A couple of weeks ago I was in London for the Blogtacular conference so I’d booked myself four gloriously child-free nights at the Qbic in Whitechapel. Not only is it walking distance from the creative hub of Brick Lane but Qbic also promises to be an innovative, eco-friendly retreat. So I had high hopes for London’s greenest hotel!
Qbic London is just a two minute walk from Aldgate East tube station and is really easy to find. If you’re flying in to Stansted, as I did, you can get the Stansted Express to Liverpool Street which is just one tube stop from Aldgate East on the Hammersmith & City line. Easy peasy. I dread having to wander the streets while searching for a hotel so this is definitely a bonus for me! Just a quick wander through Altab Ali Park will bring you right to Qbic’s front door.
When you walk into reception you are immediately greeted by Qbic’s trademark quirky décor. There are milk crates repurposed as light fittings, an old shepherd’s hut and a random bicycle on the wall, as well as a few rather smiley members of staff. The most noticeable thing for me though was not how the hotel looked but how it felt. It was calm and tranquil and cosy. London can be a bit of an assault on the senses, especially for a country lass like me, but as soon as the doors closed behind me I immediately felt relaxed.
There is a self service check-in option but I headed straight for the smiley staff who quickly booked me in and pointed me in the direction of my room. I was getting a little giddy at this point thanks to the prospect of having a bed to myself and not being woken up by a small person asking “Are you awake, Mummy?” in a shouty whisper. And as an added bonus my room was right next to the complimentary tea & coffee station. Oh, Qbic, you know me so well!
Each room contains a pod known as a Qbi which is made up of your bed and the bathroom. You’ll also find a funky mural above each bed, upcycled furniture, filtered water, organic toiletries, a tv and free wifi all as standard. I was in a ‘Cosy’ room which had a window but you can opt for a cheaper windowless room if you wish.
Now lets just take a minute to talk about the shower because if you’ve read my previous hotel reviews you’ll know that a decent shower is make or break for me. As a stay-at-home mum it is very rare that I get to take a shower without an audience and the added fun of having random objects thrown at me (it was a skipping rope yesterday) so when I’m away it’s a real treat to have a solo shower. In fact, a pathetic shower might actually make me cry. But fear not, dear friends, because Qbic have come up trumps with theirs! Admittedly it’s not the most powerful shower I’ve had but their innovative water-saving system hits that sweet spot between high pressure and eco-friendly. So, thanks to Qbic, I got to enjoy multiple luxurious showers while not feeling too guilty about wasting water. Happy days!
And then there’s the bed. Oh how I loved that bed. Top quality bedding, a plethora of pillows and a super comfy organic mattress… I miss that bed! I woke up every morning being hugged by a nest of pillows and feeling fabulously rested; it was heavenly!
I didn’t actually have breakfast at Qbic during my stay but I’m told it’s lovely and if it’s anything like the rest of the food I’m sure it is. The menu is small & seasonal but very well priced and very well done. I can tell you the rather epic burger is delicious, as are the fish wraps and the baked camembert. Beautifully cooked and beautiful presented. Yum! I spoke to a few other guests who all agreed that the food is delicious.
So that’s a big tick for the shower, the bed and the food. What else? Well, let me introduce you to this little guy..
He is Handy and he was my companion for the duration of my stay. Handy is a complimentary device offering free calls, internet access, local information & discounts, google maps and more. I found it so useful and took full advantage of all the features. It’s really easy to use and before you check out you simply erase all your data with one tap of the screen and pop it back in the dock. Cool, huh? I was so impressed, I kept showing everyone at the conference!
You’ll not be suprised to hear that the décor in the bar & canteen was right up my street. I loved the mismatched industrial feel with a touch of the handmade. It was a great space to sit & enjoy the Qbic vibe while sipping cocktails or playing a retro board game with friends.
I had such a good time at Qbic London! I really can’t recommend it enough and you can be sure that if I ever visit The Netherlands I shall be booking in to Qbic Amsterdam. If you’re looking for a hotel with personality, high standards and an eco conscience then this is the place for you. Make sure you head over to their website and sign up for the newsletter to receive a cheeky discount on your first booking.