to me by the highly cool Hedonist's Guide to London (more on that later) and as my bestest friend, Lauren, pointed out, were genuinely "cool" places. A very good indication of the level of hip the hotel exudes and the great surrounding area.
Beyond our beautiful bedroom, the hotel also features a restaurant and bar, and a ton of meeting rooms for events and, well, meetings. Fascinatingly all of the meeting and event rooms were bustling during our mid week stay – one featured a party and most had hoards of people tapping away at laptops. A perusal of the website revealed that for competitive rates the rooms were all inclusive with WiFi and a fully stocked larder – no wonder they were full! You can even rent a private day office for £19 a day!
We did manage to stop in at the Hoxton Grill, the onsite restuarant, during our stay. Whilst affordable and in a gorgeous setting with extremely friendly staff, it was disappointingly generic (and American..ha!) the food was good, but with the plethora of amazing restaurants and bars in the area (including the infamous Brick Lane) I'd skip it.
Check out was incredibly simple, and we were able to leave our luggage in a secure storage room whilst we wandered the streets of East London – always a traveling plus!
All in all, The Hoxton was one of the best hotels I've stayed in in awhile. It beat out my most recent stay at a luxury hotel in Las Vegas by about a million (if you follow me on Twitter, you know where I'm talking about) and for a fraction of the price. I highly recommend staying there and checking out the Shoreditch/Hoxton area on your next trip to London – and keep an eye/ear out for their £1 room sale that comes around twice a year!