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We said last week that Amsterdam was having a hotel moment, and the race between two of its biggest arrivals this year, only a few minutes’ walk between them, is officially on. The Hoxton was first with a select few photos of some its very handsome rooms projected for “summer” this year. The W countered with a slew of renderings and a “September” opening.
Both have been withholding reservations so far, but The Hoxton has gone out and put the countdown right on its website, with now less than 50 days until bookings open. In fact, unless our math is way off, reservations should open on April 1. We’ll assume that’s not a joke, and further assume that The Hoxton will open first and at cheaper rates, unless the W pulls a rabbit out of a hat (on the rates front, we don’t think that will ever happen).
Q: Which hotel group expressed solidarity with the Paris terror attacks by adding its name to the #jesuischarlie campaign?
A: Probably lots of them.
Q: Which hotel group tried to piggy-back into people’s minds on the back of the Paris terror attacks by tagging photos of its new hotel with #jesuischarlie in an attempt as clumsy as it is offensive to use a global movement of solidarity as a marketing tool?
A: This may surprise you – it was everyone’s favorite East London hipsters at The Hoxton.
Yesterday, as the eagle-eyed Evening Standard noticed, the Hoxton posted a couple of photos of its forthcoming Paris property to its Facebook page. They looked pretty wonderful, actually. But the caption was less so:
Talk about our prayers being answered: when we looked at the canvas Hoxton Hotels would be working with for its Amsterdam hotel, we said no one would regret the departure of the awfully bland rooms of the former Rembrandt Classic Hotel.
Not only did a recent walk by the canal-side hotel confirm that gone they are, with the interior stripped down to its bare bones, here are some photos of the seriously good-looking rooms Hoxton will have for us come summer 2015. It’s a very masculine mix of dark herringbone floors, exposed beams, what looks like appropriate Vermeer blue on the walls (like we saw at Waldorf Astoria, further south on the same canal), solid wooden desk, a bit of leather on the chair, and a pop of mustard on the stool. If Hoxton can give us all this at the right price, it may knock out both the Waldorf Astoria and the equally-hyped W Hotel.
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Shoreditch High Street from the Ace rooftop
Introducing our handy hotel guides--HotelChatter's Must Stay Hotels--where we pick four hotels for four different types of travelers in a particular neighborhood of one major city. We’re rounding up the last few weeks with a stop in east London. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.
Looking for a hotel in London? You can troll online review sites, crowdsource on Facebook and comb through endless “Best Hotels” lists but why do all that when we’ve done all the work for you already?
Here are four different hotels to try in east London. So whether you’re going for pleasure or work and whether you’ve got cash to throw around or have pennies to count, these hotels will fulfill your needs. One common thread running through these hotel picks? They have all free WiFi. So during your stay, you can write us a thank you email for the recommendation.
Yesterday, we told you how to find Chicken Shop, the new underground restaurant at the Hoxton Holborn. Today, we’re talking what to order (apologies in advance for the photos, it's very, very dark underground).
In a way, there’s not much advice to give, because the menu at Chicken Shop is limited. Very limited – your options for your main course are:
· A quarter chicken (£4.50)
· A half chicken (£8.50)
· A whole chicken (£15)
To jazz it up, there are sides, which all cost £4. These are:
· Crinkle cut fries
· Corn on the cob
· Butter lettuce and avocado salad
There’s no wine list – your choices are “house”, “decent” or “good” – by the glass or jug. There are four beers on draught, and four (plus a cider) in bottles. Food is served on enamel plates, wine in battered jugs. The whole thing sounds overly simple, and it is. But it is one of the best overly simple meals you’ll have had in ages.
The chicken is free range, from a named farm (Banham’s) in Norfolk. It’s marinated overnight, steamed, then stuck on a rotisserie spit and cooked over charcoal. They chop it up with machetes at the open-plan kitchen, hurl on some extra seasoning as they plate up, and bam, it’s on the way to your table. This is very fast (almost too fast) restaurant food – ours arrived within a couple of minutes of ordering.
