Looking for a great budget Hotel in London but you also care about the environment? Then you should consider this place!
The Qbic hotel is a top new hotel in London. This budget hotel is also a green hotel. We stayed there 3 nights in March 2016. The management didn’t reply to my questions. Here is a review with the information we managed to find out of this well located hotel.
How to get there?
The nearest metro station is Aldgate East on the Hammersmith and City Line (the pink one). If you arrive via Liverpoolstreet metro station, you can sipmply walk to the Qbic hotel (a 15 minutes walk). The hotel is right in the corner of the small park named Altab Ali Park, 3 minutes away from the exit 3 and 4. Take the north exit, it is the closest.
It is one of the top hotels in London when it comes to value for money. This innovative budget boutique hotel has a great rating on tripadvisor and on Booking.com. We were curious to know what was behind the front doors. The concept of this Qbic hotel is very interesting; the bathrooms are in a cube within the room, which gives the room a unique look & feel. Asides from being interesting aesthetically speaking, the hotel is also part of the green leaders’ program from Trip Advisor. We contacted them to get some answers to our questions unsuccessfully which didn’t prevent us from going there to make our own opinion.
The Qbic hotel building was restored a few years ago as the hotel opened in 2013.The building was abandoned a few years ago but they gave it a new existence. There are solar panels on the roof., the windows are double layered windows and you can never open them completely. The building is BREEAM certified.
Hotel uses handmade and organic bed linen.Towels though are made of regular cotton (not organic ,nor certified)
We can’t speak about the food unfortunately but we checked the menu and there was no organic choices available. They do show the content of each dish in case of allergies or intolerance (G for Gluten, N for Nuts…). As a green leader Platinum we wish the Qbic hotel had more organic choices and more vegetarian and vegan options.
The Qbic hotel uses solar panels as part of their energy source. There is no electric appliances in the bedrooms except for the air conditioning. There is a keycard switcher in the bedrooms which means that when you leave the room and take your key, the electricity shuts down automatically, including the heating or cooling.
All the bulbs in the hotel are LED and there are motion sensors in the corridors of each floor. We liked the fact that all the plugs and lights switchers were on the same panel next to the bed.
The Qbic hotel recycles glass and plastic but we haven’t seen any sorting bins anywhere in the hotel. The reason is that recycling is only for the hotel waste and does not apply to the customers waste. We were also quite dissapointed to see that they provide disposable plastic lids and milk pot portions in plastic, huge source of pollution and waste.
The cups were in paper, but not recycled paper (or at least it was not indicated). The coffee is coming from Nude Roastery in London but after investigation, we haven’t seen any indication whether they were using sustainable packaging or disposable. The roastery delivers their goods only via carbon neutral means (bicycle or simply walking door to door). The trashbin next to the coffee machine was also a regular bin. After looking at the cleaning ladies‘carts, we saw no sorting bins. They do not seem to recycle the organic waste.
The shower head is a low-flow showerhead, mixing air and water to make sure we still get enough pressure. That saves quite some water. The toilets are modern and use less than 1.6 gallons per flush. The only problem we experienced is that it takes about 5 minutes to warm up the water depending on the hour you take the shower. In the evening it takes a while to heat up, which means that during that time you waste water…
The products provided for toiletries are from the brand “Stop using me while using water”, which is a new brand guaranteeing no chemicals and fully biodegradable products. Their bottles and containers are also recyclable and refillable. It is also convenient for vegans as they don’t use any products from animals (except for the Honey soap)
The cleaning products are also labelled EU ecofriendly. They do not collect grey water though (grey water is the used water that is filtered and cleaned up to be reused for the toilet flushes for example).
The hotel works with a local art association Café art which is a London-based initiative that aims to reconnect people affected by homelessness with society through Art. The hotel has given the association a space in the London hotel basement to run the charity from as well as showcased some of their artists work.
They also hired 40% of people from the neighborhood and started a bicycle program called Bikeworks.
Qbic hotel, a well located green budget hotel in London
Service: We arrived around 3pm. I was surprised by the interesting entrance of the Qbic hotel. Wooden furniture and furs in the hallway. There is a reception but it looks more like just a tiny desk on a side. The check in is very simple, they ask your name and you recieve the room key card. They dont give proactively any tips or advices which is a pitty, there are city maps available at the reception.
Bedrooms: We had the room 425. Nice room with but with the view on the building’s roof in front. The room is around 20 m2. The bed was quite big and very comfortable. You have all kind or weird wooden furniture in the bedroom made out of hoses and recycled wood. We didn’t find any information on the furniture brand (Sanderskkinga) but it gave the room a novelty touch. There are European plugs in the room so don’t worry if you forgot your adapter.
Facilities: The Qbic hotel is quite big (around 170 rooms) . The bar downstairs is open until 1am and is pretty cozy and comfy. The breakfast is typically not included in the room price, but if you are desperate for coffee or tea in the morning, like I am, don’t worry you have a free tea & coffee spot at every floor! Don’t expect much from the coffee taste though!
Food: We didn’t try their restaurant
Location: The Qbic hotel is in a great location. We stayed in 3 different areas of London before but this one was the best.! 3 minutes away from the subway, 10 minutes walk from Brick Lane food market, 15 away from Shoreditch bars and restaurants and 15 minutes away from the Tower of London, London Bridge and the City. Perfect.