An Inspector calls… at London’s new Ruby Lucy Hotel, which has a ‘cramped’ bar and cafe ‘resembling a creche’ – but impressive rooms
- Ruby Lucy is a German import that recently opened near London’s Waterloo
- The Inspector says it offers funky accommodation aimed at a young crowd
- There are 76 rooms of various sizes —’nest’, ‘cosy’, ‘lovely’, ‘wow’ and ‘loft’
Ruby Lucy is a German import, which opened this week, near London’s Waterloo station, offering funky accommodation aimed at a young crowd who might appreciate gimmicks such as Marshall amplifiers in all rooms just in case they want to plug in their guitars and test the sound-proofing.
The cramped downstairs is given over to a bar and cafe populated by velvet armchairs, sofas and retro pinball machines hanging on the walls. It’s all upbeat and playful. I walk past thinking it’s a creche.
You can only book online. I think I’m paying £114 room but receive no email confirming this and when I arrive I’m listed as having forked out £139 — including £11 for a continental breakfast I don’t want. ‘Could you remove the breakfast please? I’ll just have a coffee in the morning,’ I tell a young German woman running the bar.
The bar and cafe at Ruby Lucy, which is populated by velvet armchairs, sofas and retro pinball machines hanging on the walls
‘No, it’s all done in advance online,’ she says. To make matters even more impersonal, you do the check-in yourself on a tablet mounted on the bar. I find this dispiriting, especially if you’ve been staring at a screen all day.
There are 76 rooms of various sizes —’nest’, ‘cosy’, ‘lovely’, ‘wow’ and ‘loft’. Mine’s a ‘lovely’ and I’m impressed. It’s predominantly white, spotlessly clean and, well, different. The glass shower cubicle and basin are both in the room, which might not suit those who crave privacy in the ablutions department. There are black-out blinds and each floor has a galley area with vending machines, ironing stations and complimentary teas.
I return downstairs and ask for a tomato juice, but there is none. Food offerings are limited to mini pizzas and bruschettas. I go for the latter with prosciutto and rocket salad, but nothing arrives for 20 minutes.
Eventually, I go to the bar and see something sitting on a wooden board. ‘That must be yours,’ says a second member of staff, sleepily.
Ruby Lucy is a German import that recently opened near London’s Waterloo station. The Inspector says it offers ‘funky accommodation aimed at a young crowd’
I tuck in, but quickly realise it’s not at all what I have ordered. The German boss then appears with my correct bruschetta and says I can have both on the house. A pleasing gesture, albeit the prosciutto has a plastic aftertaste and the bread is dry.
After a good night’s sleep, I merrily munch away at the breakfast I’ve not knowingly ordered — yoghurt, fruit, porridge, hard-boiled eggs, salami, ham, cheese and delicious fresh coffee.
Founded in 2013 and already with seven hotels worldwide and a further ten opening soon, Ruby has big money behind it. ‘Lean luxury’ is its mantra. I just wish tomato juice could make the cut.
Ruby Lucy Hotel, 100-108 Lower Marsh, London, SE1 7AB. Doubles from £119. For more information visit ruby-hotels.com.