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Zuper Night's Zleep at the Z
The Z Hotel (London)
Member Name: MarcoG
The Z Hotel (London)
Date: 13/02/12, updated on 13/02/12 (168 review reads)
Advantages: Location Location Location
Disadvantages: Swanky Shoebox Size
It's not often that I'll stay over night on London - transport links have always been good enough that I can easily get home at the end of an evening. As a Christmas present, I got my other half theatre tickets, and with more theatre gift tokens in our hands, we planned to get some last minute tickets for other plays too. As it was a special occasion, we decided to try and find a hotel that we could stay for the Saturday night. There were lots on offer, but invariably that were a few tube stops away from where we were planning on being. We found the Z Hotel, located in the heart of theatreland - literally (and I mean literally in the literal sense, not in the exaggerated and inaccurate modern vernacular use of the word) a stone's throw away from the Palace theatre, which sits on the crossroads on Charing Cross and Shaftesbury Avenue. The price wasn't too bad, and it had good reviews. It's brand as "the Urbanite Stay" - a new wave of affordable, cheap and trendy hotels for city lovers. Intrigued, we booked. We choose the Z hotel in Soho, but they also have a hotel in Victoria.
The hotel says about itself: "If you're an Urbanite, you don't stay out-of-town, when you visit a city. You don't skimp of style, or pay grand hotel prices. The Z Hotel is where you sleep, in a city that doesn't. That means that you can check into your room, congratulate yourself on choosing a central hotel with uber-modern interior design, then go and check out the city. The essential comforts. Crisp bed linen. An en suite wet room. Achingly stylish design. Plus the city on your doorstep; so you can work or play as late as you like - then simply saunter back to your Z Hotel, drop into the Z Cafe for a refresher, and then off to Z bed. If you love cities, you'll really like Z Hotels. From £75, The City for out an out-of-town price. Zleep on that."
First impression is how small and bijoux it is. Through the main doors you have the reception-cum-bar area with a few tables, so you can buy a drink and sit down. On checking in we were taken further into the foyer area where we told that our room wasn't ready (this was about 6pm), we were delighted to be offered free wine and nibbles whilst they looked into it for us. We went through to a bar area with more little tables. Half of the room was probably the width of a very generous train. I realised there were doors outside, on the furthest side of the lobby/bar/cafe - and we were infact in the "Z cafe". The menu offered light snacks and drinks (all London prices). We sat back with our wine and nuts and relaxed, very nice. The beautifully presented receptionist came and told us it was our lucky day and by way of apology, we had been upgraded to a Queen sized room for the inconvenience. Brilliant! All the staff had a European-Business-Young-Professional-chi​ ;c quality about them. The decor was minimalist and smart, yet very comfy and relaxing.
We were on the 4th floor, and whilst it was supposed to our lucky day...the lift was out of order - so we had to walk up the stairs! Ouch! There are 85 rooms in all. We got to the 4th floor and had to go outside into a sort of courtyard and open area, to get to our rooms - it felt like we were in a block of posh flats as we navigated the chrome and wood panelled corridor, with glass on one side, letting us look down onto the ground floor "urbanite" surroundings. Our private corridor only had 2 rooms, making us feel somewhat VIP! When we got into the room, through the standard door swipe, card key, locked door, the first thing that hit me was the size. It is tiny. Of course, they make no apologies for this - nor do they pretend they are otherwise. The finish is clean, tidy, trendy and minimal. The size is similar to a student dorm, a small amount of floor space, with a double bed up against the wall. Our room had the window just above the bed, so it didn't feel quite as claustrophobic as I feel it would appear if the bed up against a blank wall. At the end of the bed is a swanky Samsung flat screen TV - with SkyTV (oo la la). We also have 2 small bedside tables - one with a bottle water and glasses, and the other with a tea caddy - holding "teapig" teabags (which I thought was rather special, as opposed to the standard brands) and coffee. We also have a kettle and an iPod/iPhone connector, we were able to use this to charge our phones, which was really handy, but also, more impressively allowed us to play music or videos on the TV - a fab touch, I thought. The decor was lovely and smart, certainly stylish, as they promise. We had plenty of fluffy pillows and gorgeous bed linen. There was no wardrobe, but hooks on the wall and a full length mirror. There was aircon which either didn't work properly, or we couldn't work out how to use it. The room wasn't sound proofed, but I believe double glazed. As London never really goes quiet, I don't think you can expect to stay in the city and get a completely traffic-noise-free stay. It kept surprising me how central we were - it made me giggle when we could see the Palace theatre out of our window - central or what?!
