the Royal Courts of Justice in a prime spot on Fleet Street, Z City is a new
budget hotel with 109 rooms and a bit of pizzazz. Through automatic electric
doors that open outwards (best not to enter in a hurry), you come to a
reception with shiny metal wall art and a passage leading to a bright breakfast
room and bar decorated in cartoons poking fun at the court process; many
lawyers are expected to stay at the hotel.
Z City is part of the Z Hotel chain established four years ago by Bev King, an
entrepreneur with years of hospitality experience, including a spell as the
manager of the Cumberland Hotel near Marble Arch. His first Z Hotel opened in
Soho in what he once carefully described as a former “Soho type of hotel for
people who did not necessarily stay the night”. Now there are eight hotels in
the chain, with six in the capital and properties in Glasgow and Liverpool. The
formula is simple: cheap, comfortable but smart little rooms at about the £60
to £150-a-night mark. The Victorian building housing Z City at 24 Fleet Street
was once owned by William Lund, a cutler and dressing case maker.
the rooms like?
They’re small — although staff prefer to say “compact”. Some overlook Fleet
Street, while others face a courtyard and a few have cityscape views. Some have
no windows at all. As on a cruise ship, you can opt for an “inside” room. These
crash pads are from £59 (breakfast is £12.50pp). The joy of Z City is that the
chain seems to have perfected the art of making the most of a reduced space:
frosted glass sliding doors lead to bathrooms with decent-sized showers; double
beds may be tucked against walls but mattresses and linen are good quality;
hooks with hangers are neatly positioned. Clever family rooms come with two
large bunks (from £79 to £180).
the best room?
Rooms 408, 501 and 508 have the best
city views (from £69 to £160); the best Fleet Street views are in rooms 405,
503 and 505 (from £69 to £160).
So what’s the food like?
A café is to open in a fortnight, serving snacks
including a “lobster wrap”. In the meantime there’s the breakfast room/bar,
where cheese with chutneys, crackers, olives, little tubs of rum-and-raisin ice
cream and wine are offered free to guests from 5pm to 8pm. It’s a jolly affair
overseen by friendly staff. In the morning, breakfast includes smoked salmon,
hard-boiled eggs, pastries, muesli, sliced fruit, fresh bread, good coffee and
bacon sandwiches. For an evening bite to eat try the pies and fish’n’chips at
Ye Olde Cock Tavern next door, where Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickens and Dr
Johnson enjoyed a tipple (taylor-walker.co.uk); or there’s El Vino (www.elvino.co.uk) or Ye
Olde Cheshire Cheese.
Expect to see lawyers and City types.
What else is there to do?
Covent Garden is a ten-minute walk away.
highs, the lows, the verdict
Eight out of ten
This is excellent value and lively, but remember that rooms are quite cramped,
rates can go up during the week and the cheapest prices quoted here are for
Gryphon Property Partners negotiated the terms with Z-Hotels on behalf of their client Barts Charity.
If you are interested in office space in EC4 call Gryphon Property Partners on 0203 440 9800 or click on the following link - City