Meet Me at The Hoxton

Whether you are staying, playing, meeting or just hanging, The Hoxton is a hit from top to bottom.

By Melinda Sheckells

Photos by Anthony Tahlier

July 24, 2019 10:00 AM

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What does Chicago have in common with Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood and Portland, Oregon? These are three cities where it is totally possible to hear the sweet little words “Meet me at The Hox,” on a Friday evening. And what a treat that invitation is.

With two restaurants, a cocktail bar and an unrivaled living room experience—and a soon-to-open coworking space—The Hoxton is Fulton Market District’s newest spot to hang out day and night. Situated among the converted meatpacking warehouses that populate the neighborhood, the hotel has 182 rooms, public spaces that beg to be well used, a thought-provoking art program and a calendar of cultural events meant to entice locals and visitors.

The Hoxton brand draws on the neighborhoods its hotels occupy and it captures, bottles and expresses those influences in details from top to bottom. Every space at the Hoxton feels like the living room of your coolest friend. These communal areas—known as an “open house”—are dotted with vintage furniture and other distinct touches that invite interaction and collaboration whether for work or for play.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner and a coffee bar are courtesy of Cira, a modern Mediterranean restaurant by Chef Chris Pandel.

“Our hotels are always heavily rooted in the community and inspired by the neighborhoods they’re in. Very early on in the process, our design studio goes out and researches, delving into the history and stories of the area, so that each property is a truly authentic reflection of its neighborhood,” says Martina Luger, chief marketing officer of Ennismore, The Hoxton’s parent company. “We were really inspired by our location in Fulton Market. The neighborhood has an industrial feel and a rich history. You can get a sense of the industrial roots in the hotel through design features like warehouse-style windows and raw concrete ceilings in the guest rooms.”

This vibe starts in the double-height lobby. The art collection, which is sprinkled throughout, showcases Chicago with over 250 artworks in rooms and over 100 artworks in common areas, ranging from prints by Sonnezimmer and Dont Fret, to a dramatic tapestry by Alexander Calder in the lobby. 

“In the name of all things local, we worked with the brilliant gallerist, Johalla Projects, to put together an art collection that both shows off the best of Chicago’s up and coming artists and embraces The Hoxton’s fun and slightly playful personality,” Luger says. “There aren’t any plans to switch up this permanent collection in the hotel but The Hox Gallery will rotate regularly.”

Wall-to-wall, there is always something exciting transpiring on the property thanks to a stacked monthly calendar of events, programmed to encourage emerging artists and locals to showcase their talents and ideas. There are talks, workshops, DJ sets, art exhibitions, pop-up shops and more. 

Take a dip in The Hoxton’s 12th-floor pool, which offers food and beverage service from Cabra.

“A real celebration of the community, we work with local brands, creatives and start-ups for a rolling program of events that are open to all. There’s been everything from live podcast recordings, panels with local musicians and media, plant swaps, poetry readings, and more. It gives our guests more of a taste of the city, and gives our partners a platform to grow and collaborate,” Luger says.

Located on Green Street, The Hoxton neighbors some of the city’s coolest restaurants and bars and matches that tone with stylish offerings: Cira, Cabra and Lazy Bird. These food and beverage concepts come courtesy of Boka Restaurant Group, James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur of 2019, and they offer a range of environments, designed by AvroKO—which also did the highly accoladed Momotaro, located across the street—in collaboration with Ennismore Design Studio.

To kick off the night or to end it, check out the intimate cocktail bar Lazy Bird, which is nestled in The Hoxton’s basement. Its menu features 52 classic cocktails in a beautifully illustrated book. The number was chosen as such so the history of a different libation could be showcased every week of the year.

Peruvian-inspired dishes are the hallmark of Stephanie Izard’s Cabra.

For mingling and munching with a view, Cabra, a Peruvian-inspired restaurant by Chef Stephanie Izard, crowns the 12th floor of The Hoxton and is booming from the moment it opens for lunch, brunch and dinner. 

“It’s pretty special up there, especially when the sun sets over the city,” Luger says.

The floor-to-ceiling windows highlight a view that is only upstaged by Izard’s extreme attention to authenticity with the regional South American cuisine. Order ceviches and tiraditos at the six-seat ceviche bar or go for traditional dishes such as empanadas, chicken stew, and larger shared dishes, ranging from adobo de cabra and chicharrón lamb ribs to a whole fish cooked in Japanese curry. Among the tables find the same couches and cozy chairs that are a signature design element of all The Hoxton’s spaces.

Adjacent to Cabra, the hotel’s rooftop pool deck is the perfect place to sip a Pisco sour.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner and a coffee bar are courtesy of Cira, a modern Mediterranean restaurant by Chef Chris Pandel. Must haves from the eclectic menu include brown butter hummus, lamb shawarma and falafel and Spanish chorizo. Located on the ground floor, Cira is seamlessly integrated into The Hoxton’s living room.

Artist Cody Hudson, known for his works that highlight abstract shapes and colors, lent his touch to custom-designed bed linens.

And if you need a place to rest your weary head, you can always check in for a night or two to chill out. The rooms come in three aptly named categories: Snug, Cozy and Roomy. The floor-to-ceiling windows carry through to the accommodations, as well as bespoke wallpaper, paneled dark green or brown leather headboards, custom-designed bed linen by artist Cody Hudson, Marshall radios and walk-in showers with herringbone tilework.

Luger recommends checking out the books in the guest rooms. “They’ve all been curated by our Hox Friends—a handpicked group of 182 locals who resonate with The Hoxton brand—and inside, you’ll find bookmarks with insider tips of things to do and see in the city. It’s a little touch I always love helping people discover,” she says. 

Select Hox Friends will be showcased on the dedicated Instagram @hoxfriends, which acts as an insider guide for guests and fans to discover the various Hoxton’s neighborhoods.

 In every room there is complimentary water and WiFi, one hour of free calls to anywhere in the world, a mini fridge and a daily breakfast bag delivered to the room.

Taking the living room to the 12th floor, Cabra also has vintage furnishings such as cozy couches and chill out chairs.

“Our breakfast bag program is a simple idea at its core but not many other hotels do it. Guests place the bag on the hook outside the room, and then they wake up to a little breakfast waiting in the morning: overnight oats, orange juice and a piece of fruit. It’s one of the small details that people really love,” Luger says.

If you forgot something essential or nonessential, downstairs behind the front desk in the “reception shop” there are local products at supermarket prices. Also here, find the Best of Chicago retail collection. “We’ve created [this in] collaboration with some of our favorite local brands. There’s everything from caps to ceramics, key rings and T-shirts. You’ll feel like you’re bringing home a real piece of the city,” Luger says. This is the place to snap up a Field Notes journal, Stock MFG hats and T-shirts with the Hoxton logo and custom scents, soaps, skin care and candles from Asomatria ViktorVB. 

Coming in fall 2019, taking the open house concept a step further and proffering the brand’s lobby culture, The Hoxton Chicago will be the home of an inaugural coworking concept Working From_ that embraces freelancers, small business owners and travelers—think desks, studios and meeting space. 

“The Hoxton has always been all about inclusivity and our doors are open to everyone—from your parents to your pals, colleagues and dogs. We want everyone who walks through our doors to feel welcome, whether they’re here for a drink, a quick coffee meeting or staying the night,” Luger says. 

To kick off the night or to end it, check out the intimate cocktail bar Lazy Bird, which is nestled in The Hoxton’s basement.