It’s safe to say our hearts skipped a beat when the Hoxton announced the opening of it’s new Chicago homestead back in April of this year. The new Chicago location marks The Hoxton’s third US outpost, following success in Brooklyn, New York, and Portland – Oregon’s favourite hipster hideout. The seventh edition of the London-born hotel dynasty found it’s home at 200 North Green Street, located in the buzzing Fulton Market/West Loop neighbourhood, Chicago’s former meatpacking district, this is a hotel of exceptional standards matched only by its effortless charm.
The old factories and warehouses native to the West Loop have found a second life; reincarnated as scoop shops, cafes and bars to fuel the creatives and foodies that freely roam the neighbourhood. The location is a total no-brainer and The Hoxton feels right at home amidst like-minded local hotspots such as the Chicago chapter of Soho house (a fellow British export) and California’s own boutique wunderkind, The Ace.
What strikes a unique chord about The Hoxton though is its effortlessness and charm, something which is clearly evident from the moment you enter the building. From the impeccably personable staff through to the stunning decor, there’s a distinct air of authenticity about this hotel which other ’boutique’ hotels often overlook.
The double-height lobby is steadily brimming with visitors and locals alike throughout the day; business travellers and off-duty pleasure-seekers hang out in velvet armchairs, cosy sofas and nestle at the bar (in the morning, with a laptop and coffee – as the sun goes down, with a glass of vino or an expertly crafted cocktail). The L train whirring past the windows above the bar is particularly striking at night, running at eye-level with the private event/meeting space, christened “The Apartment”, which has the best view in the house to witness the ongoing buzz in the lobby below.
If you wish to step away for some rest and relaxation, any one of the 182 beautifully outfitted rooms will transport you to a mid-century modern retreat, accessible via lifts adorned in old maps of the city. The rooms come in three sizes (snug, cosy and roomy) and are filled with abundant light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, complete with sweeping views of the city, walk-in rain showers and a cloud-like bed that proves difficult to leave. The décor echoes the industrial surroundings of Fulton Market, complete with concrete ceilings, statement light fixtures and sumptuous leather headboards, while the locally-sourced art adorning the walls throughout The Hoxton remind you that you’re truly in the cultural and creative heart of Chicago.
Where The Hoxton especially shines is through its little details, both practical and delightful. Each room comes with USB ports by the bed, a retro-chic Marshall radio, free Wi-Fi and a free mini fridge with water and milk for in-room coffee and tea. But the finishing touches don’t end there— many rooms are dog-friendly and if you really must contact the outside world, calls are free globally. If you need snacks, beer or wine simply head down to the front desk for their “bodega prices”— not a minibar rip off in sight. For a lazy, yet wholesome start to the day breakfast bags are left outside your room at the hour of your choosing, filled with fresh orange juice and overnight oats.
If you’re hungry for more, The Hoxton has two unique eateries and even a basement speakeasy brought to you by The Boka Group, Chicago’s restaurateur powerhouse. For brunch, head back down to the lobby and set up shop at Cira—an all-day dining offering serving up Mediterranean-inspired fare. On the rooftop you’ll find Cabra, a Peruvian delight headed up by Stephanie Izard, famed for its delicious ceviche and moreish cocktail. When summer arrives, the Cabra terrace is primed to become the ultimate sunny day destination, boasting fire pits, killer surrounding views and a perfectly proportioned plunge pool, a first for any of the Hoxton hotels. In the basement, Lazy Bird is ready to welcome guests for a nightcap offering live music and a very comprehensive cocktail menu.
The many charms within the Hoxton’s walls make it perfectly acceptable to keep its visitor’s plans in-house, an impressive feat given its proximity to the West Loop’s restaurant row. To quantify what makes The Hoxton such a success is its almost residential feel and the expertise with which it balances incredible service, heartfelt details and an undeniable cool.