Originating from Amsterdam, the Qbic Hotel brand provides affordable, urban luxury for discerning modern travellers. The brand has made its debut in the UK with the opening of Qbic Hotel London City – bringing its budget boutique offering to the clientelle of East London.
The opening of Qbic Hotel London City marks a turning point in the East London hotel scene. Located just a few minutes from Aldgate East underground station, the hotel merges the design focus and comfort of a modern hotel with the affordability and community feel of a new-wave urban hostel.
The concept is being led by Paul Rinkens and Paul Janmaat – CEO and MD of Qbic Hotels respectively – who began the process with the vision of turning empty real estate into stylish accommodation. The brand focuses on the delivery of what its founders see as five key essentials to every hotel stay – immaculate cleanliness, a comfortable bed, a great shower, soundless bedrooms and free WiFi.
The 171-room Qbic Hotel London City is set in a repurposed office building, and took six months to complete. The project was led by architect March & White, while Blacksheep completed the interior design concept for the ground-floor public spaces.
The modernity of the hotel is emphasised on arrival, with check-in desks in the lobby and a communal living area taking prominence on the ground floor. The interior is a sea of bold colour and quirky touches – much of the furniture and lighting has been sourced from up-and-coming designers, bringing an eclectic and contemporary feel to the overall space.
The main feature of the guest rooms is the Cubi – a compact living space which comprises a spacious bed and bathroom. Futuristic in design, the Cubi features bespoke, handmade furniture and locally-sourced fixtures and fittings. Each Cubi takes less than two hours to assemble, allowing the hotel to be completed on schedule with little impact on the environment.
As well as the interior design, Qbic Hotel London City is innovative in its engagement with the local community. The hotel aims to boost employment in the local area through initiatives such as its recruitment drive – at least 50% of the hotel’s staff live nearby – and charity partnerships with Food Cycle and Bikeworks, both of which help assist people back into work. The hotel also connects its guests with the local community through temporary art exhibitions, cooking sessions and excursions.