“ Address: 81 Great Eastern Street / London / EC2A 3HU / UK „
The Bar and Grill / recpetion-lounge area is a great place to pop in for a cocktail (martini) before hitting the bars in the area. Dresscode is relaxed so weather you're in your trainers and t-shirt or maybe coming from the office in a suit (do people still have to wear these to work - ha), you'll feel comfortable.I would say this is more of a winter location as the fireplaces at either end really add to the atmosphere and we went in once last summer and it seemed we should be outside enjoying the light.
It's not often that I resent being put up in a hotel for the night. However, when the stay(s) in question come in the middle of a tortuous month-long deal negotiation that involves fourteen hour days, several all-nighters, and an intimate knowledge of most of the take-away establishments in our corner of London's Square Mile, staying over becomes a necessary chore rather than a pleasure in of itself. That said, over the course of the last three weeks, I have stayed at the Hoxton Hotel nine times and now know the place inside out - to the extent that I have invented a bingo game based on the rooms I have been assigned during my various stays.
First things first. Apparently, the Hoxton is not a hotel, but rather, an "Urban Lodge". Situated in über-cool Shoreditch, on the fringes of the City, the marketing bods have even to reversed the last "N", ostensibly to add to its chic cachet. That said, gimmicks aside, the Hoxton is rather different from its competitors in the immediate area (Travelodge. Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza Shoreditch and the Hilton Islington are all within reach and at a similar price point). It's strap-line is "Luxury where it matters, budget where it counts" and, on every level, it measures up very well against this claim. My place of work has a corporate rate of £139 per night (before VAT), but, apart from its periodic (and well documented) £1-a-night room sales (which I have never managed to take advantage of) their rack rate is a reasonable - for central London - £169 per night.
You notice the difference in emphasis and style as soon as you walk in the front entrance. The lobby area is a wide open and high-ceilinged space that accommodates some widely spread seating areas, large rustic wooden tables and a roaring fireplace, as well as the discreet reception area and the Hoxton Grill - an excellent, American style bistro that, as expected, majors heavily on meat and is usually heaving later in the week. In keeping with the "urban" theme, staff are dressed in checked shirts reflecting the predominantly brown, yellow and grey motif. Check-in is quick and efficient, and staff will explain the workings of the hotel if its your first stay. You'll get an electronic card key and a card with your room number scribbled on it.
The décor is quite funky, with exposed brickwork and piping, lots of metal and bold, coloured lighting. Rooms are sleek, relatively minimalist and polished, with a double or twin bed configuration adorned with the hotel's signature "Rock, Scissors, Paper" cushions and a stylised representation of a London landmark on the wall (St Paul's mostly). Tea and coffee-making facilities are provided, along with a carton of fresh semi-skimmed milk in the fridge. You are also given two bottles of Prêt-a-Manger still spring water for free - which makes a refreshing change from the usual hotel practice of charging you an arm and a leg. I found the beds very comfortable, although the pillows are a little too soft for my liking, and the bedside lamps don't offer much help if you're planning to read for a bit.
There is a desk in every room, above which is a large fold-out mirror and a 28" flat-screen LCD TV with a generous selection of channels, although the picture quality is not particularly clear. The desk has a drawer, which is always left open when you enter the room, that holds a pencil, bottle opener, coffee and tea, a hairdryer and a guide to the immediate area around the hotel. Wardrobe space is limited -it'll do for a couple of days, but much more than that would prove a stretch. Soft drinks, snacks and small bottles of wine are available at reception, but, rather astonishingly, they are no more expensive than what you would pay in the convenience stores across the street.
As part of the service, you also get proper down duvets, leather headboards, free WiFi everywhere in the hotel, and a free hour of phone calls to most places. The bathrooms are functional but stylish, with nice, fluffy white towels, toilet paper that's kind to your derriere, a generous bar of Pears soap, and complimentary toiletries. However, the best part is that the Hoxton has dispensed with the bath, and replaced it with a very nice tiled shower enclosure with a rain head shower and a separate hosed nozzle to help you get to (ahem) hard to reach areas. Even the bathroom mirror is treated so it doesn't steam up.
