hub by Premier Inn, London
THE HOTEL: hub by Premier Inn is a sub-brand of the budget hotel group focusing on smart design and technology and city centre locations. The hub by Premier Inn Covent Garden, on St Martins Lane, is the sole property so far, though the group has 13 in the pipeline – ten in London and three in Edinburgh.
THE CHECK-IN: Arriving late in the evening, and without my booking reference to hand, I gave the row of automated check-in kiosks a miss and was quickly dealt with by a member of staff instead.
THE ROOM: My room on the fifth floor was compact but cleverly designed, stylish and aesthetically pleasing. A double bed is tucked between walls with plenty of storage space beneath it. There was a narrow slide-out desk at the foot of the bed together with a wallmounted 40-inch smart TV. It included a wide choice of channels, on-demand movies and a brief film to help familiarise guests with their room. A bundle of linen was neatly packaged on the bed and an interactive wall map of London allows smartphone users to point their device at different areas of the city for various information about the district. A nice touch. A panel of buttons controls temperature and lighting, though I struggled with these when trying to switch on a light in the depths of the night. The bathroom was smart; there was a full-length mirror, hairdryer and hanging space by the door; plus an air con unit, narrow window and all-important free wifi access.
THE FACILITIES: This is prime real estate so facilities are restricted to the attractive ground floor deli and bar, Proven Dough, which serves salads, sandwiches and one-pot meals. There are also small rooms for ironing on various floors.
THE VERDICT: The hotel was ideal for my needs – a location right in the heart of the city to bed down for the night before an early start – and the optimisation of space impressive, albeit a bit of a squeeze if you plan on spending much waking time in your room. It claims a ‘world first’ too, in allowing Apple Watch wearers (and smartphone users) to control aspects of the room via the hotel’s app.
THE DETAILS: hub by Premier Inn, 110 St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4BA. Rates start from £76 per night, with saver rates only available when booking direct. See hubhotels.co.uk for more information.
Reviewed by Any Hoskins (2015)