hotels
The Hoxton Urban Lodge
81 Great Eastern Street
011 44 207 550 1000

The Hoxton Urban Lodge in EC2A is what you graduate to after you get over hostels and realise that Frette sheets are worth paying for. Its 205 chocolate brown bedrooms, with their saucy signs (‘go away’ for do not disturb and a bath sign about how much they save if you hang up your towel), cater to this kind of clientele. Rooms also feature down- filled comforters, Aveda products and real hangers (not those cheapie hotel ones with no hooks). But it’s all almost incidental to the fun bar scene in the lobby with a DJ Thursdays through Saturdays. Built on the site of an old car park by Prêt a Manger founder Sinclair Beecham, the idea was to eliminate extortionate hotel extras so there’s free wi-fi throughout the hotel, free computers to use in the lobby (which shockingly aren’t always busy), a lobby concession (under the glass at reception) at retail prices, complimentary newspapers across from reception as well, low cost phone calls, and a free Prêt bag breakfast of fruit, yoghurt and juice. But what’s got folks buzzing is the quarterly sale; every 3 months they sell 500 rooms at £1 and £29, and even if you don’t get one of those, rooms are from just £59. (Now granted the site has crashed in the past, and one persistent foodie PR told us she’s never been able to secure the deal – but we think if you know early and assuredly which days you want and have good hi-speed, it could happen for you.) The rooms do go up to £199 however - at £99, these would be a steal - at double, we're not so sure.

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