Carrying on the Prêt theme (the Hoxton is owned by Sinclair Beecham who also co-owns the sandwich place), whilst a typical £20 hotel buffet breakfast is not included in the rate (the Hoxton Grill do a £10 All English or a £5 bacon butty) you do get a "light" breakfast which includes 250ml of freshly squeezed orange juice, a banana and a pot of granola topped yoghurt and fruit compote in the morning. The system is quite cool (well, it would be, wouldn't it?). There is a brown paper bag on the desk. You simply tick off whether you want breakfast for one or two, and what time you want it (between 6am and 9am), place the bag on a hook outside your door, and viola! it's there in the morning.
A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT
The owners have made a real effort to break normal hotel conventions - such as heading the bill "the Damage", doing away with mini-bars, and making their in-room signs humorous and irreverent (ex. each one is headed "Stupid Sign No...), but it's not change for the sake of it. They have really struck the right balance between providing the extras people actually want, and cutting back on the things they don't. For me, the most important thing was to get a good night's sleep before battle commenced again the following day, as well as the efficiency of check-in and check-out. Trust me, when you roll up at 4:30am after sixteen straight hours of hard bargaining, the last thing you want is some trainee in the graveyard slot pfaffing around trying to get your room sorted (Hilton Islington, take note!).
Staying at the Hilton up the road on a number of other nights (when the Hoxton wasn't available at short notice) provided an excellent contrast and reference point, and pound for pound on value, service and facilities, the Hoxton would win every time. It doesn't have a gym or pool of its own, but you can use a local partner for a fiver, its location on Great Eastern Street, near Old Street station gives it excellent transport links (Liverpool Street is also a 10 minute walk away), and the "Internet Café" in reception, which has a variety of different sized Apple Macs, is free to use (although they are always busy). Having experienced excellent and consistent quality, and value for money in nine of its 205 rooms, I can't recommend it highly enough.
The Hoxton Hotel
81 Great Eastern Street
London EC2A 3HU
020 7550 100
Check-in from 14:00
Check-Out at Noon
Late check-out at £5 per hour until 16:00
Luggage storage available
Front entrance is NOT in Congestion Zone
Rear Entrance (Willow Street) IS in Congestion Zone
There is no on-site parking
All major credit cards accepted
Room service available (though very limited overnight)
© Hishyeness 2011
Like many other reviewers of this hotel I stayed here for £1. I managed to get a room in the Hoxton Hotel sale that happens a couple of times a year where a number of rooms are sold for either £1 or £29. Considering the normally daily rate is around £149 I was looking forward to this visit very much.
It is located in Shoreditch and so we caught the tube to Old Street station found the correct street on the map and walked along until we found it. Coming out of this station the second time we got a little lost. There are many exits and even though I was sure we had the right one we hadn't. So remember to look for a landmark incase you find yourself in a similar position!
We checked in (I was a little embarrassed at what I was paying) and were directed to our room. The room seemed a little on the small side but it was still fine and I was very happy. The bed was big with big rock, paper, scissor cushions and there was a small couch and chair. In one of the drawers in the desk were different cards explaining the facilities of the hotel. It offered free Wi-Fi and there were also computers in the reception you could use instead. Also free was one hour worth of international phone calls! The mini-bar contained some complimentary milk and water which was a nice touch.
The bathroom was decorated in dark colours along with the rest of the room and had one of those big rain showers and free toiletries including a full-sized pears soap which they encouraged you to take back with you.
I slept extremely well that night as the bed, quilt (duck) and pillows were so comfy.
The next morning I opened the door to collect our breakfast which had been hung in a little alcove by our door. Breakfast is included and you leave out the card the night before to choose what time. You get an orange juice, banana and a granola yogurt however the banana was the only thing I ate as I don't like juice with bits and the yogurt was definitely not to my taste!
We didn't eat here but the restaurant was open plan with you being able to see the chefs cooking. When you walk into the hotel you could actually think you had walked into a restaurant instead as it didn't look like a normal restaurant in a hotel and it was all a little dark! There was also an open courtyard in the middle of the hotel.
I really enjoyed staying at this hotel but it is not something I would pay the full price for. Not because it isn't worth it, but because I would not pay that much for a hotel (especially one that wasn't central) if I could avoid it. But if this is your budget or you get one of the special offer rooms then I have no doubt you will have a great stay here.
