Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hotel Review: The Hoxton Hotel

I stay at room 108 (a double room) of The Hoxton Hotel from 29 to 31 January, 2010. The first night costs 99 pounds while the second night costs 129 pounds.

The Good:

1. Stylish interior (pictured left).

2. Friendly staff.

3. Good location. The hotel is situated in Shoreditch, perhaps still the most edgy part of London. The Hoxton Square (where the White Cube contemporary art gallery is located with other trendy bars and cafes around) is within a few minutes by walk. Ten minutes or more take you to Brick Lane, the place to go for boho types (and Bengali curry lovers). For access to central London, Old Street tube station is five minutes away by walk. After the tube stops running at half past midnight, you can go back to the hotel from the city center by night bus easily (N35 from Tottenham Court Road, N55 from Oxford Circus, 243 from Aldwych).

4. The bed room is equipped with the not-so-touristy list of places to go in the Shoreditch area, which is also available on the website.

5. Not only is the Wireless broadband access available for free but also you don't need to enter any password to obtain access. Simple is the best.

6. Breakfast at the restaurant in the lobby, The Hoxton Grill (pictured above), is superb, if a bit pricey. I tried full breakfast (which includes black pudding) on the first morning. Even baked beans (which I don't really like) tasted good. I had pancake and bacon with maple syrup in the second morning. I expected an American pancake, but it was better than that. While the center part of pancakes is soft, the edge of pancakes is crispy and soaked in maple syrup. Yummy. For freshly squeezed juice, they serve not only orange juice (which every hotel does) but also pink grapefruit juice and watermelon juice. If you don't have time for breakfast or don't want to spend money, don't worry. A banana, a cup of yogurt, and freshly squeezed orange juice can be ordered for free at your preferred time. Since the bed room is equipped with an electric kettle (the common sense in UK but unfortunately not in other countries), Twinings tea bags (not Earl Grey or stupid flavored tea but proper black tea), and fresh milk in the fridge, you can have a hearty cup of milk tea right after you wake up, too. Very nice.

7. Two bottles of mineral water and a bottle of fresh milk are available in the fridge for free every day. There are no other unnecessary drinks in the fridge. But who need them? The front desk sells them for those who really need them.

8. The wake-up call can be snoozed once. (There's no alarm clock in the room.)

9. The soap bar provided in the bathroom smells very nice.

10. The dryer is provided in the bed room by default (in the desk drawer).

11. There are four electric sockets above (not below) the desk. One for the kettle, one for your laptop, one for your mobile phone charger, and still there's one extra.

12. Even though the ground floor lobby becomes a noisy bar after dark, bed rooms on the first floor remain quiet.

13. Wittiness. The invoice is entitled with "THE DAMAGE". On the bed room door, the instruction to use the safety box is entitled "Boring message number five" (I failed to find other four messages) and declares that they spend 175 pounds (if I remember correctly) for the safety box. The "Don't Disturb" door hanger instead reads: "Go Away."

The Bad:
Slightly tricky to arrive from airports except if you fly in to Gatwick (then you simply go to London Bridge station by train and change to the Northern Line for Old Street station).

The Ugly:

Nothing in particular.

Verdict: For a weekend city break in London, this is the ideal hotel for you.

No comments: