THE HOTEL: A former Victorian stable block, this 246-room hotel opened in Quaker Street, Shoreditch, in summer 2021. It’s one of 14 hub by Premier properties from Whitbread, which launched the brand on London’s St Martins Lane in 2014. Hub promises cleverly-designed compact rooms in city centre locations with “everything you’d expect from a Premier Inn room in about half the space”.
THE CHECK-IN: I arrived late, after an evening work event, and the driver of my black cab had a bit of trouble finding the place. I guess it’s still fairly new. I was greeted by two friendly gentlemen at the small reception desk, behind Covid screens, who gave me my room key. There are self check-in kiosks too. A few groups of people were still milling about in the open-plan lobby come bar/restaurant/lounge, taking advantage of the comfy chairs and free hot drinks (Costa coffee and Twinings tea). I made myself a cuppa and took the lift to my second floor bedroom.
THE ROOM: The hotel has a mix of Standard and Bigger hub rooms. I had a Bigger room, which is slightly more spacious and has a king-size bed rather than a double. As promised, the room design was extremely clever. I could store my luggage in a compartment under the bed, plug sockets were above the pull-out desk (no scrambling below), the 40” smart TV was refreshingly simple to operate and, best of all, from a simple touchscreen panel next to my bed I could set the lights to different levels (full, partly dimmed, dimmed, off), press a ‘do not disturb’ sign and even control the room temperature. If you lie still for long, the lights will turn off to conserve energy and if you wave your hand they’ll come straight back on. Genius. Wi-Fi was free and speedy too. The shower was super powerful and there’s a hair dryer. If you need an iron and ironing board, reception will leave one outside your room. Decor is simple, light and bright, with a big map of London behind the bed.
COVID STRATEGY: Premier Inn operates CleanProtect, a rigorous cleaning regime developed in partnership with Diversey, a global cleaning and hygiene product supplier. Measures includes more frequent cleaning of high-touch areas, with Diversey-approved disinfectants. Unlike other hotel brands, Premier Inn employs all of its 9,000-strong housekeeping team directly to ensure high standards.
THE FACILITIES: Breakfast – sausage, scrambled egg, bacon, fresh pastries, toast, fruit salad, yoghurts and porridge – costs £7. Free tea and coffee are available 24 hours. There’s a bar and you can order a limited menu of evening meals, such as pizza or chicken curry.
THE VERDICT: I didn’t notice the lack of bedroom space because the design was so brilliant. Perfect for an affordable, no-frills overnight stay.
THE DETAILS: Quaker St, London E1 6SN; 0333 003 8101; premierinn.com. Rooms start from £49.