The Hoxton – trendy boutique hotel in Shoreditch
Shoreditch - one of the trendiest areas in London. Why? Because it feels real, alive, buzzing with creativity. Because you can go street hunting, enjoy a wide collection of independant shops and cafés, find amazing vintage clothes, stroll through art galleries, enjoy Brick Lane or the flower market, find hype restaurants. Because from one week to another, the streets are reinvented, bursting with inspiration at each corner. So very artistic, a little bohème too, between the London of yesterday and tomorrow, all under the mirror towers of The City. If you already know the capital quite well and want a different vibe, this is the place to be. And The Hoxton definitely is the place to stay.
This boutique hotel is one of my favourite gems - both design and budget. It is affordable, playful, practical, fun and allows no nonsense. Wifi is free (don’t you hate hotels adding the cost of it? 2st century! Social media! Iphone addicts!), a keyboard allows to surf the web from the plasma screen if you haven’t brought your laptop along and Macs also are available in the lounge. The rooms are amazingly spacious, allowing for quite a few suitcases (we all know we will go shopping mad). A drawer has been converted as a treasure chest, the shape of each object craved into the wood: bottle opener, powerful hair dryer (only the girls can appreciate that one fully), tea and coffee, map of the neighbourhood with lots of helpful tips… There is, of course, a kettle but you will also find complimentary water bottles and fresh milk in the fridge and that is a lovely surprise indeed.
On the comfort side, you will be absolutely spoilt: the cotton sheets are fabulous, duvet and cushion are filled with duck down feathers and the mattresses are fit for royalty (we are not kidding). We fell in love with the cushions - Rock, paper, scissors themed, doesn’t this bring a smile? They proved so very successful that the hotel does now sell them online. In the bathroom, you will find a tropical rain shower (the best, they massage the shoulders fantastically), thick and luxurious towels (the same as the Ritz) and a little bonus: a heated mirror to get rid of that ever-annoying mist. Take the time to try the bath products by CO Bigelow, the oldest US apothecary: sweet yet very natural, refreshing and soft skin guaranteed.
I will add a special award for the stupid signs throughout the building. Just a sentence with a good sense of humour for those details you get blocked on (like opening a window, sometimes) but seem so logical afterwards. Our room, on the fifth floor, showed the roofs of Shoreditch with the majestic Shard in the background. At night, it became a beautiful carpet of lights so do plan a bottle of wine and spend some time admiring this.
The room price includes a light breakfast and I tip my hat to that. Just fill the order on the kraft bag provided: orange juice, yogurt with granola, banana, delivery time, number of guests. You will find it just outside your door in the morning. With the coffee/tea you can make, it is usually more than enough although you also indulge in a extra English breakfast in the hotel restaurant if you prefer. But this option is fantastic if you are never so hungry in the morning and do not make the most of buffet, are on a budget or like me have to leave very early and therefore can 1/sleep 30mn more 2/have something to eat on the go.
Verdict? It has it all, doesn’t it? A fun, colourful, design decoration, a cheerful feeling all around, first-class comfort, ideal hype location (the tube station is nearby, plenty of buses too) and the prices are ever so wallet-friendly. Do not miss their regular £1 sale, every three months. Rooms at that price are sold within minutes but hey, it is such a bargain it would be silly not to try!