I spent a night last month at the Hoxton Hotel, a smart and stylish hotel that bills itself as "the first up-market, low cost, high quality, no fuss, value for money hotel in town, if not the country." While the east London location is not particularly compelling for most tourists, the many innovative and intelligent amenities and services it provides shape a new paradigm for modern travelers around the globe. The small rooms are big on style and thoughtfully laid-out, with a well-lit and designed desk, an ottoman, and a rain maker shower with luxury shampoo and soap. At check-in, the rooms are made up for single occupancy (one set of towels and one pillow), with a second guest set of towels and pillow neatly packaged on a shelf. This is a clever cost-savings measure that hardly inconveniences the guest and provides significant environmental savings on room changeovers, where even apparently unused linens would be changed out. Electrical adapters and shaving kits are sold at the front desk for £1. WiFi is free, as is bottled water, and fresh milk for the in-room coffee maker, and a room-delivered mini-breakfast of a banana, yougurt and OJ.
The Hoxton has adopted a low-fare airline approach to pricing: rates are lowest farthest out to encourage early booking, and rise as rooms fill up. Should the hotel decide to lower rates for a particularly slow night, they lower the rates for all bookings. Having spent a lot of time professionally evaluating hotels, it's a rare pleasure to see a hotel so thoroughly reimagine the guest experience with a focus on style, value and sustainability. Hopefully, some of the cookie-cutter modern boutique hotels will take notice.