The Hoxton first opened its doors twelve years ago in Shoreditch, an East London neighborhood known as a hotspot for creative types. Since then, the brand has expanded operations to Amsterdam, Paris, and a second London location, and now they’ve finally made it across the pond, cutting the ribbon at their first U.S. site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, earlier this month. This is the first of four sites planned in the U.S.: Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, and Chicago are set to follow over the course of the next year.
The hotels are run by Ennismore, an operator and developer that prides itself on appreciating the surrounding neighborhoods and making their properties feel local. With The Hoxton, they’ve succeeded. Each hotel draws motivation for its aesthetic from the surrounding area, meaning they avoid the chain-hotel vibe entirely. Part of their success in this comes from the neighborhoods where they’ve chosen to open properties. Williamsburg is known as a playground for hipster New Yorkers, and Shoreditch is home to a similar scene in London. When the Paris hotel opened last year in the Second Arrondissement, it was the latest in a wave of openings signaling the neighborhood’s transition from its previous life as a garment district to its current as a hipster enclave.
Part of The Hoxton’s allure comes not just from the neighborhoods where they develop, but from the properties themselves. The Paris hotel is located in what used to be a hôtel particulier (in effect, a mansion) in the 18th century, before being turned into a clothing factory. The developers spent four years reconstructing the site before its opening last year. The most recent property, in Williamsburg, was built where the Rosenwach Factory used to stand. That name may not be immediately recognizable to New Yorkers, let alone tourists, but the factory is to thank for a good portion of New York’s skyline. Rosenwach built the water towers that dot the tops of New York buildings—and are visible from the windows of The Hoxton.
Inside the hotels, the atmosphere is local, too. Unlike many hotel bars and restaurants, it isn’t just tourists lounging behind their laptops on the couches in London or sipping wine in the sunny courtyard in Paris. The hotels tend to draw locals who use the shared spaces for work and meetings. There’s also a near-constant lineup of activities on offer, like a floral arrangement class in New York, a photography class in Paris, and a boat trip, with dogs, in Amsterdam. Though each hotel has its own atmosphere, there are certain consistent offerings across locations. Every morning, signature paper bag breakfasts of orange juice, fruit, and granola with yogurt are left outside of guests’ doors. The free hour of international phone calls is another nice perk.
Communal spaces are an important part of The Hoxton brand: Williamsburg will have three eateries, including a rooftop bar and a restaurant situated in the building’s reconstructed carriage house. As for the rooms themselves, a variety of sizes are available across sites, including ‘shoebox,’ ‘snug,’ ‘cozy,’ ‘roomy,’ and ‘biggy.’ Though the smaller rooms are as modest in scale as their names suggest, what they lack in size they make up for in style. Guests can expect chic design, including brass alongside wood, clean white tiles, linens in simple patterns, and forest green, velvet headboards. The Williamsburg hotel, which has 175 rooms, offers cozy and roomy sizes, all with the option for sprawling views of the Manhattan skyline.
While The Hoxton, Williamsburg is already welcoming guests, visitors to the other locations don’t have long to wait. The Portland, Oregon hotel is set to open toward the end of October, with downtown Los Angeles following early next year, and a Chicago slated for mid-2019.