Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hoxton Hotel

Living in 4 corners of the world has its upsides. You get to experience new places in new ways – with your kids – in their habitat, not as a tourist. Youngest son Danis has recently moved from South London to Shoreditch, a friendly, arty area popular with artists and musicians, Ro visited him in London recently and he recommended she stay at the Hoxton Hotel on Great Eastern Street. Here’s Ro’s Hoxton Hotel rag…..

I was very pleasantly surprised when I checked-in. The Hotel is called an Urban Lodge – where urban living meets country lodge lounging. The reception/bar/dining area is just one big, very cool, welcoming space. The style is hip/industrial – cool music, brick walls, wooden floors, but with very funky touches – an Evening Standard metal freestanding newspaper box, normally found on the street, but now in the foyer with the morning and evening newspapers and an ATM machine (very handy and avoids the risk of a fraudulent camera recording transactions). Nightly, expensive, mini bar raids have been replaced by the “larder” at the reception where you can stock up on chocolate and snacks at retail prices.

The room have been thoughtfully and artfully designed, murals of the London skyline are etched into the walls, a very comfortable bed with frette sheets and three lovely cushions depicting rock, paper and scissors, a leather settee and a user-friendly console with a desk and plasma TV, Wifi and tea making facilities. Great bathrooms of black granite with a huge power shower and Aveda toiletries. Nice little touches included the Hox Guide, a pocket-sized fold out booklet, which lists restaurants, bars/pubs, art, music, clubs, markets and shops in the area and an empty fridge save for milk to go with the tea-making facilities and a litre of water. Owned by Pret A Manger co-founder Sinclair Beecham – his mark had been stamped on the property by the very funky idea of giving each guest a small brown carrier bag on which you mark a time and number of guests in the room and hang it on the peg outside the door. Next morning, free of charge, there is a Pret a Manger orange juice, a pottle of muesli and fruit, and a banana – perfect to ward off those early morning hunger pangs.

Danis and I enjoyed a great dinner in the New York styled Hoxton Grill downstairs – I had a delicious “Old spot pork chop” and Danis tucked into a New York Strip with onion rings – perfect food, great friendly service and incredibly reasonable prices for London in such a great setting. On warmer evenings you can sit in the lovely outside atrium courtyard adjacent to the restaurant.

I did smile when I checked out and saw that my bill was called “The Damage” and actually, compared to London’s normal exorbitant prices, I didn’t think it was that much damage at all and was incredibly good value.

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