Premier Inn launched its Hub by Premier Inn brand in 2013, promising customers “the most high-tech and space-efficient rooms currently available in the UK”, with compact rooms up to 30 per cent cheaper than a comparable Premier Inn property in central London.
The first hotel opened in Covent Garden in 2014 (for our review from early 2015 click here), and there are currently eight Hub by Premier Inn hotels in London’s zones 1 and 2, with three other hotels under the brand open in Edinburgh.
For our review of the brand’s Goodge Street property see:
A further six Hub properties are under development in locations across London, with two hotels set to open by spring 2020 – an 89-room property next to West Brompton Underground station, and a 110-room hotel on Berwick Street in Soho.
Hub by Premier Inn London City Bank is the latest property under the brand, having opened in August.
WHAT'S IT LIKE?
Guests enter into a small lobby area, which has a self-service kiosk and a check-in desk manned by staff who are also responsible for the adjacent Lounge café/bar.
The self-service kiosk wouldn’t accept my reservation number (possibly because it was booked internally by Premier Inn), but the staff member was happy to check me in manually, and also arranged to have an iron and ironing board brought to my room once I had confirmed that they weren’t included as default.
The check-in area also has a couple of armchairs and coffee tables, and a media wall behind the self-service kiosk, which features a map, rolling news headlines, the status of London Underground lines and other live updates.
The image above was provided by Premier Inn, and is of the self-service kiosks at the Covent Garden property (I forgot to take one at the London City Bank branch).
WHERE IS IT?
On the pedestrianized St Swithin’s Lane in the City of London, a few minutes’ walk from both Bank Underground station and Cannon Street Rail and Underground station.
The property is also directly opposite rival group Travelodge’s London Central Bank hotel, as well as a property by aparthotel operator Native.
Also opposite the Hub by Premier Inn is The Tappit Hen wine bar and restaurant, and The Don restaurant and bistro.
There is a choice of Standard and Bigger rooms at this property (as well as an Accessible option). Bigger rooms are, as you would expect, slightly larger, with more space around the bed area, and have king-size beds. Other than that there’s not much difference between the two.
Having said that, when I checked prices for a midweek stay in mid-January, there was only £5 between the rates of the two room categories, which seemed very reasonable for the bit of extra space.
Decor is simple, light and bright, with a feature wall showing a map of London, and blackout blinds.
You can tell that Premier Inn has really thought carefully about how to use the limited space in the rooms to maximise storage. There is plenty of space under the bed to store suitcases / backpacks / laptop bags, and opposite the bed there is a (fairly narrow) hanging space behind a full length mirror, as well as two hooks by the door for hanging coats, etc.
At the end of the bed there is a ledge where items can be left, and from the side of this a small desk slides out to create more space, which can then be used with the armchair, or slid back into its housing if not needed to free up that little bit more space.
The bathroom was again compact, but it was clean and modern, and the shower was powerful. Let’s be honest, that’s all that’s really needed on a short stay.
There were plenty of plugs and USB ports in the room, including within a panel at the head of the bed, which also housed controls for the lighting and air conditioning. Wifi is free, and although I only used it to check a couple of emails, it felt fast enough to use for work purposes.
The property had been open for about three months when I visited, and I didn’t spot any teething issues, but I thought it was a good idea for the hotel to address its “newness” head on with the message below on the TV screen as you enter the room, encouraging guests to report any problems.
I also thought that the tag pictured below – which was attached to the rolled up duvet at the end of the bed – was a good touch.
Firstly, the fact that the duvet is rolled up gives you a certain confidence that is fresh, and secondly, it shows that the group has taken some thought in sourcing the mattress and bedding – ever since the days of Lenny Henry advertising the brand, Premier Inn has always been keen to highlight how comfortable their beds are.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
The Lounge cafe bar is located to the left of the reception, and offers separate breakfast and main menus.
Breakfast is served between 0630 and 1100 (0700-1100 at weekends), and costs £6 for a buffet choice including scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, croissants, pain au chocolat, toast, fruit salad, yoghurt and porridge, as well as coffee, Twinings tea and orange juice.
I had breakfast here on the morning of my departure, and was the only person in the room (at around 7am) until just before I left when a couple came down. The food was fine – nothing to write home about, but set me up for the day.
The main menu can be seen here, and includes charcuterie, cheese and ploughman’s deliboards (all £7.50), as well as dishes including salads, sandwiches and soups, and various alcoholic beverage choices. Apparently there is a happy hour offering two-for-one cocktails every day between 1700 and 1900.
A great location for business travellers looking for access to the City of London. Rooms are compact, but are well equipped in terms of technology, a good shower and a comfortable bed.
- Best for Its location slap bang in the middle of the City of London
- Don’t miss The well-thought out rooms
- Price Internet rates started at £182 per night for a fully flexible midweek stay in a Standard room in mid-January. I was also quoted just £5 more for a Bigger room on the same evening
- Contact premierinn.com