Above: Lettice checking into The Hoxton Holborn

It was a complete surprise to me to discover that The Hoxton Hotel group properties are now all dog-friendly. A few weeks ago in September, I had been offered a last minute room for the weekend by a friend in New York because she had had to cancel her trip. Lettice was in residence chez LLG, so I checked on the hotel website and it seemed to be dog friendly, which was news to me. So I called to let them know I’d be bringing a small dog and, when we arrived to check in, there was great excitement at her presence.

I mean she’s obviously the Best Dog in the World, but this did seem maybe a little over the top.

She’s the very first dog to ever stay in the hotel, they said. I looked at them quite quizzically, and said really, the first? It turns out that the program had started only the day before simultaneously across all the Hoxton Hotels. What a coincidence.

We had a really lovely time staying at the Hoxton – I think what really shows through in every detail is that this is a simultaneous programme roll out across all the hotels. They have properly thought about every little thing that might pertain to your dog’s stay, and its enjoyment of said stay. (So you sign a disclaimer, give your vet’s details, and promise to abide by a series of eminently sensible house rules. I’ve popped them at the end of this post.)

Basically they are equally concerned with the security and comfort of both your dog and of the hotel guests simultaneously. Which is certainly not the case in many other establishments.

We were given a bed big enough for a labrador, dishes in which Lettice could swim, the offer of someone being sent out to buy her her preferred food, a roll of poo bags, and a warning sign to put on the door for when she was in the room.

There’s a sweet little custom guide in the room which covers all things you might need to know, from the best place to go to take your dog for a walk to the best dog outfitters. (My only suggestion is that they would do well to add nearby places to the hotel that a guest can nip out to first and last thing for the dog to do its business – Lettice, like so many dogs, requires grass unless she’s crossing her legs in agony, so just trotting up and down a pavement won’t do the trick).

I think this is a program this a lot of other hotels would do well to emulate – it’s clear from my own experience over the years with both Posetta Baddog and with Lettice that most hotels have just evolved their dog policy in a reactive rather than proactive fashion. This leads to, for example, guests going out for the evening who haven’t made sufficient arrangements for their dog in the hotel and the poor things has been going bonkers, trying to scratch down the door and barking its head off. it’s eminently sensible of the Hoxton to make their policy wide-ranging, clear and upfront. We approve.

And how is it for humans? Very nice, thank you very much.

I’m a big fan; I’ve stayed here before, and in The Hoxton in Shoreditch and they both run true to form. Sensible pricing, comfortable beds, good showers, good food, always delicious toiletries, and interiors that don’t feel in any way sterile. There’s an emphasis on wallpaper, prints, digital radios, and a sense of place. Best of all this particular Hoxton is so incredibly central: just a few minute’s walk from Tottenham Court Road and Holborn tubes. Bottom line: compact rooms for people who don’t intend to hang out in them. After all, what else do you really need but a bed and a shower if you have London on your doorstep to explore?

Both the London properties feel very New York in that they have big open lounges at the front of the hotel for both residents and passing locals. The spaces are always packed with people on their laptops, drinking tea or cocktails and generally hanging out, thus avoiding the often hushed, sterile feeling of so many London hotels. I can also attest to the excellence of the Cheeky manicures at the Holborn Parlour adjacent to the Hoxton Holborn hotel.

The bathroom is compact but well-thought out, and the shower is sufficiently powerful. The lighting could be brighter, but this is an issue in most hotels, whose designers seem to forget that women quite like to do their makeup in the bathroom mirror.

I very much liked the sound of the room service menu, which has  eschewed risotto and mozzarella salad (miracle) for more than one delicious-sounding option for vegetarians, although a guest would be screwed if they wanted their starter and main course to have a differing flavour and texture profile, or if they didn’t like mint (why, why put mint and cheese in all the things?) …and forget being vegan…

Sasha and Lettice were not guests of The Hoxton Holborn,
as their room was fully paid for by a friend.

The Hoxton Holborn
199-206 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD
Telephone: 020 7661 3000

The Hoxton dog guidelines are as follows:

  • There is a daily charge of £25 above the normal room rate for a dog to stay in a room. To make a booking, please use the Special Requests field on the payment page.
  • All dogs need to be kept on a leash or in a carrier when in public areas.
  • Dogs are not allowed in restaurant outlets.
  • Dogs must be kept on a leash or in a carrier at all times when in public areas of the hotel.
  • Owners must be present while any member of the hotel team is in the room with the dog.
  • Contact details and pet details must be provided to the reception team (With alternate contact in case of emergency)
  • In the event of emergency, if uncontactable you must agree for the hotel to call a vet and release all responsibility should anything adverse happen
  • Doggy door hanger is to be kept on the door always, to indicate dog in room.
  • Dogs cannot be left unattended in the room, without first informing the Reception team.
  • Dogs must have up-to date vaccinations, proof of which should be available on request.
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I read this with interest. The dog guidelines are understandable, except for the last one. Why would ‘up to date’ vaccinations be required? Vaccinations are not compulsory in this country. Many dogs now only have a core vaccination set set when a puppy, after the age of 12 weeks. Immunity usually lasts for life. Leptospirosis is extremely dangerous and unnecessary in this country. Kennel cough is pointless. KC is like a cold for a dog. A dog can shed the virus for weeks after a KC vaccine. I would be interested to know why they have made the last rule.


This is great news! I’ve still not quite got over them kicking out a dog and its owner on CHRISTMAS DAY! At the Bar in Amsterdam. Smart move…

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