In Fits Of laughter At The Design Of The Hub Hotel
We ‘enjoyed’ our first night at the Premier Inn Hub Hotel, mostly because of the endless amusement, actually all out laughing fits, we experienced observing the stupid design decisions that negatively impacted our stay.
It seems most likely that the room was designed by a committee, the dominant member of which must have been from marketing, the architect was probably asleep, the human factors specialist failed to turn up and the inexperienced kid from IT must have been giddy, at having been given an unlimited budget, but an absence of common sense. The whole place is full of pointless gadgets and unreliable touch panels that take the place of functional switches and signs and who in their right minds thought it was a good idea to force guests to connect to wifi and install a smartphone app just to control the lights! There were touch panels to complement the smartphone app, but these were hidden behind the pillows and when we did find them they failed to work most of the time. Thank goodness the TV had a normal remote control!
The room is absolutely hopeless to navigate with the lights out, because it’s pitch black, for example when I used the iPhone app to switch on the lights on, to go to the toilet, they came on at full brightness! How hard would it be to default to minimum when it’s past sunset, even minimum is too bright though. Incredibly there’s no independent light for the bathroom so to take a leak you have to light up the bedroom as well, and the, very bright, shower room light streams into the bedroom through a translucent panel right above the bed. In fact the whole lighting design is disaster.
The physical layout is even worse, especially for couples, Debbie almost had to take a running jump to get onto the bed, it’s that high! The bed is a double, which is just acceptable, but to get into, and out of it, I had to literally climb over the top of Debbie because there’s no access to my side. There really needs to be a warning when booking that couples needed a very high level of mobility just to navigate the bed. Despite these challenges I managed to sleep reasonably, although Debbie’s painful hip (and the noisy air conditioning) kept her awake, the room is very stuffy without the air conditioning on.
We ended up using our phones to provide night time illumination because the room lights were way too bright and we had to put a towel around the bathroom door to stop it banging loud enough to wake the dead. I’d rather have slept in student digs, it was a bit like camping in a small camper van, in terms of it’s level of inconvenience. Then there’s the little things, the bin was about the size of a can of beans, there’s nowhere to put clothes or towels or to dry them, the desk is more like a short plank of wood, and bags have to be stowed under the bed, so to get anything out of mine I had to crawl around on my knees.
Still, like camping, it’s been a novel experience and a nice reminder of why I’m pleased I’ve got out of the technology business and will never to invest in a ‘smart’ home. But to be fair it is half the price of the Premier Inn, next door and it’s nice to see some experimentation in hotels, but a youth hostel would have been much comfier.
Recommended only for able bodied, solitary travellers, seeking new experiences.