Hub London Westminster Abbey
Hub is the latest and in my view winning offering from Premier Inn. It’s a blend of compact accommodation, reasonable prices, technology and self service (don’t be put off by the technology part, you don’t need to use it). We tried out the concept when we stayed a couple of nights to see Lumiere London. This Hub was £69 per night (room only) which is very reasonable for its perfect position close to St James Park Underground station. From here we had just a couple of mins walk to the first Lumiere attraction, Westminster Abbey.
Booking is easy, either via the Premier Inn site, a dedicated Hub site or via the app. When we arrived we used the QR code on the app to scan at the self service machines. Our details were retrieved and we needed to check a couple of details and make our room keys (all simple stuff). They key point, for those less comfortable with the technology, is that you can print off your confirmation and the ever present and helpful staff will take you through it (or do it for you) instead. The door to the accommodation area is accessed via your room key, for security.
Our room (609) was brightly decorated and compact but ample for a couple of nights stay. The Double bed is very comfortable, with the equally comfortable double duvet perched on top ready for you to make your bed (your next self service element). Under the bed is ample space for your suitcases and a deep drawer (the only one). Now the compact aspect comes at a price, in that the bed is quite high off the ground (so the top of the mattress came to the middle of my thigh when I was standing on the floor) and you can only get out one side of the bed. The windows blind is also on the far side of the bed, so you need to be reasonably agile to get on/off the bed, pull the blind by climbing on the bed or climbing over your partner to go to the toilet in the night.
Lighting is brilliant and dimmable, there is a heating/air conditioning unit and apart from the remote control for the TV, all this is controlled by the touch sensitive panel at the head of the bed. The do not disturb sign is also controlled here. You can additionally control all this and the TV from the app but the app didn’t work for at least 50% of the time we were there (see “something isn’t working” screenshot). I’d also like to see a “low light in bathroom only” option for night time bathroom visits, as the room is pitch black with the blind down. An open sided wardrobe is provided with 5 hangars, its only about 9 inches deep but with a couple of coat hooks on the wall, that’s enough to hang a couple of days clothes. There is a pull out at the bottom of the bed that serves as a modest desk and a single chair to use. The room is equipped with plenty of conveniently located power sockets and a hair dryer but no tea & coffee making facilities (complimentary tea and coffee are available in the lounge area on the ground floor). Complimentary high speed WiFi was available throughout the building (it was a good speed but I didn’t try streaming any shows or the like). Complimentary bottled water was provided on the first day only (fail to see the logic in that as I paid the price to stay so why not provide water each day).
The bathroom is a glass walled area (discreetly but only partially frosted) with a rain head (monsoon) shower, which also has a hand held shower fitment. The shower had a good pressure/ flow and there is a complimentary hair and body wash dispenser on the wall. I’m not a great fan of combination hair/body washes but this one was quite good. There is no bath as per Premier Inn but nice quality towels, sadly offset by unacceptably thin toilet paper). There was a high level of cleanliness throughout the building, it was spotless in fact..
Similar to our experience of Premier Inn staff, we found the staff helpful and friendly.
We added breakfast (available in the Lounge) to our stay, which was reasonable by London terms, at £6 for a self serve buffet. There was a modest selection of cereals, breads, pastries, yoghurt, fruit salad and a hot choice limited to porridge, scrambled eggs, sausages and bacon (sadly the latter is the somewhat fatty streaky style and with such a limited selection its a shame that decent back bacon isn’t served). Juice, Tea and Costa Coffee are available. All in all, there was enough for us to have a hearty breakfast prior to heading out to explore London and we were largely satisfied, but this would get tedious for more than a couple of days. We did have a drink from the bar one evening but didn’t try any of the other food that’s available. There’s a range of seating available in the lounge, from armchairs & coffee tables to high stools and tables. There are handy charging points on the high tables, which includes an airchrage and multi adapter (see picture).
On balance this is an excellent new concept and I’m sure the odd niggles will be ironed out pretty quickly. Its already excellent value for a short stay in the city and we have no qualms about using Hub again.