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“Cool!” 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 #230 of 1,049 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Cool!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

Stayed here for one night and was pleasantly surprised. I was meant to have a double room but was allocated a twin room - which was OK as I was staying on my own. The room was also a disabled room, but I think that just meant that the loo had handle rails and emergency switches installed - couldn't see any handle rails around the bath/shower area though? Otherwise the room was lovely, clean and spacious. I would have preferred the room to have had additional floor lamps perhaps as I found the room a bit too dark from dusk with all the room lights switched on. I don't know why the hotel mentions the oversized shower head on their webpage info in the room section - as it just seemed like an ordinary large shower head that you would normally find in someone's home (it's only 6-7 inches diameter). Nothing special in my opinion. 2 sinks are available - one standard-ish sized one by the main door and one tiny one in the bathroom. I never used the one in the bathroom because it was just too small to wash my face in or wash hands in, without getting water on the floor (besides the soap dish was placed by the other sink)- and there was no mirror above it. The sink by the main door is one of them shallow round contemporary sinks - which I also find awkward but it did the job I guess. Ample storage space - 2 large double wardrobes. Kettle, complimentary bottled water, coffee and tea supplied - but unfortunately, no proper cups or mugs. Instead there are 2 cardboard cups, as you would get in a coffee shop. That's fine I think if you want to make a hot drink and take it out with you, but for drinking in your room, well it felt a bit odd to me. And there are 2 plastic disposable cups provided by the sink - not very classy. So no glasses or cups in the room. The TV system is, as many others have mentionned on here, cumbersome and fiddly to use. The beds are very comfortable and I did get a good night's sleep here. The aircon is not noisy and easy to control. There is a safe and a mini-fridge in the room - however the fridge was bare! Why couldn't they have put the bottled water in there? There is a note on the fridge to say that if you want any items, to go down to the 24hr hotel shop downstairs. The room was soundproofed enough to my satisfaction. Sure the front door does bang if you let go, but from the bed, I couldn't hear any noise coming from the hallway, and also could not hear any aircraft noise (although there aren't that many flights from city airport during the weekends).
I made use of the pool, sauna and steam rooms and found these to be in very good clean condition. The hotel should however put signs up saying that you need to activate your card to gain access to the fitness centre. I'm sure that I am not the only person who tries to force open the locked doors! And there needs to be clear signs saying which doors are for the changing rooms and how to lock the doors. Its not very obvious at all. There are towels provided in the swimming pool area so you don't need to bring one down from your room - there were some lockers but there were no keys for them - so perhaps you need to obtain one from reception if you need to have a locker. Most people seemed to wander back up to their rooms in just their swim gear and a towel.
When you check in, you are provided with a breakfast voucher. One per person. The voucher entitles you to any 3 items from the food area, plus any hot drink. Again, its not clear as there is no signage and it's confusing as there are price lists on display, but you can choose from absolutely anything there- the price lists are for those who are not using their breakfast voucher. Pots of porridge, boxes of cereal, sandwiches, paninis, pots of soup, bars of chocolate, bread, bread rolls (i think you're allowed 3 of these), danish pastries, muffins, pain au chocolat, pots of muesli, fruit, tubs of salad etc. Paper bags provided if you want to grab your items and go eat in your room or outside of the hotel - very good idea.
Oh and there are 2 bins in the room - one under the desk and one in the bathroom. The one under the desk is the recycling bin - so you can only put paper, cardboard, plastic in there. All other rubbish has to go into the tiny bin in the bathroom. Why, oh why, could they not put another bin under the desk for other non-recyclable rubbish???! Think I must have walked a fair amount to trek to and from the bathroom just to put the other rubbish away. That , I found, was very annoying.
On checking out, the reception guy was a bit busy, so I thought I would do a self checkout using one of the kiosks. Not only was it a bit slow loading up, but when it brought up my invoice (I had already prepaid), it had a balance of £1.00 to go to some charity. And funnily enough, I could find no way of removing this. So I cancelled it, and went back to check-out at the reception desk. Very annoying.
Otherwise, a great hotel and would stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 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
    • 5 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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Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

We stayed here the night before our flight to Ibiza at City airport and I must say we were very impressed. The rooms were a good size and the space had been properly thought about to keep it modern but private still. We arrived in the evening and as the restaurant was full, we were able to order a takeaway delivered to our room which was just what we needed.
Great staff and would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falkirk District, Scotland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

Came down from Scotland for a short break to London, I was pretty gutted when I realised how far outside the centre the hotel was, but after getting used to London rail network it was only a 15 min journey from the station right outside the hotel, so it's an ideal location while not paying the premium for a substandard hotel in the city centre.
The hotel was very nice inside and out, the decor was very modern and stylish, the room was an ideal size, I would loved to have stayed longer.
My only small criticism is that the wxyz bar closed too early at night, as there is so much to do in London, most people don't get back to the hotel till late.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

I called the hotel a few hours before I arrived just to confirm my booking with them. The receptionist that answered the phone made a mountain out of a molehill with my simple question after repeatedly asking me to spell my surname (which isn't complicated at all) then speaking over me when I tried to tell her that she had got the spelling wrong. So not a great start!