For more information visit www.hoxtonhotels.com
I have just come back from a stay at The Hoxton Hotel in London and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I managed to get one of the elusive £1 rooms in the Hoxton Hotel sale. If you've never heard of this, then I definitely recommend signing up for the email reminders. Basically, several times a year the hotel make 5 rooms available per night over a 3 month period for £1 and 5 rooms per night at £29. This is a huge saving- I have just looked at prices and on an equivalent Saturday night in September it costs £149!!! It is very very difficult to get hold of the cheap rooms as I think (according to the website) thousands of people try to grab a bargain. It sure is one!
Anyhow, the hotel is 2 tube stops away from the main railway stations of King Cross/ St Pancras at Old Street. There is not so much around the hotel, although if you walk straight down the road that it is on there are lots of nice restaurants and bars (though we didn't try any).
The hotel's entrance welcomes you with small trees either side of the door, and though inside it is quite dark, I think this adds to the atmosphere and the luxury of the hotel. The hotel also boasts its own bar and grill- we did not try this but there was a price list in the room and the prices were reasonable (this coming from a northerner down south!)
There were two staff on reception, they were both very welcoming and checked us in with ease. We arrived at the hotel particularly early, 10.30am, and had rang earlier to confirm we could leave our luggage whilst we did some sight-seeing. We were very lucky that our hotel room was ready for use so we could properly unpack before we went on a wander :-)
Our room was on the second floor, accessible by lifts. The corridors again seemed quite dimly lit but it added to the luxury of the hotel rather than it seeming seedy.
The room was really nice, it was small but to be honest if you are using a hotel room to sleep then you don't need lots of space. As you walk in the door (in our room), on the right was the bathroom which had a hug shower- it was great! Hot, ran fast and the towels provided were lovely and soft. The tiling was all black too, and it was nice and clean- very pleasing! The hotel also provided mini shower gel and shampoo and a large bar of Pear's soap.
The room featured a mini fridge- which was stocked with complimentary bottles of water and milk, a tv with several choices of channels, a full length mirror, a hairdryer, kettle, cups/saucers and complimentary tea and coffee. My boyfriend accessed the free wi-fi on his ipod an said this was really good too. The room has a double bed- which was very comfy and had one of the best hotel nights sleep ever! There was also a chaise-longue type settee.
There was a small paper bag which you filled in how many people was in your room and at what time you would like breakfast. This was hung on the door before we went to bed and at 9am (when we'd specified) a light breakfast of fruit, yogurt and juice was waiting at our door- I thoroughly enjoyed this though the natural yogurt was too bitter for my boyfriends taste!
Check-out was at 12pm, we left a little earlier and the staff were very pleasant and wished us well.
The only negative thing I can say about our stay was that our room faced on to other hotel rooms which was circular around an outdoor terrace- the view wasn't an issue but there was a little noise from the terrace in the evening that may keep a light sleeper awake.
Overall I enjoyed my bargain £1 room stay!
Having stayed in London three times in the last three years, my choices then were based on hotels near the London Marathon start, so I could have an easy travel to the start, so when we were due to go down in London for a hen do, I decided I wanted something more fun as a base.
Having researched some hotels on the internet, we chose to stay at The Hoxton Urban Lodge. It has had some good reviews written on the internet and their website looked good also. Having to book it beforehand though, meant that we had to pay for the rooms in advance, which cost us about £100 per room, with two people staying in each. This meant that we couldn't wait for one of their £1 sales, when they sell a night in the hotel for the princely sum of £1 (visit their website and register your email address for updates). But still, it was booked and we travelled down.
Arriving from the train station (we came from Liverpool Street Station and it cost us about £5 in a taxi), we walked in through the front doors and entered the lobby. It was bright and spacious, with seating areas filled with what looked like very comfortable, squashy sofas. Checking in was nice and easy and, as we'd arrived after the 2pm check-in time, we didn't have to wait for our rooms.
Despite having all made the bookings together, each room we'd booked was on a different floor. Which meant that we could at least see each floor, which was interesting, as each floor was lit in a different colour. Anyway, the room. Each room was basically the same and was nothing special really. There are either twin or double rooms to choose from when you book, although the double rooms only have a queen-sized bed rather than a double. The redeeming feature in the rooms was the cushions. They were fantastic! Big square cushions, with 'rock', 'paper' or 'scissors' on with the relevant hand gestures. I loved them and they were certainly different.
