Airbnb may have been the thing over the past few years in the hospitality scene, but some prefer not to completely abandon a hotel’s amenities. At least not just yet. Enter this new breed of (hip) hotels that invite guests to a unique experience outside the normal boundaries of a formal hotel. It’s more like hotel meets art meets nightlife.
Here’s our scoop on the top three around Europe and America.
The Hoxton Holborn, London
In 2012 Sharan Pasricha made a bid on The Hoxton, Shoreditch with the aim of repurposing it to an events hotel quickly attracting the cool kids of East London. Its quirky, vintage and pared-down urban interiors was soon shortlisted for a number of awards across the Architecture and Tourism scene, making it the place to visit in London.
So what was different?
The lobby was more of “a destination for entrepreneurs working in the cluster of tech start-ups in the area, as well as for those working in Shoreditch’s media and creative businesses” according to the Financial Times. Hosting a series of art exhibitions and music events, the hotel was much more than a bunch of ultra-small (almost box-sized) cool deco’ed rooms.
The brand soon caught up and the Hoxton, Holborn opened in 2013 with another scheduled to pop up in Southwark, London in 2018. More to follow in New York, Paris, Chicago and LA.
The Drake Hotel – Toronto, Canada
Located in the so-called art and design district of Queen Street West, The Drake hotel was launched as a boutique hotel for the creatives in 2004 by Jeff Stober after a $2.4m cash injection for renovations. Boasting 19 (also small-sized) rooms, the Drake hotel also features a dining room (great Saturday night attraction!), a café dubbed also as their breakfast joint, a rooftop patio named the Sky Yard and a music bar downstairs named the Drake Underground that hosts many of the town’s indie acts.
Check out the Drake General Store opposite the street for some cool items you may want to bring back home. From Malin+Goetz toiletries (also featured at the hotel’s rooms) to Rains raincoats and various local homeware, this shop is perfect if you’re into unique brands.
1 Brooklyn Bridge – New York, US
The ONE Group is known for its global hospitality footprint alongside some high-energy restaurants and clubs (think Bagatelle!). Putting a lot of emphasis in nature, the group launched 1 Brooklyn Bridge in 2016 offering expansive views of the East River and Manhattan skyline. With a fully-fledged spa, 4 dining options, a GYM and a rooftop pool, 1 Brooklyn Bridge hotel has recently become the place to stay around cool Brooklyn.
Thoughtful touches bring nature into your space with skyline views, reclaimed woods, industrial steel, custom hemp-blend mattress by Keetsa and 100% organic cotton sheets. And guess what? With so much emphasis on green, the hotel is also into green energy to the extent they offer a complimentary ride in Tesla premium electric vehicles, or valet your bicycle.
Having received a very warm welcome, the group is planning to expand this concept into Sanya, China next year and to Cabo and Sunnyvale in 2019.