Housed within the room, is the ensuite bathroom/wetroom. What makes this stand out, compared to other ensuites, is that the walls are made of frosted glass. To be honest, I thought it was too much design over substance - using the bathroom was like you were still in the bedroom, peeing in the corner or something - weird. If you had to share the room with someone you didn't know intimately, I can imagine the ensuite being potentially embarrasing - i.e. you.can.hear.everything! The fixtures were smart and snazzy, but the loo was really small - bucket sized diameter! One thing that made me coo, was the complimentary shower gel was Thierry Mugler - very nice! The room didn't get as steamy as I thought it might - shower steam all in control, thankfully. I don't know about you, but I just don't get on with wetrooms, I hate that the whole floor gets wet, so when you go back in there to brush your teeth, you can't wear socks. Luckily there were lots of towels that we could down to stave off the flood. In my mind, a wetroom is just an excuse for lack of water controlled shower trays, which probably here, would make the room feel smaller.
We didn't have breakfast, but the hotel offered a continental breakfast for £8.50 - I thought this was quite a lot, really. There is also cafe and bar on the other side of the building that sells light snacks and drinks. The prices are fair for London, but not extraordinarily high. When we first got the hotel, a couple near us had paninis, which looked quite good. I wouldn't choose to eat on site, but for convenience it seems ok.
Price and Value:
We paid £120 for one night's stay, on a Saturday, in January 2012. I'm not sure what you get for that exactly as we got a free upgrade - but it couldn't have been much smaller than the room we had. Considering we are in the heart of London, I think that's a fair price. Working out at £60 each, you are paying along the top end of the price spectrum, but also reasonably cheaper than some other London hotels you could find. They boast you can stay for as little as £75 per night, but this must be for a single room, midweek. With this hotel, if you define value as a comfortable room to sleep in, as you won't be stopping (as you want to explore), you probably are getting good value.
Other points to mention:
Being right in town, there is no parking, although you should be able to find plenty of NCP parking scattered around Soho. The hotel is being refurbished, and our room did have some unfinished timber (displaying measurements from the carpenter, for added realism) around the door, and on the bannister rail outside in our mini corridor - not that this put us off in any way.
GRAND TOTAL: 39/50 - 4 stars out of 5
Would I stay again:
For the location, yes. For the comfort, probably. For the fact you are staying away on a nice break, not sure. If I was planning on spending no time in the hotel, then fine - but sometimes, I like to take my time in the mornings and use the space, but at the Z, I didn't really want to hang around, I can imagine cabin fever developing - especially if you were staying there for a week. I said a few times that the size took me back to my uni days in halls or residence (if only my halls were so swanky) - even then, some of my friends had bigger student rooms than the Z.
If you are heading to London this summer for the Olympics and need accommodation, the website also points out the following:
- 5 minutes walk to Tottenham Court Road (Underground) station
- 20 minutes journey direct to Stratford (Underground) station
- 5/10 minute walk to the Olympic Park
- 2 minute walk to Victoria station (Underground)
- 10 minutes journey to Kings Cross (Underground) station
- Short walk to Kings Cross St Pancreas (Mainline) station (less than 10 minutes)
- Trains depart to Stratford International every 5-10 minutes (less than 10 minutes journey time)
I've created a couple of photosynths to go with the review, if you want to have a look:
The location (next to the Cambridge pub, on Moor Street, opposite the Palace theatre):
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx? cid=512805c8-36af-4b33-ac60-f16045a3da6f&m= false&i=0:0:0&c=0:0:0&z=495.8061478971 54&d= 4.67939408598089:-0.465892329400866:-0.47886108056 4795&p= 0:0&t=False
You can contact the Zhotel at:
London, W1D 5AP
Tel: 020 3551 3700
Recommended to the discerning city explorer
Thanks for reading
© MarcoG 2012
Summary: Really good little hotel, in the heart of London. Excellent staff, swanky style.
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