NYX Holborn – Review
High fashion, hipster, classy and sassy are some of the ways NYX Hotels like to describe themselves. Part of the Leonardo Hotels group, NYX sits on the more boutique end of their portfolio and position themselves as being “the city lovers”, at one with the people of the city. We spent a night there to see if we could absorb some of this “urban cool”.
The overall vibe
It’s not hard to spot the NYX Hotel with one entire side of the building home to the tallest mural in London. The 125ft high masterpiece by street artist Dan Kitchener encapsulated the link to London city life. It’s the artwork that flows through the building which gives NYX its urban, hipster vibe. Collaborating with local artists and curators, they have established a connection between the city and its people and it shows.
From entering, the atmosphere is eclectic and colourful. There’s an element of pop art and street graffiti in places, underpinned by retro games machines which screams young and vibrant. Yet in places, the mood switches to dark & sumptuous, reflecting the NYX namesake “goddess of the night”. Greeted by occasional black panther statues, room hallways that are dimly lit with blue and purple hues, and artwork of almost vampiric figures, the mood in places is almost boudoir-esque.
Entering the room from the sultry hallways, the eclectic mix continues with parquet flooring, plush headboards, gold and marble tables, smeg minibar fridges and bold pops of artwork. The back wall has a splashed monochrome graffiti feel, and propped against it is another striking piece of art. Colourful? Maybe but not too garish. The room still feels like a hotel room, it has all the workings of a hotel room, and it sleeps very much like a hotel room. It’s comfortable & familiar, but it looks great.
One area where the wonderful eccentricity seems to peter out and become more formulaic is the RENA spa in the basement. Facilities include a 13M pool, sauna, steam room and a fully equipped gym. This area is a wonderful revitalising escape from the surrounding city, and almost has a roman bath quality to it. Perhaps the sultry ambience of the hotel corridors could have been carried on through here however, it didn’t detract from the relaxing vibe of the space. Massages and spa treatments are also on offer here to really wind down from hectic city life.
One of the claims of the NYX is that it comes alive at dusk, again much like its goddess of the night namesake, dimming its lights and upping the sophisticated ambience, much like walking from the foyer to the sumptuous hallways. With DJs on until 3am and insta-worthy cocktails, it is the place for the night owls to hang. With the NYX only just opening less than a month ago, we wanted to give it time to find its stride before coming back to experience the full night time experience.
Dinner at the NYX has an unpretentious US inspired, mid-town vibe with a hint of glamour that threads into the night time. Colour is ever present and the menu is playful with fun dishes such as Margarita Stix, Ninja Buffalo Wings and Baby Squid. Sharers are available such as The Mother of All Nacho Platters and Curds and Cured, a fun take on a cheese and ham board. Mains include dishes such as Creole Crayfish Burger, Aubergine Schnitzel, Boston Pork Butt and King Prawn and Blackened Monkfish Chowder. For the sweet toothed, Tequila Key Lime Cheesecake, Sticky Ginger Pudding and Nyx Arctic Roll are there for the taking.
NYX lives up to many of its claims, the art vibe running through is ever present and although conflicting at times, you feel it is intentional, almost transporting you to different zones. Despite it’s high fashion, hipster claims, it retains an unpretentious and approachable quality which we found re-assuring.
Service is something still being worked on by the hotel, but we are reluctant to hold this against them. After speaking at length with one of their loveliest managers, the truth is, the hospitality industry is struggling to find good well trained-staff. The pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard, and as a double whammy as things start to re-open, the usual flow of overseas workers, willing and able to start is practically non-existent.
So next time your meal is a little slow to arrive, or the check-in is a little laboured, go easy on them, you’ll find that many hotels, restaurants and bars are in the same boat.
Address: NYX Hotel, 50 – 60 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AR
Written by Rick Hartley
Photography Courtney of NYX hotel and Nyla Sammons