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“Just outside of central London, right next to train...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Aloft London Excel

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Aloft London Excel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Eastern Gateway, London E16 1FR, England (Docklands / Canary Wharf / Isle of Dogs)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #233 of 1,049 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Milan, Italy
Top Contributor
211 reviews 211 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
“Just outside of central London, right next to train...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2011

Stayed at this hotel for two nights at the end of November. When we first arrived via DLR (Prince Regent station), we were a little unsure of where the hotel was, though we knew it was close by. Hopefully, hotel staff will see to it that a sign is placed to offer directions for DLR passengers. But, by asking a few people at the Excel Center (right next door), we were quickly directed to the hotel. It is clean and modern, and only a two minute walk to the train station. Checked in easily and the staff was friendly. They were sure to tell us how to use the key card to access the elevators (as noted as troublesome in some other reviews) and happily helped us when we had difficulty using the room phone and hotel wifi. The free wifi is a BIG plus. The O2 Center is within easy reach of the hotel and even though it's a bit out of the city, we never found the ride into London to be too troublesome. The room itself was comfortable. The blackout shades do make it a bit dark, as you'll never know it's light outside in the morning until you open the shades. The shower and bath areas are nice, though I did notice that the water did not get quite as hot as I would have liked. A few extra hooks or places for towels to hang would be helpful, but I found the room enjoyable and would definitely stay here again. Grabbed a muffin from the quick breakfast area and it was tasty and not overly expensive.

Room Tip: We were on the 8th floor facing the water and parking lots. No sound issues from below or from hallw...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Salisbury
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2011

If attending anything at ExCeL/ICC the location cannot be beaten, but pretty much everything else can. The place is brand new and the emphasis is on minimalism, which extends to both the facilities and to the food and drink but sadly not to the prices.

The rooms are fine but abysmally short of storage for clothes, there are no drawers and the wardrobe holds about 5 items, OK for a solo guest for one or two nights but not for any longer nor for a couple. The bed was very comfortable and the shower is great. Large screen TV is unnecessarily complicated to operate with a bias to some odd channels but no BBC3, and once it crashed ('The selected page cannot be displayed') even turning it off and on again wouldn't re-boot it. Still no iron or ironing board in the room. Apparently they are still waiting for these a month after opening - haven't they heard of Argos? Free WiFi is a nice touch, but there are no cups or glasses, two cardboard coffee cups just isn't good enough.

The bar/lounge area is a little sterile and despite shiny beer pumps doesn't serve draught, although this is available in the FEDE restaurant at £4.20 for half a pint. Despite being in the hotel, the restaurant is not part of the hotel and so cannot be charged to the room. Food was OK if pricey, and the service very slow.

The hotel's own food and drink options are similar to what you find in railway station buffets, and the breakfast has very little to offer, though full english is available in FEDE for £14.50.

The staff are friendly enough but inexperienced and the service a bit hit and miss, with room make up and replenishment somewhat erratic.

It's in a fairly bleak and desolate area, with nothing nearby except for ExCeL and a few other probably more welcoming hotels. Access is easy from the DLR, and I would only stay here again if visiting ExCeL just for the convenient location, but the Ramada and Premier Inn are only a short walk away and possibly a better bet.

Room Tip: Try one of the nearby hotels
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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San Diego
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

I stayed at the hotel the week of 2011.11.21 for 4 nights. I was unsure about staying at such a new property but it didn't disappoint. Conveniently located next to the Prince Regent DLR station the hotel was very easy to get to and from during the week I was there. Situated right next door to the ExCel in the docklands the hotel offered a very modern configuation and a comfortable room. The room itself worked well for a single traveler but might have been a bit tight for a couple. The king sized bed was very comfortable and all of the ammenities worked as advertised. Very little noise from adjacent rooms though one night there was a bit of a ruckus outside that could be heard through the glass. I never ate at the hotel but the bar adjacent to the reception desk was very popular in the evenings and the staff there was very attentive the one night I stopped in for a drink. While the hotel seems to be geared toward a younger demographic I still felt comfortable there and enjoyed the energetic staff. Overall I was happy with the hotel and the location. Very convenient to locations in the east end of London, Greenwich, and Southwark. Heading to the west end wasn't an unreasonable trip provided you planned ahead and picked a less congested route for the time of day.

