Please say it “Zed,” which rhymes with “bed.” Now that you’ve got that down, here’s the formula: extremely compact rooms but lots of room under the duvets, glassy sleek style, a thrilling location on a quiet side street near the south end of Leicester Square, and a perfume-smelling lobby that’s always abuzz with breakfast, coffee, or wine. Breakfast is particularly fun: top-shelf cheeses and honey served in the honeycomb. The formula works because the staff provides surprisingly strong service for the price, and there are design smarts where they count: Shower nozzles swivel the way you need them to, towels are plump and copious. They poured a lot of cash into the bedding and the 40-inch TVs but did without closets and drawers. Rooms in the cellar (which you reach by passing through a small, strange basement parking lot) have no windows and as a consequence save you £15. Note that if you share a room with a platonic friend, bathrooms are enclosed by panels of fogged glass. All in all, it’s a dream for the price and a most welcome addition to the budget hotel scene. The first Z Hotel is at the southeast edge of Soho (17 Moore St., W1; 020/3551-3701, rooms start at £85 but are usually £145–£195; Tube: Leicester Square), and although we like it and it has a roof deck, it’s noisier and the configuration is more unpredictable—try that one second.
The Z Hotel Piccadilly
2 Orange St., WC2, London
Our Rating Neighborhood Piccadilly Circus/Trafalgar Square Transportation Tube: Piccadilly Circus Phone 020/3551-3720 Prices £80–£130 Amenities Café/bar, AC, free evening wine and cheese, free Wi-Fi Units 112Book a Room Now
Map2 Orange St., WC2 London London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.