I won a night at Qbic London via their £1 room competition a few months ago and stayed over in July. The hotel is a short walk from Aldgate East tube station so ideal for people venturing out in Shoreditch or working in the City.
The people behind the hotel don’t want it to look like your own place because, in their words, “what’s the fun in lounging in a hotel that looks like your home?” which I completely agree with. I think hotels should excite and offer guests something they don’t get to experience on a daily basis which, in a way, Qbic does.
The interior has the feel of an unused warehouse kitted out with upcycled bits and bobs. It’s basic and minimal with little bursts of colour every now and then and unique touches not seen elsewhere. Along the corridors and in lifts are random decorative pieces like a guitar, giant stamps made of carpet and clipboards with quirky words and hotel information.
Everything needed to be a functioning hotel room is incorporated into a cube; the bed, bathroom, lights, tv and power are all in the one place. I love the concept but there isn’t a huge comfort element to the room; it was different to other hotel rooms and minimal, but could have done with more personality either in the decor or amenities to make it stand out as a new approach to hotels.
Although there wasn’t a homely or comfortable feel to the room the bed was physically comfortable and the TV at the end was a cool touch. I really liked the plug sockets on each side of the bed and the named light switches so figuring out which switch did what was less like programming NASA like it is in some hotels and more a doable task.
While the bed was on one half of the cube the bathroom was on the other. It came with a rainforest shower and all the usual suspects, as well as a full length window from the bedroom to the bathroom for people to peep in and watch you shower or go to the toilet. For those who are comfortable with having no privacy you’ll be fine, but for the rest of us it’s a case of turning up the TV or dictating strict instructions to the other guest not to look, listen or move.
I really wanted to visit Qbic and glad I finally got to. I found it to be more of a hostel than a hotel and walking the corridors you could hear the TVs, conversations and hairdryers of other guests quite clearly. Although it was clean and did the job I felt management could do more to make it less like a set of dorm rooms housing young students and travellers and more of an artsy and design led destination.