Room Tip: I was on the 3rd floor facing the North side. I think that a room higher up would have been less ex...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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AloftLondonExcel, General Manager at Aloft London Excel, responded to this review, December 1, 2011
Hello Fedora-n-FountainPen,
What fantastic feedback, we are excited to hear you felt comfortable in our re:mix lounge and w xyz bar. Both are cool spaces with a special vibe, but that does not mean you have to be a certain age. Everyone loves it. w xyz bar really comes to life in the evening, with an energectic program of DJs and games nights. Next time you are here, maybe you find time for a round to play the Wii.

Let us know when you next travel to London, we will reserve a high floor with south facing view for you. Even better, we could take you to the hotel roof, from there we have a stunning view of the Olympic stadium.

Have an easy-breezy day,

Julia Harnischfeger
Hotel Manager
julia.harnischfeger@alofthotels.com
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Cleveland, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

We stayed at this hotel for about a week, and although the price was right, we weren't sure it compensated for the problems.

While the aesthetics of the hotel are really great, the functionality in the room was really lacking. As there were two of us, with clothing for a week, the absence of storage in the room made for an inconvenient and cluttered stay. There are literally no drawers in the room, and so all of our clothes had to be stacked up in piles at the bottom of the closet and the two open shelves. The closet only has room for five hangers.

The bathroom setup is open and doesn't offer any sound privacy. There was also nowhere near the sink to hang hand towels and part of the sink kept falling off.

The front desk staff was friendly, but wasn't very professional.

Although some might appreciate the blackout shades, it would have been nice to have an in-between alternative.

As for the location, it would be great if you were attending a conference or convention at Excel, but there is literally nothing around the hotel and it takes about 30 or 40 minutes by DLR and tube to get into the city, so we couldn't rest or recharge there during the day.

The Grab and Go area for food worked pretty well and was reasonable.

I think if you were staying here for a day or two or attending a convention, it would be fine.

Room Tip: I might ask for a room on a higher floor as the bar can be a little noisy at night.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

Positives: the energy efficient measures used around the hotel are a nice touch, the fact that at the last minute I needed to get internet access and print off a confirmation email- and it was all free and quick to use- big plus!!, everything very clean with a nice design style, close to DLR, nice shower.

Negatives: you need to use your room card to get the lift to go to your floor- nice security measure, but nobody told us this and we spent ages in the lift trying to get to our floor! It's not obvious, or had any signage regarding the sensor.

No signage on the outside of the building- coming from the DLR, you aren't sure where to go for the entrance and there isn't anything to help you along the way. Even just a small sign saying Reception this way would be helpful.

No book in the room with any information about the hotel- don't have a menu for the restaurant, anything about the spa/sauna facilities, breakfast etc. - just would be nice.

Small things- left our towels on the floor to be exchanged for new ones ,and never got them. Also the coffee station was a bit spotty, with 2 days not getting stirrers or sugar replaced. -Also, for a hotel focusing on being "green" it seems odd that you have 100% biodegradable cups for coffee that must be thrown away and brought new ones everyday. Why not have actual coffee cups? Would be more "green"

Lastly- the TV- when you want a wake-up call, it's all on the tv and you can't get someone to call you. For business people or technically challenged people- this isn't terribly efficient. The TV in general is just a bit of a hassle and not as simple as it should be.

