The Qbic London City Hotel Review
The Qbic London City Hotel
The robotic Margaret Thatcher voice of the satnav had finally informed us we had reached our destination, after four hours in the car, adding an extra hour of trying to dodge the congestion zones we had finally reached the Qbic London city hotel to much relief.
This year I had decided to do my (dreaded) Christmas shopping in London in attempts to satisfy certain fussy family members, so it was a quick flying visit from Manchester to the capital in search of gifts. I decided to take the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and review the new Qbic London hotel.
Since its launch in October the new 171-room minimalistic boutique hotel has created a buzz over social media, naturally intrigued by the promotional tweets I decided to check out the new venue. Nestled in the trendy location of East London, the Qbic seemed to have hotel location down to perfection, the ideal spot for its consumers and my stay, only a 15 minutes walk to the colourful and vibrant atmosphere of Shoreditch, Brick lane, Old Spitalfields Market and a stone throw away from Aldgate East tube station which offers great transportation links into central London.
As we entered the lobby of the hotel we could not help but notice there is no Hotel reception desk, furthermore No queues, brilliant. The Qbic seemed to have opted for a more self-service approach and replaced the conventional Guests check-in with touch-screen terminals that dispensed out room key cards so guests can go straight to their rooms without needing assistance.
Now what probably should have been an effortless two minute check-in seemed to have taken the best of 10 minutes, now a squirrel is probably more tech-savvy than I, there was a lot of screen pressing and mumbling to my partner “I think I’ve broken it” as we were unable to locate the reservation details on this state of the art system in front of us. The two ‘Lobby Concierges’ whom which were probably the only staff working that evening (due to the hotels aims to replace staff with a self-service system) quickly came to our assistance, and with one quick press on the screen she had checked us in for the night. She turned and politely informed us that the hotel was experiencing a few glitches, which was expected, with any new business launching there are bound to be a few trial and errors. The check in problems was certainly not down to myself over tapping the screen, I own an iPad don’t you know.
She pointed us in the direction of the lift, armed with a key card we set off in the direction of our new found sanctuary. I found the hotel corridors was a little confusing art work seemed to have replaced signs posts up on the walls, each corridor looked the same as the next making it rather easy to wonder aimlessly around, I did however liked the theme of the corridor which resembled that of corridors you would find in self-service apartments rather than a hotel the laid back deco added character to the place and a kind of social able feel. As we reached our room I noticed the TV was already on inside, maybe this was an automatic feature once checked in? I swabbed the card key at the side of the door and pushed….
“Who are you” a voice shirked from inside the room to reveal a very startled young woman with the WTF expression on her face, either that or she was doing a pretty good impression of the OMG cat on YouTube.
The Lobby Concierge was highly apologetic, double-checking the room’s availability on the system the room had come up again as available, another error. Quick to correct the issue we were off again to a vacant room on the ground floor. This time I made sure I knocked twice before feebly entering the room.
I felt deceived, slightly shocked, this was a pleasant surprise, I was taken back with the actual size of the hotel room, I found the room much bigger than I expected with large floor to ceiling windows letting vast amounts of natural light through. The room itself takes minimalistic to whole new heights as guest are only given the bare essentials, there is no wardrobes, where does one hang their clothes you scream. Well there are hooks situated near the door and hangers are provided to drape garments. The hotel more favours the businessperson passing through London, with a small table to rest your laptop and ready to use Skype intergraded into the smart TV for conference calls.
In the centre of the room rest the cubi with the bed, bathroom, TV, lighting all infused into a small cubical style space. The TV is attached to the end of the bed, the light switches located either side of the cubi and the bathroom is connected behind the bed. I have to say it may not be conventional but it is truly an amazing design and the idea works well. The bathroom sports a rainfall shower. Towels are provided along with hand soap and shower gel in refillable dispensers. Every basic item that guest need is confined within the cubical space. Be warned if you are a person that values privacy the cubi experience offers little as the sliding doors and window panel means you can see straight through into the bathroom and view whatever the person is doing. This unusual and unique feature took a little getting use to.
The bed I found was absolutely luxury on a budget, extremely comfortable fitted with queen-size Naturalmat mattresses, which can only describe as ‘ like sleeping on a bed of features’. The only major downside to the hotel was the plumbing, whenever someone flushed from the floor above the sound of rushing water echoed through our room rather loudly, my partner pointed out the piping for their bathroom must run directly behind our headboard and down into the floor, which in my eyes seemed be a design flaw.
There are no coffee or tea machines in the rooms, however there is a social space located on the ground floor, which encourages guest to socialise and interact with each other in a themed lounge area. As well as free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel hot drinks are also free for all guests. There are tea and coffee facilities available 24 hours in the Kitchen area of lounge. For breakfast a brown paper bag is hung outside the room containing a bottle of fruit juice, a ‘protein bar’ and a piece of fruit, which I found enduring as Qbic encourages guest to take their breakfast out to the park across the road and explore the area. This little feature would be lovely during the summer season.
Guest do have the option of paying an extra £7.50 to upgrade to the continental breakfast served in the kitchen area of lounge and vending machines are provided stocked with fruit, high quality fruit juice and sandwich’s.
Despite the hotels teething problems I found Qbic to be the most comfortable nights sleep I have endured in years, as the hotel seemed to have spent a lot of money ensuring their guest are sleeping on the best quality mattress money can buy. I do think a small maybe flat pack wardrobe or some kind of clothing rails is needed for the rooms as I found a lot of my clothes were creased due to the long journey and without an iron in the room I found myself wishing I had packed my travel iron. In saying that I would still highly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for comfort at an affordable price. If you are planning to visit London over the festive season I would certainly added Qbic to your list of places to stay over the Christmas and New Years party season.
For more information, prices and offers please visit http://www.qbichotels.com