Great British Boltholes: The Hoxton Holborn, London

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  • Hip, fun and affordable – here's a great new place to hang your hat in central London

    Hip, fun and affordable – here’s a great new place to hang your hat in central London

    Why go: When the first Hoxton Hotel opened in Shoreditch in 2006 it quickly made a name for itself with its fresh, cool and value-for-money style. Now the company is older and feeling broody. Last October it gave birth to this zestful new hotel in High Holborn, and in July a third Hoxton hotel will open in Amsterdam, with Paris and Brooklyn to follow. Stay here and you’ll soon see what all the buzz is about.

    Best for: Everyone from techies to party people to conference-goers to I’m-up-in-towners. Check in here and hotels become fun again. The lobby’s heaving, the restaurants lively, the designer-shirted staff on it. And there’s no fear of the odd joke – the toiletries are named after the Cockney slang for ‘stink’, the make-up-the-room sign says ‘I’ve been a mucky pup”, the bill is called The Damage…

    Hi Holborn: stay here and you’re in the heart of the capital

    The look: Once a telephone exchange, the 174 room hotel is set on five floors with accommodation in four self-explanatory sizes: Shoebox, Snug, Cosy and Roomie. They’re all smartly compact, with a large round mirror filling one wall (so you may get a fright in the morning) and entertaining wallpapers by Marcus James and Toby Triumph that resemble story book illustrations – the subject matter can be surprisingly savage. Bathrooms have glossy black and white tiles, and there are nice touches galore: vintage Penguin paperbacks, Roberts radio, 42 inch TV, complimentary water, fresh milk with tea/coffee facilities.

    Mirror, mirror: a ‘Roomie’ like this is as large as it gets
    at Hoxton Holborn

    I’m hungry: This is one hotel where you might well want to hang out – plenty of people come in to enjoy its large, wood-floored lobby decorated with industrial-size lamps and 60s Danish furniture. There’s a DJ in action on Thursday to Sunday evenings and the bar does a good line in intriguing cocktails (£9.50). Alongside this, the Hubbard & Bell restaurant (, usefully open till 2am, offers both long, communal bare wood tables and diner-style booths. The open kitchen serves satisfying fare ranging from a zingy red snapper carpaccio (£11) and lamb burger (£12) to Eton mess (£6). On the lower ground floor there’s a branch of Chicken Shop ( and you can also get the perfect coffee fix next door at Holborn Grind ( There’s room service too, while the nightly rate includes a breakfast bag hung on your door with OJ, granola and a banana – although we think a better option is to head down to Hubbard & Bell for a fine Full English (£10) or a set-you-up avocado on sourdough (£8).

    Let’s eat in: the dining room at Hubbard & Bell

    While you’re there: Get your nails, feet and make-up done at Cheeky (, which is right by the hotel, and it’s just a short walk to Covent Garden with its myriad beauty brands ( The hotel’s free Hoxtown Guide picks out the best places to go in the neighbourhood, such as the classic Princess Louise pub ( and cheese emporium Neals Yard Dairy ( Culture-wise, you’re right by the free-entry British Museum ( which seems overwhelming but is stuffed full of wonders – don’t miss the Africa galleries (Room 25). If you want to go further afield, grab one of the hotel’s four Hox bikes that are free for guests to use.

    National treasures: the Great Hall at the British Museum © visitlondonimages/britainonview

    Dress code: cool, relaxed, some tattoos and a MacBook Air would help.

    Book now: 199-206 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7BD (020 7661 3000; Double rooms cost from £69 including a snack breakfast. Wi-Fi is free, plus an hour of phone calls. Holborn is the nearest Underground station.

    Info: Time Out London (Time Out; £13.99) is a detailed guide to the capital, and pick up a copy of its free weekly listings magazine, out every Tuesday, to see what’s on when you visit ( For more hot and happening things to do see


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