Quirky Z Hotel: Urban luxury with free cheese and wine

“And you’ll find free cheese and wine in the Z Cafe from 5 pm until 8 pm,” said the smiling receptionist as she led me to my room.

Reminding me of a Parisienne Courtyard, they’d stacked the Z Cafe full of free tuck, and most welcome after a day of meetings, debates and speaking.

They were offering more than just cheese and wine. It was a smorgasbord of continental treats. Humus, olives, and other tasty nibbles. 

After dumping my stuff in my room I relaxed with a full-bodied glass of Malbec, read a couple of chapters of my book, and soaked up the atmosphere. Looking around I saw other solo travellers, and couples either sat in secluded booths or at the long wooden table, laughing and enjoying the free fare.

Quirky Z Hotel: Urban luxury with free cheese and wine

Photo from http://www.thezhotels.com/

Z Hotels are new to me. This one formed from a series of converted townhouses in Gloucester Place, London is brand new. Spotlessly clean. Cozy and inviting. Such a change from the functional dullness of Travelodge and its soulless mediocrity.

For a similar price Z Hotel offers quirky urban luxury. Wooden floors in the rooms inject character. Large queens sized bouncy beds with thick quilts and crisp white sheets invite you to snuggle in and watch a Sky Movie on the gigantic televisions.

The rooms are small, but the fresh design leaves you with a feeling of space. Perhaps the way they separate the bathroom, with its large walk-in shower, from the sleeping area with a frosted glass partition adds to the sensation of scale.

Only 10 minutes walk from Marble Arch or Marylebone Station it provides you with a good central place for a business or leisure visit.

The chatty waitress insisted I have another glass of wine before they closed the free bar. Later I retired to bed for a comfortable night’s sleep.

With free wifi, and the free cheese and wine, the Z Hotel Gloucester Place offers the promised urban luxury at a good price. My only niggle was there was no bedside light. Your choice was either the bright main room lights or darkness. I found putting the bathroom light on, illuminating the bedroom through the frosted glass was a better alternative.

I didn’t eat breakfast in the hotel, but as I wandered through the Z Cafe courtyard the following morning I saw a plentiful spread of cold meats, cereals, pastries and bacon rolls.Tempting as it was to linger and enjoy food and coffee in such a welcoming place, more meetings beckoned and I set out into the cold London morning air thinking the Z Hotel has found a place high up on my preferred hotel list.

With sites across London and in Liverpool and Glasgow I’m sure I’ll be back for more of the delicious Malbec soon.

What do you think?

Have you stayed in a Z Hotel? What did you think? Are the rooms too small? Did you enjoy the Z Cafe? Leave a comment and let me know.

3 Ways to Improve Hotels – Indigo London Paddington

What’s your favourite hotel to stay in when you travel on business?

I have a simple rule. The hotel must at least be up to the standard of my home.

The mattress in my home bedroom is not made of stone. I do not buy rough toilet tissue and my towels are not made of bleached iron wool. So I don’t want these features when I’m travelling.

But it’s not a hard bed and lack of fluffy towels that upsets me most though. My three main gripes with hotels throughout the world, but mainly in the UK, are as follows:

  • Extra charges for WiFi
  • Cold, congealed breakfast buffets
  • Outrageous charges for mini-bars

What about you?

In addition I am also put off by sprawling mega-hotels with endless check-in and check-out queues, which teem with masses of humanity fighting for space in the bar or the restaurant.

3 Ways to Improve Hotels

So I am happy to have found a hotel chain, Indigo, which hits the spot in almost every way and succeeds in these 3 Ways to Improve Hotels. Indigo Paddington, for example,  is a flawless diamond hidden down a street about 2 minutes walk from Paddington station. This makes it a perfect base for business and pleasure trips. It only has 60 or so rooms so it feels intimate and cosy.

3 ways to improve hotels

The rooms are quite small but they are brimming with lovely colourful fabrics, pictures and decorations. The bed is liberally covered in throws and cushions and is delightfully comfortable. In the bathroom is one of those showers with a head the size of a plate so you feel as if you are standing in the rain. If this is too much for you just use the second-hand held shower head.

All rooms have free WiFi and soft drinks from the mini-bar are complimentary.

At breakfast you order from a menu and they prepare your plate fresh and a waiter brings it to your table. This alone would set Indigo above many hotels in London. And they are appearing in other UK cities.

Indigo is pricey so if you can book ahead you might get a better deal.

Now It’s Your Turn:

I thought I’d add some travel experiences to add variety to my blog posts. Hope you enjoyed this first travel tip.

So tell me. What are your hotel grumbles? Have you found a hotel or chain that provides a great service at a good price. Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.