Once we'd checked in and got settled, it was time for dinner. We chose to eat in the hotel restaurant as it was convenient. There are two sections in the restaurant, with one section having booth-type seating and one section being a more formal dining area. As there were eight of us, we chose the booths, as we could all sit at the same table. We ordered from the 'Bites and Tubs' menu, which consists of little dishes similar to a meze, which costs £10 for five dishes. This was delicious, with items such as calamari, sausages, garlic bread, potato wedges and chicken skewers.
The atmosphere in the restaurant was nice and relaxed and as it's connected to the bar, it's an easy transition between the two (we were on a hen do - what do you expect??!). The bar area has varied seating, including the squashy sofas and yes, they were very comfortable indeed! There's also a round 'beer garden', in that the hotel in built with a hole in the centre so that there's an open air bit within the hotel, where people can smoke. This area is very nice, with old fashioned chairs and tables which are also very comfortable, and it's nice to be sat in the open air, surrounded by trees and plants, yet still sheltered from any wind.
The bar can be quite expensive, as we found out after returning from our night out, when the hen decided to order eight shots. The barman decided to give her shots that cost £9 each and they certainly didn't look as though they had THAT much alcohol in them! Luckily, we managed to haggle them down a little. Well, a lot. So do be careful if going to the bar after a night out.
For breakfast the next morning, we opted for the Lite Pret Breakfast, which is included in the room price. There's a brown paper bag on the side in the room and leaving that on your room door handle means that it's delivered to your room in the morning. It consists of an orange juice, a banana and a granola yogurt pot. The yogurt pot is pretty disgusting, but if you like that sort of thing, you may like it. There's also water and fresh milk left in the room fridge, which is also included in the cost of the room and which I felt was a nice touch.
If you want anything else, there's a mini-supermarket across the road which sells pretty much everything. The hotel is on a red (no stopping) route, so it can be quite difficult to get across the road. There are also lots of restaurants and bars nearby, easily within walking distance. The closest tube station is Old Street, which is on the Northern Line and gives you easy access to any tube station.
But my impressions of the hotel are that it all comes together as a whole and it works. It's a great base for groups of people, couples, families, anybody. The décor is captivating if a little tatty and the hotel is a million miles from the usual hotel chains (not in distance though, it's actually situated in the City of London, near to Old Street tube station). It's definitely somewhere I'd stay again, although hopefully next time with a £1 rather than a £100 price tag. I'd even consider it when I next do the London Marathon and just have a longer journey to the start, and that's saying something!
A big 5* thumbs up from me!
PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a review of the hotel itself, as I have NEVER stayed there. This is a more general review of it as a business, particularly its website.
I have heard from a number of people that the Hoxton Hotel often does £1 room sales, and that if you can bag a room, they're great. I'm sure they are. What's not so great is that the "competition" (which it essentially is - the winner takes all) is NOT actually open to all.
Allow me to explain. I tried today, to book a £1 room. They release the £1 rooms at 12:00 noon exactly. I was online from 11.30. First, I checked my clock against GMT, to make sure I wasn't late.
Then I cleared all cookies and temp internet files, then private data, using Firefox.
I thought I'd done everything you could do to ensure a chance at booking this bargain.
I had two browser windows open.
The only link for hoxton hotels that worked this morning, took you to a page with a large timer counting down to 12:00. There was a tab for "Normal Bookings" - obviously not for me then, and the tab for "January Sale" - the timer, an FAQs tab, a T&Cs tab, and an advice tab on how to book. No link, no button, no tab saying "Click here to book a room".
I'd even been on the website the night before to check out the system. I thought I had it down. The system had changed entirely.
And so I waited until 12:00, hitting refresh every few seconds to make sure nothing had changed. 12:00 arrived. The counter re-set to 24:00:00 and started another countdown. Refreshed again and again, and again. Nothing. Tried the normal bookings - no cheap deals there.
