by Calum Donoghue, 28 July 2015
Londoners looking for a last minute staycation look no further than Shoreditch’s simple but stylishly quirky Hoxton Hotel. QH checked in using the Booking.com app on iWatch…
The staycation has risen in popularity over the last five years with the holiday at home ethos seeing Brits in particular staying within the country for a vacation. Now it is the own-city staycation that is seeing townies taking a mini-holiday on their own doorstep. Convinced I have a nagging wonderlust gene, there is nothing I enjoy more than the thrill of stepping aboard a flight and discovering a new city, so staying overnight in a city I work and live was slightly alien to me.
Planning a staycation never works. It needs to be spontaneous decision, when a much needed getaway is in order. This is where a last minute booking app comes in handy. Our friends at Booking.com launched their app for iWatch earlier this year (read our review of the app here) and sent one to the QH team to see how we faired booking a staycation using Apple's latest invention. Once synced with my iPhone I began to have a play and, with some guidance from my Tech Editor, soon got the hang of the wrist wear technology.
The choice to visit The Hoxton hotel came when my iWatch arrived at the office. Having had the Hoxton Grill, the restaurant on the ground floor, on the to-try list, a stay at the hotel seemed like a good alternative. A couple of simple taps on the iWatch using the Booking.com app and the booking was made, simple and even faster than my iPhone. The following day, a short 15 minute Uber ride from the QH HQ in Islington allowed me some time to play with my newly acquired iWatch.
With the Silicone Roundabout on its doorstep the hotel is bound to attract young entrepreneurs searching for an outpost to brainstorm their next start up. As I walk in, the low relaxed seating is full to capacity with the bar crowded with a young buzzing energy. I make my way to reception and I'm greeted by a smiling bearded gentleman in a jean shirt and bright Nikies, a similar style seen on all those working at the hotel. No stuffy hotel uniforms here.
Following a short walk down the florecent lit corridor I reach my dark blue compact room, with a simple but stylishly quirky design. Very much in keeping with the renowned Shoreditch ethos, emphasised by the electro music automatically playing on the room’s radio.
In the corner of the oddly shaped room is a comfy leather armchair where I sit checking emails waiting for my guest to arrive. I could have made use of the handy desk underneath a large flatscreen TV, which I can imagine may come in useful with the creatives visiting London. Once my guest arrives I get ready for dinner, making use of the large oval mirror to check the outfit before heading out.
Just up the road from Liverpool Street and Brick Lane, our options to eat are endless. A victim to my own laziness we play it safe and head to Hache, a three-minute walk from the hotel. The falafel with blue cheese was my burger of choice, and faultless in flavour. Following a few cocktails, our evening ends back at the hotel, falling asleep watching 90s horror films. Somewhat of an ideal evening.
Our room was priced at £159, which, considering our late booking, is extremely reasonable. The hotel in its entirety has a powerful individuality which attracts both the creative traveller looking to explore London’s East and the staycationers seeking a last minute at home holiday. To book a stay QH recommends using the Booking.com app due to its user-friendly simplicity.