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Social distancing is pushing one London-based hotelier to expand from the hotel room to the campground.
The Hoxton is launching for the month of August a glamping pop-up, dubbed Camp Hox, in Oxfordshire, England, about 90 minutes from from London. While airy resorts and campsites are easier places to follow coronavirus social distancing protocols than urban hotels, the Hoxton team says they were working on the Camp Hox concept before the pandemic.
The Hoxton is known for its boutique hotels in trendy neighborhoods of London, New York City, and Paris. But a burgeoning camping business division certainly helps amid uncertain travel demand.
“Though our hotels are now all open and some are performing better than we’d forecasted, we’re a long way from being anywhere near where we were. We know it’s going to be slow for a while, and we are prepared for that, but at the same time, we’ve never been a brand to just sit still and accept it,” said Sharan Pasricha, CEO of the Hoxton’s parent company Ennismore. “We’ve had a loose draft of the Camp Hox idea in the works for a while and now just felt like the right moment to make it happen.”
Camp Hox guests won’t exactly be roughing it in the great outdoors.
The 12-tent campsite is on the grounds of Eynsham Hall, an 18th century estate. There’s no need to pack a sleeping bag, either. Each tent comes with an actual bed, the same linens used at the Hoxton’s hotels, a private bathroom and shower, and a hot breakfast delivered each morning.
Guests are also treated to a stocked fridge, a pour-your-own port and tonic bar, fire pits, and a barbecue to cook on. The Hoxton team will do all the cleaning.
The move comes as several brands make the push into luxury tented accommodations. Under Canvas is a popular luxury private tent resort company specializing in U.S. national parks. Singapore-based Aman Resorts has luxury campsites in the U.S., India, and Indonesia.
Back at Camp Hox, rates range from a $473 two-night package — which also comes with a complimentary night at the Hoxton hotel — all the way to renting out the entire camp for 24 people, which goes for roughly $2,500 for a night. But prospective campers may want to book fast.
“We managed to pretty much sell out off the back of one Instagram post, so that’s saying something! Of course, we’re aware that there is huge demand for UK staycations, especially in the countryside right now, which is exactly why we launched it, but I don’t think any of us were expecting it to be quite so popular,” Pasricha said. “From the success of this, we’ve learnt to follow our gut and try new things. Hox Beach did you say? Watch this space!”