Qbic prides itself on being different from the rest. Nestling near Brick Lane and just a two-minute walk from Aldgate Station, this trendy hotel embraces sustainability and personality. It’s the destination of choice, where locals go to work or play board games with their friends while having a drink – and this sets them apart from the competition.
They bring an emphasis on eco-friendliness and this is evident from the moment you enter the reception; a tricycle is there, right in front of you, acting like a centrepiece and another bike is suspended on the wall! Casually dressed staff checked me in and explained the rules of their castle, such as breakfast times and facilities. Then, I went up to drop off my bags before heading down to the Qbic Bar + Kitchen to grab some food and do a bit of work.
My bedroom was very trendy and futuristic. Its signature all-in-one, cube-shaped pod called ‘Qbi’ comprises a bed and the bathroom. The Qbi is sustainably built with fair-trade labour, and it features a super king-size bed with super comfy, organic, handmade, hypoallergenic mattresses and yummy sheets, and so many pillows! I was able to take them all and build my own ‘bae’ to cuddle to at night! It also has a built-in 32″ LCD TV, LED reading/mood lighting which was great fun to play around with, and light my room in all different moods (while I stayed up Whatsapping), UK/EU and USB sockets (very handy for international travellers!) and they provided a hair dryer, which is always handy.
The Qbic hotel also uses bespoke, handmade furniture and locally-sourced fixtures and fittings to add personality: each of their rooms is totally unique. Special attention is given to eco-friendly initiatives, such as solar panels on the roof. There is a strong focus on recycling and energy-saving, organic toiletries, and they also support the local community by hosting #QbicSessions: live events where they host ‘drinking and thinking’ workshops with local, up-and-coming talent.
I really appreciated the little details and efforts to encourage visitors to be more planet-friendly, like the signs on their organic toiletries to turn off the water. They ‘bribe’ guests to go down to the bar and have a drink on them for not requesting a daily clean for their room and they remind us to hang up our towels so they don’t have to be changed every day.
The Qbic Bar + Kitchen is super chilled, when I went down there to grab some food in the evening, there were people playing board games, some people having dinner and others working away on their laptops to the sound of old-school, classic R’n’B tunes.
I was pleasantly surprised to see so many vegan options on the menu. As it was all locally – and sustainably-sourced, Qbic definitely got brownie points from me. I appreciated the patience of my cute waiter, who worked with me and my indecisive-not-quite-hungry-don’t-want-anything-too-filling-ways, when I finally went for the recommended veggie burger and chips. Filling it is then after all that.
After reminiscing to some of the tunes that were playing in the background and getting some work done, while slowly getting a food coma from all the carbs, I retreated back into my toasty, quirky bedroom and its five pillows!
I had a good night’s sleep, although, in the morning I could hear my neighbours having a shower, which did wake me up, but I was down for breakfast shortly after. Breakfast is known to be one of the best in neighbourhood. This quite a statement, given that they are near Brick Lane; my favourite Monmouth coffee café, which does pretty epic food, is just around the corner. The spread at Qbic looked pretty, but there was not much I could have, not even a dairy-free smoothie, but, as they are so attentive there, the chef made me a vegan fry up and I bought my own mini watermelon which I enjoyed too!
I enjoyed my stay and I think Qbic is perfect for urban explorers who are both price- and planet-conscious, allergic to pretentiousness and appreciate a more relaxed, laid-back customer service and atmosphere.
They also have a hotel in Amsterdam, so if you are ever in Netherlands be sure to keep Qbic in mind too!