Finally, having navigated away from the page and then back on to it, 15 minutes later, I get a message to say that all the rooms sold out in 13 minutes. So, basically a PR scam then. If they won't even give you a chance to have a go, it's like telling a child there's a race, with a great prize, then locking them in the car half an hour beforehand.
But that's not it. No, no. I did some more research. I was angry, and I wanted to know who to be angry with. The man who runs the hotel is Sinclair Beecham (no, that's apparently a real name). He also runs Pret a Manger, with his business partner Julian Metcalfe. Pret, I hear you say. That sandwich shop that prides itself on freshness, naturalness, ethically-sourced-ness of food? Yup, that one. The one that claims to be 'obsessed with providing good, natural food'....
The one that is 33% owned by McDonalds. Yes, £25 million squids will buy you a share in a "good, natural" food outlet, if you are a big greasy burger chain. Seems totally logical and above board to me.
So, the advertising slogan for Hoxton, which rather charmingly is "a no bullshit hotel", well I'm not sure what bovine excrement means to you Mr Beecham, but perhaps you need to spend more time on the farm. Smells terrible to me.
I managed to get a room in the famous £1 sale and it coincided with an event I was travelling down to London for anyway.
Despite it being located in a very unassuming area, I actually found this even more of an appealing feature; a nice, luxurious haven in a bustling part of London that is a little edgy.
The reception area looks modern, trendy and cool, and checkin was easy. I was located in a 2nd floor room and was able to find it easily, and I took my free broadsheet newspaper up with me.
The room is of a modest but not too small or cramped size. There is everything you need, and more, and the design makes maximum use of the space.
It is rare to find a room with a hairdryer so I was grateful to have one at my disposal as it saves a lot of room in my bag. There were various drinks, to be had as well as some milk and bottled water in the mini fridge.
The bathroom was gorgeous and I really appreciated the Aveda products and the soap which came home with me. The shower is powerful yet unlike some similarly powerful ones it's not aggressive.
My favourite feature was the massive bed which was sinfully soft and comfortable and which I could barely manage to leave. The free Wifi was also very welcome.
The decor of the room was cool and tasteful and very relaxing. I did not make use of the bar but I did enjoy the free breakfast, which was worth more than the cost of the room; a little bag from Pret A Manger containing a banana, a pot of granola, fruit and yoghurt, and a bottle of fresh orange juice.
Overall, I would stay here again for certain and would even consider paying full price (or at least the £59 rooms). I aim to get myself another stay in their next "sale." Fastest finger first!!
We recently stayed in the Hoxton Hotel a few weeks ago after getting it in one of their £1 sales (I'll come on to that later) and we loved every minute of it!
The hotel itself is still fairly new and calls itself an 'Urban Lodge'. It only opened in late 2006 and for a long time was booked up solid due to a lot of good reviews from the press and customers who managed to get a room there.
It is located just by Old Street station with exit 3 being no more than a few minutes walk to the hotel. For anyone who has ever been to Club Aquarium (where the 'Car Wash' event often happens) then it is slightly further round the road from that. Old street itself is on the Northern line so to get into the centre of London you will need to change but that is no problem. The actual area around the hotel seems to be a very fashionable area with numerous boutiques around and a few trendy restaurants and bars. The area does seem a tad worn down but I'm told it is up and coming so we will see what it is like in a few years. I would say that we didn't manage to find a cash point near by that didn't charge you for withdrawals so it might be an idea to take some cash to save you being charged a fee to take money out. There is a cash point in the hotel but I didn't see if it was free or not.
Once you walk in the hotel the first thing you will notice is a VW Golf Mark 4 that has been chopped in half and the two back ends of the car have been stuck together to make one very interesting sight! To the right of the entrance is the bar area where they also have the restaurant. To the left are the check in desks, lifts and computers to use the internet.
Check in was very simple and the staff were very polite. The member quickly gave us our key and told us where to go for the room. Our particular room was on the 6th floor which is the top floor. Before we entered the room we noticed that each room number had a purple illumination behind it which gave it a very nice feel. The whole décor in the halls and lift were also very modern and trendy.