Overall though, I'm sure it will sort out the kinks, and once you know how everything works its a nice place to stay.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

I stayed in this hotel for 1 night on saturday, as me and my dad were going to top gear live. the hotel is ideally situated if you are going to an event at excel, as it's about 20 steps from the entrance to the centre, and about 60 steps from the nearest DLR station, prince regent.

we were greeted by a very impressive, and very modern hotel, that still had that "new" smell about it, as it had only been open for a few weeks. i'll talk about all the things I like first.

technology: after checking in, we were given our keys, and shown to the lift. the lift has a nifty security feature where you touch your room key to a panel on the lift, and then it will only let you select the floor your room is on, handy for security, and also to stop us getting lost.

rooms:the rooms are on the smallish size, but that's ok, as most of the space is taken up by the rather large, comfortable, and squashy bed!! got a great nights sleep in it. the blinds are a solid fabric type, so once I lowered them, and covered up the red standby light on the tv with a piece of card (I have a thing about electrical lights when i'm trying to get to sleep) there was no light in the room at all, total blackness. Bliss!! nice shower, although the water was a touch cold, and adjustable thermostat on the wall. also, what impressed me was the doors have contactless technology on them, no slot to insert your room card against, just tap it against the black box on the door, and bingo, you're in, also, the lights in the hall are motion sensitive, meaning no light coming in the room at night, unless someone walks down the hall, and if you need to find your way to your room, you will always have light. very good.

facilities:nice bar downstairs, with a free pool table, also, the refresh station is always open dispensing food and drink. loved the wifi, many hotels offer "free" wifi, but you either have to give a deposit, or fill in a large form and get e-mail spam from the hotel for the rest of time, not here, just lock on to the signal, login page where you enter in your room number and surname, and bingo you're on! you only do this once, then your device will auto connect to the wifi signal for the rest of your stay, just as it would in your home. very impressive.

Not so good things.

now, for the things that aren't so good. mainly, it's the policies that the hotel run. first off, we booked the room through expedia, and the rooms were bought and paid for in advance. now, I noticed on the hotel, "we have a policy to charge £50 per person per night to cover "extras". now, the card I used to pay for the room was a pre-paid credit card that you top up, and I rang the hotel, and asked if this would be a problem, "no" i was told "since the room is paid for in advance". so imagine my surprise when we checked in, and I was handed what looked suspiciously like an invoice for £153 pounds that would be pre authorised for "extras" I explained to them that I was told this would be fine, and that I wasn't even carrying that amount of money on me in cash! the girl on the desk looked confused and said that this was their policy to cover "extras". now, unless they are offering the kind of extras you get in thai massage parlours, I am bemused to wonder what we could have possibly bought that was that amount of money, considering there were no pay to view tv services that I could see, and the bar took cash anyway. it also stated on their website "it may take up to two weeks prior to departure for the funds to be released, and aloft are not responsible for any charges or interest incurred" now, many hotels want a card on file, in case you trash the room or something, which is fine, but I've never heard of this before, and I found the whole experience completly pointless.

to make it just a little worse, when we were checking out, we were presented with another one of these "invoices" for a pound each. we were told, this is all that is due for payment. when I asked what this was, i heard "for your charitable donation" I took a little afront to this, as I do donate to charity regularly, but I don't like being basically told "you have to pay this" Now, to be fair, they didn't say we had to, but it was the way that we were just handed the invoice as if it was a charge we'd incurred. the girl on the desk seemed a bit taken aback when I queried this, and eventually said "well, you don't HAVE to pay it!" even though she'd already included this on the checkout form and printed the invoices out. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is designed to sneak on a bill that is already full of extras, whereas it stuck out with us, because it was the only item on the invoice. now before anyone judges me to be stingy, i should mention that we did both pay it in the end, and I was happy to do so, I'm just making the point that I don't like being made to feel that I HAVE to give to charity.

Conclusion.

