Sharan, what’s your story? Why did you choose to work in the hotel business?
I don’t come from a hotelier background, it’s something I’ve learnt on the job! I’ve been a jack of all, master of none for most of my entrepreneurial career. So fairly unemployable! Reimaging traditional businesses is something I’m passionate about and it’s that which has drawn me to hotels, The Hoxton in particular as I saw the tremendous potential in the brand and its globalpotential. It was one of those “what if” moments and I’ve never looked backever since.
How did The Hoxton adventure begin?
The Hoxton, Shoreditch opened in 2006 and Ennismore took the reins in 2012. Shoreditch was a very different neighbourhood back then with fewer bars and restaurants but The Hoxton was very much a part of the fabric of the community, an open house for locals as well as guests. Since then, the neighbourhood has evolved and we’ve evolved with it, but we’ve stayed true to our roots. You’ll still find people there who have been using our spaces since day one. In 2014, one became two and we opened The Hoxton, Holborn. Amsterdam followed as our first hotel outside of London in 2015. The hotels themselves are inspired by the buildings and neighbours they are located in, which means we’ll never be a cookie cutter chain; each hotel is individual but shares the same characteristics of The Hoxton brand.
How would you describe the state of mind The Hoxton?
We always say we come to each neighbourhood with an open door and an open-mind and that’s something that as we’ve grown, we’ve really tried to stick to. Our doors are open to one and all, we don’t have a specific type of guest, and we work hard to make everyone feel welcome and included. We’re big on our neighbours and partnerships too, from the designers of our uniforms we work with to the monthly cultural events programme we run.
What were your expectations and desires for a Parisian The Hoxton?
The Hoxton is all about local. Each hotel is directly inspired by the streets and scenes that surround them, and is designed to slot seamlessly into the neighbourhood — they’re places for guests and locals alike to get comfortable. We collaborate with local designers to ensure the spaces are a true reflection of the city and a good fit for the neighbourhood. Paris is by far our grandest building which set the tone for the style – we all agree it’s probably the most grown-up Hox yet! And let’s face it, we had to pull something pretty special out of the bag for the fashion capital of the world, right?
What is the history of this place?
I fell in love with the building as soon as I saw it. It’s an 18th century hotel particulier in the 2nd arrondissement, built by architect Nicolas d’Orbay for Etienne Rivié, an advisor to Louis XV. More recently, it was converted into a clothing factory, then lay empty for a decade, but after four years of construction, we’ve brought it back to life. We’re honoured that the building is listed as a monument historique, and have restored and relocated many of its original features, such as the staircases in the lobby and up to Jacques’ Bar, the iron columns between the two courtyards, and the timber beams in some of the top floor bedrooms.
Who took care of the decoration of common rooms, bar, restaurant etc?
Ennismore’s in-house Design Studio worked collaboratively with Soho House on the design of the public spaces and Humbert & Poyet for the bedrooms.
The aesthetics of the rooms is totally different, can you tell us more about it?
The bedrooms were designed to both reflect the historical grandeur of the building and embrace the contemporary aesthetic and originality of The Hoxton brand. The concept Humbert & Poyet presented to us was inspired by the historical buildings of Paris as well as contemporary French designers, such as Jean Prouvé, Mathieu Matégot and Bernard Gras. The rooms are bold and sophisticated, they play homage to the building’s history as a textile factory whilst ensuring there’s enough modern design touches to fill the feeds of our social savy guests.
What type of cooking do you offer at the restaurant?
Rivié serves French-inspired dishes using the best local and seasonal ingredients. Highlights include the Hox Monsieur, entrecote et frites and mushroom tartine with slow poached duck egg. Like all of the restaurants in our hotels, Rivié is an all-day destination – as busy at breakfast as it is for 1am nightcaps.
Can you tell us more about the events you plan at The Hoxton?
Our cultural events programme is at the core of every The Hoxton. We work with local creatives, retailers and start-ups to celebrate the best of the neighbourhood and bring the outside in, with everything from yoga classes to photography masterclasses, wellbeing workshops, acoustic music and food markets. In each neighbourhood, we strive to be part of the neighbourhood and for the neighbourhood. Our events programme is as much for our guests as it is for the locals.
Photography & Text: Eve Campestrini – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily