Recently, I paid a visit to London to see my son who is at university in the city. I needed somewhere to stay and settled on the Qbic hotel in Aldgate. Qbic is a fab eco hotel in London that touts itself as the greenest hotel in London!
Qbic eco hotel is located within the City of London and is within easy reach of one of London’s most lively areas surrounded by art galleries, boutiques, creative businesses and nightlife. It is within walking distance of trendy Shoreditch and upmarket Liverpool street and from the hotel you can see the iconic gherkin building. The area it is situated in isn't much to look at but central London is just a stone's throw away and is reachable in under 25 minutes via the underground. In this post I'll review my experience of staying at this eco hotel that has some seriously green credentials.
So, just how eco friendly is Qbic?
The shower in my room was easy to use, quick to heat up and powerful. The rain shower was large enough for 2 people to fit easily. But it is also eco-friendly. They use an efficient system that mixes air into the water to genuinely use less water without scrimping on power.
In the bathroom I found organic toiletries from a company called Stop-The-Water-While-Using-Me. Don't you love the name and the reminder? Not only are the products in large refillable bottles instead of small disposable ones but the company that created them supports projects that provide clean water to poorer countries.
Saving energy and the planet
Cleaning rooms, changing bedding and replacing towels all require energy so at Qbic they've encouraged visitors who stay multiple nights to save energy by not having their rooms cleaned everyday. Those staying for more than one night get a free drink from the bar if they forego the daily clean.
To reduce the electricity the hotel consumes they have installed solar panels on the roof, and for eco-conscious drivers they provide access to Electric Car Charging Points.
The lighting within the hotel is also eco friendly by using LEDs to reduce energy consumption. Lights go off when you leave the room and come on into corridors or your room via sensors.
Mattresses in the hotel are provided by Naturalmat, who have been hand crafting natural and organic mattresses here in the UK for over 15 years. Mattresses are created by hand and use raw materials from renewable and sustainable sources.
At the hotel guests have access to bikes to use free of charge – the perfect way to explore the city. To stay safe and secure locks and helmets are also provided.
This is a hotel with eco-friendly in its DNA and it shows.
I stayed in one of Qbic's smart rooms. It doesn't have a window (they have other rooms available with windows) and because of this the rooms are very low cost. I paid less than £120 for 2 nights.
All rooms include the following:
- Free high speed WiFi
- Organic handmade superking Naturalmat mattress
- Bathroom with a rain shower and a steam free mirror
- Chemical free organic toiletries
- Fluffy towels
- UK/European Plug Socket Points and USB charging ports
- Air Conditioning
- Wardrobe & Desk
- Hair Dryer
- 32” LED TV
- Reading/Mood Lights
- Coffee machines on each floor (it does great coffee, much better than the instant coffee you get in most budget hotels)
- Iron and Ironing Boards available on every floor
- Disability friendly rooms available
The Qbic was formally an office building but now it is a bright, quirky and inviting space with sustainability at its core. Furniture is made from recycled wood and Qbic is a serious contender for one of London's most accessible and eco-conscious hotels. The decor is inviting and warm with plenty of space in public areas. Little touches like using a hose pipe to create the lamps in the bedroom and teddies that go on your door handle to serve as a do not disturb sign create a unique feel.
It's restaurant/bar named Motley is open plan and is the perfect place to hang with friends – it is decorated with bold bright colours, has large inviting tables, and as you'd expect for an eco hotel it has plenty of plants to decorate the area.
Service and Facilities
There is a self-service area for check-in although when I entered they handled check-in for me, staff are easily accessible and eager to help. You can even leave your luggage at bthe hotel after check-out which is perfect if your flight or train isn't till later in the day. You can also pay an extra £20 to check-out at 2pm instead of the standard 11am.
Food and Drink
Motley offers a breakfast included option and there's a lot included – it serves both vegans and non vegans and features fruit, frittatas, pastries, breads, panckaes and of course a good old English fry up in both meat and vegan versions. Gluten and dairy free options are also available.
Lunch, dinner and after hours menus are also available with again lots of options for all dietary needs.
Sustainability is at its core with low food miles and veggies ever present.
Drink options are also vast with cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks all available.
All cocktail tastes are catered to here and there's a wide selection of local craft beers.
Value for Money
Double rooms are priced from £58 upwards. Offers are often available and prices go up during peak times. For the location and facilities the price is a steal. I've paid more in London before for lesser hotels.
Access for guests with disabilities?
No feature has been overlooked here. Disabled guests will be delighted to know that the entire hotel is wheelchair-friendly, and they also have a total of 19 accessible rooms – which all have emergency alarms, wet rooms, and low beds.
Pets are welcome here and cots can be provided for an extra cost.
Overall I'd say that Qbis is the perfect budget-friendly eco hotel for a stay in London. Well situated for exploring the city and just a stones throw from the iconic Spitalfields market and Shoreditch it provides plenty of comfort for a very reasonable price. If I had ato rate it I'd give it a very high 9 out of 10.