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The Hub by Premier Inn; the new way to do a City Break

Going for a weekend break in London is always a good idea, especially when you get a cheap train ticket or flights are cheap as chips. Then you go on to Trivago, and realise any decent, modern, clean, well located 3 star hotel is going to cost you north of £150 per night. Suddenly, your cheap weekend away, is costing you an arm and a leg, and that's not including spending money, and the obvious nice meal out with drinks. Well my friend, the days of spending hundreds of pounds on a meh hotel that you hardly spend any time in because you're out exploring the city are behind you.

What Steph thinks:

The Hub hotels are part of the Premier Inn group well known for their clean, no fuss, wallet friendly hotel chain. Premier Inn hotels are a great family option, and cater to holiday makers of all ages. The Hub breaks free from the Premier Inn mould by branding itself with modern, technologically advanced and cleverly designed rooms which maximise compact spaces and keeps things convenient. The special feature the Hub boasts is the ease of connecting the room with your smart phone; by simply downloading the app, you can control the heating, T.V., lights, and the do not disturb icon on your door. You are able to connect your phone or tablet to the T.V. and through air play, you can watch Netflix or any other streaming service. There are also free movies on demand that you can watch on the 40 inch smart T.V. . Did I mention the free super fast WIFI? There is nothing worse than checking into a hotel that doesn't give free WIFI, or one that has a super slow connection. Love it or hate it, its 2018 and our dependency on the internet is no laughing matter.

The hotel room is designed with the modern traveller in mind, and you can tell they have really thought about what necessities and conveniences customers are looking for. On the headboard of the bed, there is a touch screen panel which is where you can control the room (if you choose not to connect your smart phone). Here you can control the temperature, light settings, reading light, switch on an off the do not disturb and do not make room icons which show outside the door. Next to the panel is a power socket and a little shelf, perfect to leave your phone and a bottle of water. It's a real pet peeve of mine when hotels don't have the foresight to put power sockets next to your bed (on both sides), who likes having to charge their phone by the desk which means you have to get up in the morning to retrieve it in order to catch up on what you've missed on social media or emails? Perhaps the only thing that's missing is having a plug with a USB port; its not essential, but would be a nice touch. Every room has a full length mirror, a place to hang your clothes (with hangers), a hairdryer, shower gel, and even a free bottle of water.

There are 2 choices of rooms: the bigger room and the standard room. Because there were two of us and we are super fancy,

we splashed out on the bigger room. The bigger room features a generous king size bed, and space to walk around the bed, unlike the standard room which has a large double bed against a wall, so access on to the bed is only from one side. The bed itself is super comfortable, and I was told by a member of the Hub staff that the mattress is apparently the same brand that the Queen uses! You only get 1 pillow each, so if you need another, do ask reception when you check in as we asked later in the evening and they had annoyingly run out! Not all rooms have a window as the Hub is all about maximising space, but we were very lucky and even had a view of the Shard. The rooms are cleverly designed and all have under bed storage in the guise of a giant drawer which we used to put our shopping bags in, and a roll out shelf, which is the perfect size to stowaway 2 cabin bag suitcases. This is ideal to keep your compact room from looking cluttered and helps to hide any mess you may have created! There is also a desk and chair, for whatever you might need it for.

The bathrooms are clean and modern which is always a winner. Again, it is compact, but has everything you might need for a

short stay. There isn't a tub, but the shower is pretty powerful, and has two shower heads: a rain shower, and a handheld shower head. The bathroom door is a glass, and the majority of it is frosted, with the top part clear. So it can be awkward for those sharing a room, so make sure you know each other well enough, or you can always throw a towel over the clear part of the glass!

The reception area is really simple, and you basically check your self in at the machines. Its all very straightforward, but if you are struggling, there are members of staff happy to help. Every Hub hotel has a cafe or lounge, with food and drink options available at both. Breakfast is also available, and is in the form of sandwiches, pastries and fruit. Coffee and Tea is free as well, and you can take it up to your room as there are no hot drink making facilities in the room. The lounge and cafe does serve alcoholic and soft drinks as well, and is quite a nice place to chill out and have a catch up.

There are currently 9 Hub Hotels; 7 in London, and 2 in Edinburgh. We chose to stay at the Tower Bridge location, which was the cheapest option for our dates. All the locations are really central and super easy to get to. The ones in London are all located within a 10 min walk to a tube station and on various bus routes. I really don't think Matt and I will stay in another hotel in Central London, unless we want to pay extra for a fancy hotel to celebrate something, or unless someone else is treating us to a stay somewhere fancy. But for the bog standard city break, where you spend most of your time out of the hotel room, The Hub is our first choice. For a Friday - Sunday stay (the weekend before Valentines day), it cost us £188. That is, in my opinion a cracking deal for a new, contemporary and convenient hotel, situated in the city centre. I would definitely recommend you check it out if you are planning a weekend break in London, and the earlier you book, of course, the better the rates!

What Matt thinks:

This was my first visit to Premier Inn’s new style Hub hotels. I was excited as the prices were reasonable, and I have always thought Premier Inn hotels were clean and comfortable. This hotel is located a few minutes’ walk from Tower Bridge, near Monument and Tower Hill tube stations. This area of London at the weekend can be quite quiet as it is near the City where everything is generally shut. However with the tube so close, its easy to get into the West End and other parts of London.

From the outside the Hotel is nothing special, and is located on a busy main road. Taxi’s might find it hard to stop there, and generally drop you off round the corner. Worth noting if you have a lot of bags. The reception is small, you check in yourself on a touch screen. All part of the modern vibe this hotel aims to give. Everything here was quick and seamless.

We stayed in what they call a “bigger” room. I would hate to see how big the standard size room is. The bigger room is small and compact. There are clever tricks to it, such as storage under the bed for bags. The bed is king size, so pretty big and takes up most of the room. It is definitely a small room, if you were staying for longer than a couple of nights it might start to grate on you. Behind the bed is a touchscreen panel where you can control the lights, air con and other things. I thought this was great, as being a bit of a geek, I love gadgets, and this what all new hotels should have. The T.V. should also link up to your phone, but we did have trouble connecting. We asked the reception staff who were pretty unhelpful. However, we could still watch T.V. the old fashioned way using something called a remote control which was fine. The bathroom again was small, but clean and modern. The shower was extremely powerful. The bathroom door is glass, with frosting half way up. So being tall I could see in quite easily, not something you want if you don’t know the person. Or maybe it is… I wouldn’t like to judge.

The room was quiet, and we did have a view of the Shard. The first night I didn’t sleep great, they only provide 1 pillow per person. We asked for more, but were told they did not have any spare. I’ve never been to a hotel that has run out of pillows! The second night we got spares, and I slept a lot better. So all in all, I would definitely recommend staying here, especially with the prices being so competitive for a central London hotel.


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