Hotel check: Hoxton Holborn

BACKGROUND

Opened in September, this is the “luxury budget” brand’s second hotel, joining the Hoxton Shoreditch, which opened in 2006.

Others are scheduled to open in Amsterdam, Paris and New York in the next two years.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

The 174-room hotel is housed in a Grade II Listed building that was formerly a telephone exchange. Nevertheless, the sleek and simple design gives it a contemporary feel, despite furnishings that hark back to the 1960s.

The large, open-plan lobby has a reception desk to the left and a bar and restaurant to the right, with armchairs and sofas dotted around low coffee tables. Free newspapers and magazines are available, and there are three Mac computers.

Wifi is free throughout and there is a complimentary printing service. Staff were welcoming and helpful.

WHERE IS IT?

On High Holborn, a short walk from Holborn Tube station.

ROOM FACILITIES

There are four room categories – Shoebox (12 sqm), Snug (14 sqm), Cosy (18 sqm) and Roomy (23 sqm). Each provides the same facilities.

I was staying in a Roomy on the first floor with a view over High Holborn. Double-glazed windows ensured it was quiet despite being next to a busy road.

The room was comfortable, with a wooden floor, a grey rug, a large mounted mirror and framed artwork. The walls were painted white except for two black pillars between the three windows.

There was a king-size bed with UK plug sockets and reading lamps on either side, a small round work table and a leather armchair. A mini-fridge contained bottled water and milk for tea and coffee. A lobby shop sells snacks at “high street prices”.

Other features included a high-definition TV, a Roberts digital radio, a safe and near-silent air conditioning. There was no iron or ironing board, but a call to housekeeping saw these delivered in five minutes.

The small black-and-white tiled bathroom had a walk-in shower with both traditional and rain showerheads, and Pen and Ink toiletries.

Each room is entitled to one hour of free phone calls to landlines (including international) per night. Room service is available from 7am to 11pm. Check-out is at midday but guests can stay until 4pm at an hourly cost of £5.

Two drawbacks in my room were the lighting – which was very dim with no ceiling fixtures – and the size, which I found small despite being the largest room category.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

The Hubbard and Bell grill restaurant next to the lobby is open all day, while Chicken Shop – from Nick Jones, the man behind Soho House – and espresso bar Holborn Grind are located on either side of the hotel. Guests can also order a breakfast bag containing yoghurt and granola, a banana and orange juice.

The bar has a DJ on Thursday to Saturday nights – for this reason, those seeking a hotel with quiet public areas might be advised to stay elsewhere.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES

Run in collaboration with Soho House, the Apartment on the ground floor has six individually designed meeting rooms and an open-plan kitchen. These can become one space that holds 250 people standing.

LEISURE FACILITIES

None, although the hotel has a discount deal with the nearby Gymbox.

VERDICT

A well-designed contemporary hotel, Hoxton Holborn is in a good central location for business travellers keen to avoid the more staid corporate brands.

FACT FILE

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? 174 – 17 Shoebox, 60 Snug, 75 Cosy and 22 Roomy.
  • HIGHLIGHTS The timeless design with a 1960s touch and the friendly service.?
  • PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in March started from £119 per night for a Shoebox room.?
  • CONTACT 199-206 High Holborn, London; tel +44 (0)20 7661 3000; thehoxton.com


Graham Smith
 


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