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Hoxton Hotels Entrepreneur Sharan Pasricha On Opening In Los Angeles
News Source/Courtesy: www.forbes.com

Courtesy: David Hochman | News Source: forbes.com

Downtown Los Angeles is ten stories more stylish this month with the arrival of The Hoxton, a 174-room hotel in a 1920s Beaux Arts building at the corner of Broadway and 11th Street. With its cute rooftop pool, a pair of hip new restaurants, and the sort of gorgeous young crowd that once gathered exclusively at the nearby Ace and Standard hotels, Hoxton is the hottest DTLA opening since last year’s NoMad.

Part of a hotel group founded in London’s industrial-chic Shoreditch neighborhood in 2006, The Hoxton brings a touch of British elegance and wit to gritty downtown. Rooms are listed in four categories–Snug, Cosy, Roomy and Biggy–and come with “Hox Perks,” like old-fashioned telephones (with daily free calls to anywhere in the world) and breakfast-in-a-bag delivered each morning. The hotel collaborated with Soho House in designing the inviting, “open-house style” atmosphere of the lobby and public spaces.

Sharan Pasricha is Founder and CEO of Ennismore, Hoxton’s developer and operator. I spoke to him at the L.A. opening this week.

How is the Hoxton different from all other downtown hotels?

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Sharan Pasricha: We’re a brand that’s quite democratic. You won’t see too many “reserved” signs around the place. We’re open to all. People ask, Who is your customer? And for us, it’s people visiting Los Angeles but it’s also people who live in the area, who work here, live across the street. We encourage locals to work and play here. We’ve handpicked more than 100 locals we call Hox Friends who shared favorite books in each room as well as tips for guests who want a local lens.

I’d also say we’re quite honest and transparent in terms of pricing. It’s not cheap or budget but it’s a good value. The WiFi is free. We don’t have minibars filled with expensive items. The ethos is fun, eclectic and welcoming, and there’s a hustle that starts in the morning and rocks through the wee hours. It’s very reflective of the neighborhood.

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What’s your personal connection to Los Angeles?

Sharan Pasricha: I’ve been coming since 2010. I first came for TED and loved the authenticity and also the architecture downtown. Came back in 2012 and saw all the cranes on the downtown skyline. I returned for the Ace opening in 2014, when things really started happening as far as culture and hospitality. This neighborhood felt like it had room to grow. We bought the property in 2015, and in the four years since watched it change dramatically.

I love how this building shines with the history of Los Angeles. The hotel occupies what used to be the Los Angeles Railway Building. It’s a 1920s landmark. In all our locations, we’ve sought to find neighborhoods that reflect the past, whether that’s industrial or cultural. That’s true in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where The Hoxton summons the industrial past; in Chicago, where we’re in the old meatpacking district. It started with the original spot in Shoreditch that is tied to so many historic and cultural elements as well as a resurgence brought on by tech companies and others who’ve moved into that neighborhood.

What are your three favorite spots in L.A.?

Sharan Pasricha: I’m a big foodie and love Bestia. The Row is fun and I love seeing how it constantly evolves. I really love Bodega, the sneaker shop, at The Row. What I love about L.A. is how it winds down. It takes the edge off. Yet it’s beautiful, has mountains, the sea and a focus on health. My wife and I spend a month here every year.

bedroom

Hoxton Hotels

The Hoxton's 174 bedrooms come in four categories: Snug, Cosy, Roomy and Biggy.

What’s next for Hoxton?

Sharan Pasricha: We’re looking at cities in Europe, including Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon, Edinburgh, Vienna and Copenhagen. We’ve also been spending time in American cities like D.C., Austin and Detroit, though nothing is set for those places quite yet.

I’m particularly excited about our workspace initiative. “Working From” launches in Chicago this month. We’ve always been a coworking space but never charged anyone. So we asked, how do you create an elevated lobby experience that’s useful for people who have side hustles making tshirts or art or are being freelancers or having a small company with 2, 3, or 5 people?

“Working From” gives you the Hoxton comforts but in a dedicated workspace. Unlike the competitors in this realm, we have hotel rooms, baristas, bartenders, gyms and a staff to help with anything you need. So, let’s say you’re working late and need a room. If we’re not selling it, it’s yours for $25. As part of our membership, you’ll have a number of “Duvet Days,” where you can come in and work from bed a couple times a month. We’ll deliver $2 coffee to your desk. Ergonomic chairs, help-yourself pantries. It starts at $200 a month.

What’s the best part of your job?

Being able to control the whole experience yourself is very exciting. You have to redesign based on what you’re discovering. In Italy, we found that people don’t sit when they drink coffee, so you design your coffee bars so people can stand. The Dutch and the French don’t hang out in hotels. You have to build spaces that will be attractive in different ways.

My father inspired me to find a career path by choosing what you love. If you do that, you won’t have to work a day in your life. My job combines so many passions: art, design, exploring neighborhoods, storytelling. Going to work never feels like work.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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