The Hub, by Premier Inn
I knew it was a budget hotel room and I knew it would be small, that I had been told, but the name Hub? I started singing the nursery rhyme Old Mother Hubbard, except this time, instead of going to the cupboard, she was sleeping in one! Was that it? Is this where Premier Inn got their new Hi-tec space capsule-like hotel concept from?
The word ‘Hub’ to me evokes the feeling of a central space of activity, a gathering of people. But, no matter how many shoe-horns you’re bringing to this party, there are definitely only 2 people getting in. And, even they have to be slim and married, because you’re going to get so up close and personal in this little pod. At about 12 x 8 feet (inclusive of a bathroom), this bijou Premier Inn room measures similar to my teenage daughters bedroom, and at this current time I can’t even remember what colour her carpet is – it’s been so long since I’ve seen it! (She too complains about a lack of space)
Ever since Tokyo did coffin-like sleep capsules the world has grabbed hold of the craze of the cheap hotel pod : compact, high tec and economic. And, I’m very sure they have a place in society – the white shirts who needing to hit the hay after a long day of meetings, or single travellers who prefer to spend all their time soaking up the cities they visit and literally only need a bed for 6 hours at the most – anything more would be far too frivolous. But, how about the budgetting city-breakers? Well that all depends on your perspective. Myself and Mr MLLH fit into the latter catagory – occasionally we’ll splash out on something sexier but more times than not our thought process is more slanted towards saving money on travel costs so that a) we can spend more on food and experiences and b) we can justify another weekend away a few weeks later!
So, does the new Premier Inn hub situation work for couples? How ‘value for money‘ is it? Or is it far too reminiscent of Prison Break? I think a hotel review is in order…
What Do The Hubs Have To Offer?
- Conveniently located, most hubs are in city locations where you’d usually pay an arm and a leg for a good hotel room. Covent Garden, Westminster and Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to name a few, so already I was very excited about the prospect of being in the heart of an area. We chose the Spitalfields branch and didn’t have to worry about evening transport links seeing as this particular district is thriving and there is no need to venture elsewhere for food and drinks.
- The cost! We payed £40 a night for a double room on Brick Lane – that’s unheard of, even for a sleezy Bed and Breakfast or budget Airbnb room in someones house. Finding a good reasonably priced hotel in London is hard, let me tell you!
- Hi-tec stuff. From the minute you enter their corridor-like reception area of the Premier Inn hub and get to check in using a machine, not a person, you sense what you’re in for. The rooms have a control pad above the bed which regulates heat, sound and light, AND you can even download an app in case you’re on the loo, can’t reach the control panel and want to choose a more appropriate lighting. Strangely though, when Richard went downstairs one morning to introduce himself to the free coffee facilities, all the lights completely switched off in the room 5 seconds after he’d departed and i was left blind in the shower. Have you ever had a pitch black shower? It’s not easy. By the way, the Monsoon shower is more than excellent too.
- The TV! Not only is it at the end of the bed, you can control is using your phone and also hook up to Apple Music if you have it and play your own music. The TV also has some pretty new films on there too, seperate from the TV channels : we snuggled in for a showing of Jason Bourne and felt very at home.
- It lacks nothing. There is room for clothes storage, toiletries, a shelf to rest your morning cup of tea, a hairdryer, wall-mounted bottle opener and even a pull out desk should you need it. There is a chair but why anyone would feel the need to sit in it to brush knees with the bed is beyond me. The hub room has been so cleverly designed it was reminiscent of a stationary cube I once owned in the 80’s from the Kaleidoscope catologue. Everything has a place and it flows harmoniously. Hats off to the designer.
- I mentioned the free tea and coffee but the bar area also has a selection of breakfasts, snack and drinks too, all very reasonably priced, especially breakfast. Your room is also stocked with complimentary bottles of water.
- The bed is a Hypnos. If it’s good enough for Lenny Henry, it’s good enough for me. This time though, there is no sight of the awful trademark purple runner that Premier Inn love so much – just crisp white sheets and excellent pillows.
There really is only one downside to this budget hotel and that is the lack of space. I never knew I suffered from claustophobia but all I kept thinking as I tried to sleep was that if someone so desired they could murder us with a draft-excluder. Death by Sausage Dog. I literally turned myself to face the door so that I had a better chance of sucking more oxygen into the room through the crack at the bottom. I felt like I was suffocating. However, night number 2 had us swapping places so that Mr MLLH was next to the wall and this time we both slept soundly.
Would We Stay At The Hub Again?
We are slim human beings with a desire to get cosy, we travel light (underpants can be worn twice) and we don’t spend hours in a hotel room when we’re visiting a city – there’s far too much to see otherwise. A 2 night break would definitely cause no problems, anything longer and I’d be pining for that extra foot our own Kingsize has to offer. And, it goes without saying, I shan’t be sleeping next to the wall again.
Possibly one of the cheapest hotels in the centre of London but delivering style, substance and swank.
For more information see the Hub website at www.hubhotels.co.uk.
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