Despite my ranting above, these were only two minor points on an otherwise very enjoyable stay, and I would highly recommend aloft london for its comfort and convenient location. we had a great time, and I would go back. I just would be keeping an eye on my credit card balance at the time!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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AloftLondonExcel, General Manager at Aloft London Excel, responded to this review, November 28, 2011
Hello David P,
Thanks for the detailed review and highlighting all the great Aloft features. The full black-out blinds are 'bliss', but make it hard to get up from our comfy Aloft beds in the morning. Did you know that Aloft beds are based on the famous Westin Heavenly Bed? Along with the Bliss Spa bathroom amenities, I guess there is no better start to the day or sleep to the night.
Fast + Free WiFi really is a treat, with the hotel still being so new, we are thrilled to hear it worked perfectly.

We are sorry to hear that the "Check out for Children" program by Unicef was not communicated to you correctly. We agree, you or any other guest should never feel that you have to give. Aloft is committed to supporting Unicef, but we also appreciate that there are many good causes to support individually, therefore the £1.00 donation on check-out will always be voluntary. We will review this with our team again. Thank you very much for the feedback.

Looking forward to welcoming you back.

Julia Harnischfeger
Hotel Manager
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Plymouth, England, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2011

Myself and a friend stayed at the hotel for 5 nights in nov the hotel had then been open approx 3wks.At first i was a bit worried as we caught a black cab from paddington station.big mistake cost us 52pd.My first thoughts were omg where are we going.On arrival at the hotel we were greeted with a warm welcome and offered a room on the 7th floor a room with a view which i thought was nice.When i saw the room we thought wow it was lovely,spotless couldnt fault it.Instructions for everything were there iron and board all there,the sheets on the bed you could see were brand new and the queen beds were perfect.We didnt bother with breakfast wanted to get out xmas shopping etc.Its amazing how you can walk out of the hotel and on to a train or bus within minutes never had to wait long at all.We went to covent gdn.winter wonderland.oxford st harrods all over even though at first you think its a bit far out you get used to it lets be honest what other hotel do you know that you can step off a train and walk right into your hotel.We used the fede resturant about 4/5 times.There were a few teething problems but this is to be expected i think not long open but am sure it will turn out grand.The food was lush and the staff were very friendly and worked extreamly hard.We come to london about twice a year we live in plymouth devon so not to far our only worry is the prices will go up in the future and probably been to expensive as we did get a very good price but well see,we wouldnt want to stay anywhere else now so we will always check prices here first.Would like to wish the hotel every success in the future and thankyou for our lovely stay.Regards sue and jane.

Room Tip: we were on 7th floor,nice and quiet and lovely view of the dock.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AloftLondonExcel, General Manager at Aloft London Excel, responded to this review, November 28, 2011
Hello Susan B,
Aloft Hotels is all about affordable luxury, we want you to feel special and indulge without breaking the bank. Where else would you get free WiFi, designer furniture and a stunning splash pool? We are happy to hear you and your friend enjoyed the stay and will be back.

If you are flexible with dates, choose one with less activity at ExCeL, which is right next to us. On those quieter dates, there will always be attractive rates available and we look forward to welcoming you back. Anything you need for your next stay, please let us know.

Have an easy-breezy day.

Julia Harnischfeger
Hotel Manager
julia.harnischfeger@alofthotels.com
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Additional Information about Aloft London Excel

Address: 1 Eastern Gateway, London E16 1FR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Docklands / Canary Wharf / Isle of Dogs
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#94 Best Value Hotel in London
#153 Romantic Hotel in London
#165 Business Hotel in London
#172 Luxury Hotel in London
#216 Family Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Aloft London Excel 4*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only hotel directly connected to ExCel London International Convention Centre (ICC), Aloft London ExCel features 252 Guest Rooms and Suites, a w xyz(SM) bar, re:fuel by Aloft(SM) where guests can grab a snack 24/7, and the re:mix(SM) lounge. Complimentary wired and wireless high speed internet access is also available throughout the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aloft London Excel Hotel London
Aloft London Excel England

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