Trendy, $ (From £99/$128)
London's creative class is ditching the pubs and heading to the Hoxton Holborn for the lively after-work bar and dining scene in its eclectic, hipster-chic lobby. A stone's throw from the Theatre District, Covent Garden, and Soho, the hotel — like the other outposts in the growing Hoxton chain — doubles as an affordable boutique retreat and a welcoming co-working space for entrepreneurs and permalancers. The cozy and retro rooms come in different sizes and serve modern traveler needs, with free WiFi, breakfast deliveries, and cloud-like beds. As a clever bonus, the hotel offers day rates for those who want the perks but don't need the overnight — ideal for afternoon nap and discreet assignations. (Why don't more hotels do this?) The in-house restaurants have an appropriately Brooklyn vibe, but the most charming feature may be the Holborn's affordable £99 starting rate, which is sure to delight cool Britannia visitors and stay-cationing locals.
At a Glance
The Vibe: A cozy and welcoming retreat for travelers and locals in London's cool Holborn neighborhood.
Standout Detail: Need a room just for the day or afternoon? The hotel offers "no questions asked" day rates from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include all the Hox Perks.
This Place Is Perfect For: Solo business travelers with meetings in the city and who want a bustling meeting/work space filled with young entrepreneurs and creative types. Budget-conscious London first-timers looking for a lively and hip vibes close to all of London's must-sees.
Rooms: 174 retro-style rooms come in four categories (from smallest to largest): Shoebox, Snug, Cozy, and Roomy. Nothing feels cramped, and the clever design prioritizes the plush bed for a good night's sleep (or whatever you want to do). Local illustrators designed bespoke wallpaper with scenes from Charles Dickens novels (the writer once lived in Holborn) and are complemented by artwork from students of Central St. Martins. Hox Perks include free WiFi, an hour of free international calls, a light breakfast basket delivered to your door each morning, minibars stocked with free water and fresh milk, and late checkout for just £5/hour.
On Site: Lively and welcoming communal lobby co-working space with comfy leather sofas, a coffee bar, lots of charging plugs, and cozy reading corners. For meetings, brainstorming sessions, photo and video shoots, and private events, there's The Apartment, a sleek and smart multi-functional space made up of several rooms with a communal pantry stocked with bottled water, soft drinks, fruits, and pastries. Although the hotel doesn't have a gym or a spa, you can get your mani on at the nail parlor.
Food + Drink: The bustling lobby continues into the all-day restaurant Hubbard & Bell, serving coffee, cocktails, and British classic dishes with a modern twist and a Brooklyn-design look (subway tiles, concrete, refurbished wood, colorful booths). Their Sunday Roast brunch special includes all-you-can-eat Yorkshires, bottomless potatoes, and hangover-curing spicy bloody marys. Set in the basement, the indulgent Chicken Soup restaurant serves rotisserie chicken and Dirtyburger's signature burgers made "dirty" by steaming and spraying the buns with extra butter. (That's pretty genius.)
What to Do Nearby
Steps from Covent Garden, Oxford Street, Barbican, and British Museum, the Holborn neighborhood is a terrific central base in London, one filled with many bars and restaurants of all styles and ethnicities, as well as hidden green spaces you’ll want to get lost in. For shopping, brave the hordes on Oxford Street for Selfridges, one of the best department stores ever, and roam side streets like New Bond Street and Brook Street for posh shops (Issey Miyake, the original Dover Street Market) and galleries (Halcyon Gallery, David Zwirner). As for museums, you can spend a day exploring looted antiquities from the Empire at The British Museum or dip into Somerset House for reliably interesting exhibitions, a terrific permanent collection of European paintings, and lively seasonal programming like concerts in summer and ice skating in winter. Favorite dining options nearby include Barrafina, Balthazar, The Delauney, and Opera Tavern in Covent Garden. For drinks, we love the bars at Bloomsbury Hotel: the gorgeous Coral Room and naughty-feeling Bloomsbury Club Bar in the basement.