Z Hotels is carving out a niche for itself by offering small, stylish rooms in handy city-centre locations. Previous openings in London include Piccadilly, Soho, Victoria, Marylebone and Shoreditch, and there are also properties in Liverpool and Glasgow. Z City opened last December.
The hotels are focused on offering the budget-conscious traveller value for money, and cater to those who are going to spend a minimal amount of time in their room. The website goes to great lengths to manage expectations on this: “You’re not intending to hold conferences in your room or throw parties, either. You’re going to stay a couple of nights, revel in central London, sleep in a sumptuous bed and wake in generously designed surroundings.”
What’s it like?
You could easily walk past the entrance on Fleet Street – okay, I did, but this was because there was some scaffolding for a building a few metres away. Once through some glass doors, reception is at the end of a brightly lit corridor. I was met with a smile, and had arrived just in time for free drinks and cheese (served daily 5pm-8pm), which was an excellent way to be greeted.
The refreshments were being served in the Z Café, around the corner from the reception desk (I’ve been told that some other Z properties have the café doubling as a reception for the hotel). I was impressed by the wine and cheese offering – quality glasses, a great range of cheeses, and lots of staff helping guests choose. There were stairs as well as a lift to access the six floors.
Where is it?
In a converted office building on Fleet Street, opposite the Royal Courts of Justice and a ten-minute walk from both Blackfriars and Temple stations.
The 109 rooms start from 8-9 sqm for a Z Single, then 10-12 sqm for a Z Double (Queen or King) followed by 13-14 sqm for a Z Family. “Inside” rooms have no windows and are 10-14 sqm. All are simply decked out with wood floors and crisp bedlinen, and on the bedside table are tea and coffee facilities. Wifi is free but there is no desk so you work sitting on the bed. The shower, or “en suite wet room”, is fine if you’re on your own, but if you had company there would be a lack of privacy, since there is only frosted glass blocking the view of the shower and toilet. Anyah toiletries are supplied.
My Z Double Queen room had a comfy bed and a Samsung HD Smart TV with games, internet and Sky channels – the TV ranges from 40 to 48 inches depending on room size. The rooms are too small to spend much time in, but the hotel’s concept is about offering a place for city visitors simply to lay their heads, and all the basics are very well done.
Restaurants and bars
A la carte hot and cold breakfast options, such as scrambled eggs and fruit pots, are available for a fee in Z Café, while sandwiches and salads are on the lunch menu. It has a street entrance, plus a reserved area for hotel guests.
Very impressive, not just for the central location but the focus on providing a smart, stylish and clean hotel room without being distracted by a number of services many business travellers don’t need for a short stay.
- Price Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in July started from £150 for a Z Inside Queen room.
- Contact 24 Fleet Street; tel +44 (0)20 3551 3718; thezhotels.com