Tried & Tested

Hotel Review: Ruby Lucy, London

30 Oct 2020 by Tom Otley
Ruby Lucy


The Munich-based Ruby Group was founded in 2013 and operates eight hotels across Germany, Austria and now the UK, as well as co-working spaces in Munich and Dusseldorf. The brand aims to be a “contemporary, affordable form of luxury for modern, cost- and style-conscious customers”. Ruby Lucy opened in Waterloo in January, with a second London hotel due to follow in Notting Hill in 2023.

What’s it like?

Immediately striking, once you have found it. The hotel is behind a stretch of new buildings designed in slightly different styles, supposedly to fit in with the many types of structures housing shops and cafes along this historic street. Depending on which direction you approach from, you will first spot the bar area that doubles as reception or the barber’s shop next door. The interiors are quite dark and are inspired “by the area’s bustling fairs and markets, entertainment and theatre scene” – a carnival theme runs throughout, with circus drums, juggling pins, and even a couple of swings facing the entrance. I was here at the end of August and so Covid-19 protocols were in place, including a one-way entry and exit system and touch-free check-in and payments.

Where is it?

On Lower Marsh, a well-known market street just behind Waterloo station. If you stay over the weekend then in usual times the area is very vibrant, with food stalls and shops selling everything from bric-a-brac to top-notch coffee.

Ruby Lucy


The 76 rooms range from small Nests (15-16 sqm) to larger Lofts (18-23 sqm) and look out either on to the main street or rear buildings. All have excellent soundproofing, blackout curtains, high-quality linen and good-sized, comfortable beds, although the mattress was a little soft for me. They come with free wifi, safes and Marshall amps – if you’ve not brought your own guitar, you can borrow one from reception, although I was glad that no one decided to do this next to me. The hotel also broadcasts Ruby Radio, the group’s own station, which you can tune into in your room or listen to in the bar downstairs.

The rainshower was not very strong but the hand shower was much more powerful. Fixed to the wall were two shower gels, a shampoo and a conditioner. If you want an ironing board, they are in the galley area on each floor opposite the lifts, where you’ll also find a hot water machine and free tea; you can go downstairs for free coffee.

Food and Drink

There is no restaurant, although snacks are available and in the morning breakfast is served in the bar. As well as a small buffet, there was the option of toast, boiled eggs, a cold meat platter, tea and excellent coffee. Staff were friendly and helpful. The bar serves a great range of cocktails.

On the third floor is a vending machine for snacks and a terrace overlooking Lower Marsh. Food is easy to come by in the area and it’s worth exploring – we ate at nearby Turkish eatery Tas the Cut (highly recommended) and Korean restaurant Gogo Pocha, which was superb and inexpensive.

Ruby Lucy


No rooms, although people use the bar/lounge area for one-to-ones during the day.


No facilities, but day passes are available for the nearby Mindset gym for £7.50.


A fun, convenient and good-value hotel in a convenient location for exploring the South Bank and for reaching the rest of London via public transport. The rooms are comfortable, well designed and lack little. Lean luxury describes it perfectly.


  • Best for A design hotel at a lower price point, in a great location
  • Don’t miss Exploring the local area and then relaxing back at the hotel with one of the excellent cocktails
  • Price Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in January started from £100 for a Nest room (can be cancelled up to seven days prior to arrival). Contact 100-108 Lower Marsh; tel +44 (0)20 3475 3460;
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