Having stayed once before, we went back to the Hoxton in May 2017. Always a buzzing place to meet friends and seemingly a hub for creatives and freelancers to work from as they fill the large lobby from window to window. The Hoxton Holborn (the sister hotel is in East London, in Shoreditch) gets it right for those after a modern, central and affordable stay.
With 174 rooms ranging in size (‘shoebox’, ‘cosy’ and ‘roomy’), it’s a decent size for somewhere so centrally located, and it seems to feel busy and bustling any time of night or day. But for those wanting a contemporary, breezy and efficient stay with straightforward, trendily honest service and trimmings (free breakfast, free bottles of water, well priced mini-bar), look no further. Even though you are right in the centre of Holborn the quality of the rooms (and the black out curtains too) makes it a quiet, serene stay.
We opted for a ‘cosy’ room given we only had a couple of nights in the city and it was absolutely perfect for us. The Hoxton share some welcome perks, such as complimentary water bottles either from reception or in your room, as well as fresh milk for that much needed morning bedside cuppa. In the room, there’s a quaint selection of Penguin books to choose from and a retro Roberts radio alongside the usual tit bits.
I really loved the decor of the room and am definitely inspired by their wallpaper (just need a house to wallpaper…), with simple blacks and whites and vintage influenced sketches of tea cups and London’s streets. We’ve stayed here before and our room was completely different so I love that each room has its own style and personality. Remember, some of these rooms can be teeny, so not much space for huge suitcases, but hey, for a quick central stopover who cares when you’re only a short stroll to Covent Garden and literally one minute from Holborn tube station.
The bathrooms are very modern and well fitted as you might expect, and although I’d never heard of Pen and Ink before (cockney for stink!) the toiletries were definitely high quality and smelt amazing.
The Hoxton are also proud of their ‘breakfast in a bag’ model, which does pretty much what it says on the tin (well, bag). You put the paper bag on the outside of your room the night before and check off if you don’t want anything from their simple menu. If you go for the whole lot you wake up the a banana, granola topped yoghurt and fresh orange juice swinging from your knocker. Perfect for those rushing to work needing to satisfy those quick hunger pangs, but not enough for those after a late night needing something more recovery inducing. That led us to order the bacon bap with poached eggs and homemade hash browns. The room service menu is fairly comprehensive and the service was good, meaning day or night you can always find something to satisfy the craving.
Although it’s a fairly large hotel that certainly feels the buzz of the crowd, the no frills quality and the upfront honesty of this place is really refreshing. A bottle of beer in the room is the same price as in a pub and not being taken for a ride makes a welcome change in a big city, along with the well designed, understated simplicity of the rooms and the ability to get a good nights sleep in the centre of London’s West End.
Tips and tricks
If you want a spot to work in the lobby, you’ve got to be beat the crowds, as lucky freelancers can take their places for the day from 8am.
Katy Hulands is a travel and lifestyle blogger and social media consultant for the hospitality sector. She started the Unwrapped Series to uncover those special places (and things) that deserve the spotlight.