You might have heard of Chicken Shop, the ever so trendy (but tiny) restaurant chain owned by the people behind Soho House. You might have heard that its fourth London outpost opened this weekend in the Hoxton Holborn. You might pop along to the Hox, and stride confidently past the people flooding the open-plan bar and lobby area, towards the restaurant at the back.
“Is this the Chicken Shop?” you might ask the perfectly made up, beautifully dressed ladies looking you quizzically up and down at the restaurant entrance. And they will say: no.
You see, the restaurant in the lobby is Hubbard & Bell, “dishing up Brooklyn grill style grub”, as the website says. Chicken Shop, on the other hand, is an underground restaurant. As in, it’s actually underground. And unmarked. And the closest to a secret restaurant you will get in the London hotel scene.
Are you ready to get busy with hotel openings, London? Before the month is out, we’ll have the Beaumont, Mondrian at Sea Containers, and, as first of the pack, you can now check out The Hoxton Holborn in all its east-meets-midtown glory.
We ran over to the hotel on opening day yesterday for a quick wander around its ground floor lobby and restaurants, which we last saw a month ago as raw spaces. Above the entrance, just this side of the divide between the two divergent buildings that make up the hotel. If you’re in the area, there’s a 50% off promotion running at the restaurants until tomorrow, Saturday the 27th. A few more shots below.
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Having just taken you inside The Hoxton Holborn, opening on September 25, we’re continuing as promised with an update on the international expansion of the brand, which will include Amsterdam, New York, and Paris within the next two years.
First up is The Hoxton Amsterdam, which as we looked at earlier this year will open in what was the Rembrandt Classic Hotel on the city’s Herengracht canal. While our January snap showed guests walking in and out, the hotel has been closed since April for its much-needed renovation to Hoxton standards. Opening should be in 2015.
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Having opened reservations earlier this summer, the Hoxton Holborn is now just a month away from opening, with the official date being September 25. Not only did we hear that directly from the hotel, we also had a chance to step inside and see for ourselves how the east London favorite travels to a midtown environment.
Above a snap from inside a Cosy Room, the third category out of four. While the 174 rooms differ in size (Shoebox, Snug, Cosy, Roomy), all share the same design and features, like the wood-and-leather headboard you see here.
It looks like Holborn will have to settle for one out of two when it comes to new hotels this year: citizenM might have been pushed back to 2015, but The Hoxton Holborn has just opened up reservations from mid-October, still promising a “late summer” arrival for the group’s second London hotel.
A live reservation system comes with a first few renderings of the public spaces (above the suitably vintage-meets-industrial lobby) and a little more information about the hotel’s 174 rooms. Good news first? While small (about 130 sq ft), we can see entry-level “Shoebox” rooms from £79 ($135) – that’s under $150 dollars a night for a central, stylish London hotel. Hurrah!
Reading isn’t the first thing we’d imagine the cool kids of Shoreditch doing of an evening, but clearly we’ve underestimated their literary aspirations – because tonight the Hoxton Hotel launches its new book club.
Not just any book club, either – it’s in association with Elle magazine and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (AKA the former Orange Prize).
The club starts off with Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth – who will be there in person to give a reading, answer questions and lead the club discussion in the courtyard garden.
Sadly it’s not free, even for guests – tickets cost £20 (and have sold out for tonight). They do, though, include a signed copy of the book in question, a year’s Elle subscription, canapés and a tipple of Baileys.
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Rosewood London may have dominated headlines for the past six months as the new kid on the block in Holborn (sorry Boris, we’re still not down with calling it ‘Midtown’), but this year should see two new hotels opening in the same area, albeit in a very different segment: citizenM and Hoxton, both representing the much appreciated wave of stylish but affordable options that most cities need more of.
It’s also seconds for both when it comes to the British capital: citizenM Bankside is a twenty-minute walk across the river, and Hoxton Shoreditch has been doing its things just east of the Old Street roundabout for eight years. We walked past both hotels to check out what the buildings are like and how construction is coming along.