A recent Saturday night out in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter to meet a mate posed the usual conundrum, do I catch the last train home at 10pm, or do I take a taxi for £30 and stay a little later?
The hassle of ordering a taxi can be a real pain, I use A2B over Uber after a really bad experience where they once charged me £55, but even A2B can sometimes mean you have to wait in the cold and damp. So.. on this occasion I decided to take full advantage of a comfy warm hotel room at Bloc hotel.
Bloc hotel is a small innovative hotel chain based on capsule hotels of Japan. At present they have the Jewellery Quarter location and one in Gatwick Airport, with plans for a 270 ft hotel tower in Brum city centre opposite to Grand Central.
The group’s approach is to cut costs through effective usage of space while offering good design, quality and style. BLOC Hotels focuses on the sleep and shower experiences of its clients avoiding unnecessary elements, such as the wardrobe.
..it cuts out all the unnecessary bits and pieces and offers a streamline chic stylish stay in a beautiful location without breaking the bank.
The company’s intention is to open its hotels in places where space is at a premium, and where local infrastructure and facilities are good, and with the Jewellery Quarter location the local facilities are more than just good. With Otto Pizza and high-end fine dining Folium within a few seconds walk, and the breakfast cafes, bars and restaurants around St Paul’s square literally a minutes walk – Bloc is perfectly placed and guests can take advantage of various special Bloc discounts at selected businesses.
One thing you notice with Bloc, parking is so simple. There is ample on-street Council parking and it’s free in evenings and all day Sunday but Bloc also make available discounted NCP parking just in case.
I personally love the exterior design of Bloc. It is a modern stylish brick built hotel which seems to fit perfectly with the surrounding historic Victorian workshops.
A big friendly smile greeted me at reception, then a short walk took me to my Apartment Room on level three – straight forward.
First thing you notice is everything is immaculately clean. I always check the sheets and these were fresh and crisp. The king-size bed is pocket sprung which allowed for the most comfy night’s sleep.
The view from the window was above the roof tops towards the city centre and it feels more like a loft apartment than a hotel.
Climate control is easy to work and very effective with the ambient mood lighting offering a relaxing experience. All mod-cons here with tablet room control. I didn’t use the Samsung HD LED TV but for those who are spending a bit more time in the room this is conveniently placed opposite a large sofa. Wi-fi is free and fast as you would expect. There’s a kitchenette with sink, microwave, fridge and a dining table with chairs for a home from home feel.
My favourite feature is the bathroom which offers a large walk-in shower and fittings by Roca bathrooms. A few minutes stood beneath the drench shower with heat on full can melt away the most stressful of days I can assure you.
Bloc hotel is minimalist and I like this, it cuts out all the unnecessary bits and pieces and offers a streamline chic stylish stay in a beautiful location without breaking the bank.
I would always recommend Bloc, as a great option when visiting the city, for the cool and those wanting no fuss or pomp and ceremony. If you need a good read pick up their Bloc Magazine in the reception too, lots of great suggestions for the city and further afield.
Really looking forward to seeing their next venture rise high above the city.
Words by Nick Byng for Grapevine Birmingham.