When we got into the room we were amazed at how nice the room was. There was a lovely double bed there with 3 big cushions on it and each one had either paper, rock or scissors written on it with the appropriate hand gesture as well. There was also a flat screen TV on the wall which extended outwards so that you could watch TV while in bed. There was also a safe, air conditioning, little sofa, desk and fridge which included a free pint of milk and two free bottles of water. These were to go with the tea and coffee which were in the room. There were also 2 cups and 4 wine glasses as well as a corkscrew in the room. Again, the décor of the room was very trendy with a plain coloured walls which had some light drawings of London scenes on it mixed with dark objects such as the desk, bed and TV cabinet thing.
The bathroom was lovely and was exactly how I'd decorate mine if I could! The whole thing had brown tiles with granite tops and this was complimented by the white toilet and sink as well as the silver fixtures and fittings. There was also no light on the ceiling, instead they obviously decided that they would go for more subtle look and the lights are on the side on the main mirror which illuminate the room well. The shower was the bit I loved. The actual shower unit bit was massive. You could comfortably fit 2 people in there and not be cramped. The shower itself was a large head on the ceiling so the water fell vertically and was lovely. It also had plenty of pressure which I personally loved! The mirror was also a self demisting one which meant that no matter how hot the shower was the mirror would never get misty.
With each room you are also given a small breakfast. For this you need to fill in a little carrier bag and hang it on the outside of your door at night and they will fill it up for you. In my case I got a yoghurt, banana and a small orange juice from Pret a Manger which was very nice.
The TV in each room is fairly nice. I believe it is about 26" and has the usual free TV channels including 1-5, ITV and the usual news channels. For £7.50 you can also purchase various films. There is free internet TV and there is a keyboard in one of the draws to help you but I didn't use it so have no idea if it is any good.
As you'd expect each room also comes with free towels, soap, hair dryer and free wi-fi connection which is handy.
We had a nice big window in our room but it was facing the other half of the building which meant we had no view at all and had to be careful if changing to close the curtains otherwise people could have had a look in. This was a big annoying but we weren't bothered considering what we paid for the room.
Downstairs there is the main restaurant and bar area. We didn't try the restaurant but we had a look and the prices seemed fairly reasonable but the menu did seem to be a bit limited.
During the evening we decided to stay in the hotel and have a drink as there was not a great deal around there and we felt most comfortable in the hotel. We found a seat in the bar and there was a waitress offering table service which we used. Be warned though, they charge a fair whack for service (about 12%) when it might be easier for you to get up and go to the bar. The wine list was fairly good and reasonable. We got a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio for £19.50 which was a middle of the price range white wine. There was also a good cocktail menu and it is quite fun to watch them make the cocktails. A DJ was also in the bar playing some quite chilled out music which made the atmosphere nice. Owe to it being a Saturday night, the bar was busy at least until 1am which is the point at which we went back to our room. Again, the whole bar/restaurant area kept in the style of the whole hotel and was very trendy and well decorated. The lighting was very gentle and there were 2 fireplaces which was very nice. There was also a good level of people in the bar so that it wasn't cramped but it wasn't empty.
One thing the hotel doesn't have is its own fitness area. This, however, isn't a problem as for £5 you can have access to the local gyms fitness activities which include a 25m swimming pool, sauna and steam room. This gym is no more than a 5 minute walk from the hotel so its very convenient.
Finally onto the best bit, every 3 months of so the Hoxton hotel has a £1 sale where they release 5 rooms per night at £1 to be booked over a 3 month period. For example, they had a sale in April where you could book rooms between 1 May - 31 July. They only have 500 rooms available so you need to be quick. They recently had another sale for 1 August - 31 October and all the rooms sold out in about 20 minutes. At the same time as the £1 sale, they also offer a further 500 rooms at £29 so in total there are 1000 rooms on sale for up to £29 which is pretty good considering you'd be looking to pay about £100 for a normal room. In order to find out about the sale, just go onto the website and sign up to be on their mailing list and you will be told about the sale a few days before it is due to start. A word of warning though if you are going for the sale, make sure you are at your computer at the time the sale starts as you need to be very quick to get these rooms.
Our experience of the Hoxton was brilliant and it's just a shame we did not manage to get another room in the sale. There was nothing for us to complain about and I'd probably be happy to pay full price to stay there again. I will definitely be recommending it to any family or friends who are looking for a hotel.
For more information (and pictures of the hotel for you to see how nice it is) see the website: