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Open House


Designing the “no bullshit” hotel brand that redefined a sector and is going on to travel the world. 

Conceived to scale back the excess and amenities infrequently used but inadvertently paid for by guests, The Hoxton spearheaded a refreshing outlook ground-breaking then, but very much still setting the standard today.

Frictionless Free Wi-Fi, Free International Calls, Mini-bars at supermarket prices; free tea, coffee and water, plus a daily breakfast bag delivered to your door. Delivered with the charisma and an undeniable swagger that’s still firmly associated with the growth of the brand today.

Everything you need. Nothing you don’t.

Awarded best UK Hotel at the Guardian and Observer Travel Awards three years in a row, after opening. Acquired in 2012 by Ennismore and now open in twelve neighbourhoods, across six countries. Merged in 2021 with Accor to form the world's largest lifestyle hotel company muted to be worth US$1b. 

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Clever and Cool

– Conde Naste

Inspiration for the identity and interiors was drawn from the creative, social and inherently upbeat attitude of the Hoxton neighbourhood. It brought an ‘Urban Lodge’ cool to the property, very much blending the neighbourhood's past and present. Hand drawn illustrations and curated art emphasised this local narrative, a charismatic yet direct tone of voice created a refreshing antidote to the boring corporate hotel of its time.

Probably the most innovative and disruptive aspect of the experience was the lobby itself. Designed not for a privileged few but the many, from it’s inception ‘The Hoxton’ set-out to be part of the locale. An open door policy created a no-nonsense attitude and feel good vibe, proudly welcoming local residents to mingle and be part of the brand. Comfy all-day lounge chairs mingled with roaring fireplaces, collaborative spaces and a buzzing neighbourhood bar and DJ.

To this day, James is extremely proud of his involvement in bringing this brand to life.

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Adaptable Living

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Locally Led

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Human Hosts

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Centre yourself

From coffee to cocktails, music to muses, we worked with the Locke team and partners to establish the experiential brand hallmarks uniquely interpreted by each property. By getting under the skin of the local community, each Locke goes beyond the guidebook bringing together a culturally-curious community – United by mindset, not demography.

Fired up by outdated and inflexible hotel stays, The Hoxton set out to challenge a sector stuck in time, lacking in humanity and tied up in T’s and C’s. We sit down to take a look back at the project that kicked off James Huntly's career – his love affair with hotels and those brave enough to disrupt the status quo. 

When James, Project and Creative Lead at London design studio, The Formation, embarked on a project with prolific entrepreneur and founder of Pret A Manger, Sinclair Beecham – he had no idea of the significance of the journey he was about to undertake. A journey set to reimagine the future of hospitality, shape an icon of tomorrow and spearhead his design career.

The vision was for an experience that got rid of the nasty habits and surprises often associated with a hotel stay. Had a strong sense of place and attitude. The Hoxton has shown a better way. A more human way. A way that many hotel brands now follow - and many still look to.

Urban Lodge

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Project Scope

Concept Design

Brand Strategy
Brand Design
Brand Identity
Guest Experience

Project Details

Lead Agency
The Formation

Creative Lead

James Huntly

Experience The Hoxton

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Acknowledgement of Country.

AboundStudio acknowledge this country's First Nations peoples and their ongoing strength in practising the world's oldest living culture. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters on which we live and work, and pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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