Z Hotel: Trafalgar & Strand, London – Review

Z Hotel London Review

By Roger Crow, August 2023

The Z Hotel brand is well named because, like some comic book character, I caught plenty of Zs during a recent trip to London. And the two rooms Mrs C and I stayed in were not on the outskirts of the capital but in the thriving heart of the city on one of the busiest, and noisiest weekends of the year.

But first a little context. It’s a Friday night and having just spent a surreal night at ABBA Voyage on the other side of the city, my step counter has logged more movement in a few days than it usually does in a week. All I can think is Gimme Gimme Gimme a bed before midnight without spending a lot of Money Money Money.

Rocking up on a rain-soaked night at Trafalgar, all we want is a cuppa; a clean, comfy room and a chance to recharge our batteries.

Z Hotel London Review Trafalgar

“Just the job”

Thankfully check-in is fast and efficient, and within a few minutes we have our key cards, and are on the third floor where our room awaits. It’s compact, with a semi-opaque glass cube hiding the bathroom, and the bed filling the main part of the room with a large flat screen TV covering one wall. Naturally there are tea, coffee and hot chocolate-making facilities with a kettle, and a bottle of complimentary water, which is just the job after all that exercise.

If you need an iron, just ask at reception. The wi-fi is pretty good, and it’s apparently possible to stream content from your phone or tablet to the TV, though it didn’t work for me.

The power shower, always a key element in any hotel, was a dream to operate, and didn’t get so scalding or freezing that it involved hopping in and out.

Though there was a little peripheral noise from late-night party-goers, it wasn’t so intrusive to keep us awake. It helps that the automated blind shut out daylight, so pretty safe to say a good night’s sleep was guaranteed long after the sun had come up. Oh, and temperature is easily sorted with a simple control panel.

Z Hotel London Review Trafalgar

“Everything you need”

But what of breakfast? Well, we had terrific lattes, which costs a little over three quid per cup; pretty standard for any coffee shop these days, and was well worth it.

The breakfast buffet has a good selection of juices, standard coffee and tea, cereals, croissants, baked goods, smoked salmon, cream cheese, or you can order something a little more substantial. Certainly no complaints on that score. Whether you’re in town for business, or like us, having a flying visit, Z Hotel Trafalgar has just about everything you need for a place to sleep, eat and freshen up in the heart of London without breaking the bank.

Now all of the above is ideal if you’re on your own, but when there’s two of you, naturally it can be a bit of a juggling act as space is limited. Thankfully as Rachel and I managed to manoeuvre around one another with a minimum of fuss. It’s not easy, but it’s doable, and the fact you can check-out in no time and be in the heart of London before the rush is well worth it.

The added bonus is the fact we can leave our bags and cases in the safe hands of staff while we go off for the day. Obviously just make sure your ticket/receipt is in a safe place for when you go to pick up later.

Z Hotel London Review Strand

“Out like a light”

Keen to see what life was like in an arguably busier section of the city, Rachel and I later checked in to Z Hotel, Strand, which is a couple of doors down to the Back to the Future musical. If there’s one of the busiest, noisiest places on a Saturday night, then this is it. However, after a birthday party in Blackheath, we get back on the cusp of midnight, and all we want is a cuppa and sleep. But how possible will it be in the thriving heart of the smoke?

This time our room is on the sixth floor, and again there’s a little peripheral noise from other rooms, but that’s to be expected.

However, once that blind is closed with the flick of a switch, we’re out like a light.

The room feels bigger than our hotel the night before, and though the layout is very similar: bed, shower and loo/basin cubicle, there’s still enough room to move around, make a cuppa and crash out in front of the terrific TV. Again, Internet is great, and again we sleep straight through.

Z Hotel London Review Strand

“You know what you’re going to get”

Check out is 11am, so after a good lie-in, there’s just time to freshen up, have breakfast in the area behind the reception, and we’re set for the day.

As a side note, the staff in both Z Hotels are terrific, which is not always a given, obviously. There’s also a continuity between hostelries, so if you do want to try out a couple of different hotels, there is a welcome familiarity to the brand. You know what you’re going to get wherever you check-in across the city.

The acid test for any hotel is would I return as a paying customer? Considering the ease of check-in and check-out, the spotless rooms, great facilities and the affordable price, especially considering the location, then that’s a very easy yes.

Rooms at Z Hotels cost from £50 per night and can be booked online at www.thezhotels.com
Join Z Hotels’ free membership programme online to receive 10% discount on all bookings


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