Finding the hotel was easy enough, as soon as you step off the train at prince regent the hotel is pretty much directly in front of you. Reception is on the second floor where you're greeted by the smell of chlorine from the pool. As there was only one receptionist on at the time with a queue of people waiting to check in/enquire, I decided to use the self service check in option.I would advise not to use this if you're in a hurry! At first it was straightforward but it wouldn't let me fill my registration card out properly - only letting me put one letter on each line of my address. I chose to print my registration form off anyway and fill it in manually. Key card came out the machine. Registration form did not! So I ended up at reception where I met the girl I had spoken to on the phone earlier. We had the same fun and games of her trying to find my surname and me spelling it out to her before I was finally checked in! I had also booked a double room but was given a twin, was too tired to complain.

The lighting throughout the hotel is quite dim, with rainbow coloured lampshades & music playing fairly loud throughout the corridors and in the lift - gave it a bit of a nightclub effect! My room was spacious (supposedly because I'd wrongly been assigned a twin room.) The sink for the toilet is outside of the actual shower room area next to the door where you come in (which closes really loudly behind you, I could hear peoples doors banging all through the evening) which I found a little bit strange.

The television is a little bit tricky to work. Channels don't come on straight away, instead you are given options of whether you would like to use the internet, have 'complimentary tv' or tv/internet packages etc. For some this might be useful but for myself I'd rather the TV just came on straight away!

Wi-fi is complimentary, you have to log in on the website with your surname/room number. I experienced a few problems with this as I kept being disconnected so ended up using my 3g instead.

On a positive note, the bed was comfy & my room was clean. I was given room 421 and didn't have the best view but I'm sure there are some rooms at the other side of the building which have great views of the o2. Two bottles of complimentary water are in the room along with tea and coffee.

There are two breakfast areas, one of them being the 'grab and go' area (which I used) which faces on to reception. It's a small area so it was a bit hectic in the morning.

Bit of a mixed review - all in all I would probably stay again but only if I was stuck for somewhere. I booked this through last minute.com so paid around £80 but I think rates can be anywhere around £120-150.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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AloftLondonExcel, General Manager at Aloft London Excel, responded to this review, November 2, 2013
Hello lollylewly,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I am sorry to hear about your mixed experiences. At times we cannot guarantee a bed type, depending on the T&Cs of your reservation. We always try to accommodate our guests’ preferences, I am sorry that this was not possible on this occasion. Your feedback is very valuable to us and it helps me to guide the team to develop and grow. I would love to hear from you when you are next staying and we will ensure you have a great time at Aloft London Excel.

Julia Harnischfeger
Hotel Manager
Julia.harnischfeger@alofthotels.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

Stayed here for one night and although out of town it was such a great experience. Was on business and the room, food, service and gym exceeded expectations especially as
I booked this as a secret hotel on last minute.com on the day of staying. Would absolutely return for pleasure. The best nights sleep in a hotel in ages...amazing bed!

Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
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Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

We used this hotel for an overnight stay, dinner & a business meeting the following day. 14 attendees in total.
Location was excellent and if visiting Excel, you can ask for nothing more. Check in was good and the rooms were of a good standard. Well equipped, clean & modern. Absolutely no complaints.

As a hotel destination & stay, first class. However, as a business meeting venue, dissapointing.

I arranged the night before our meeting exactly how I would like the room arranged. This was totally ignored and I had to spend some time (with hotel staff) arranging the room correctly. The air conditioning in the meeting room was very poor. Mid October in London is not particularly warm but the meeting room was. A very uncomfortable day.

In general, service was good and the staff had personalities. The dinner menue was very limited and lacked any real imagination. The food itself was OK but a bit boring.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
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 2, 2013
Hey Chris C,
It was a pleasure meeting you when you were with us. Thank you for choosing Aloft London Excel for your group and meeting. We receive consistently excellent feedback about 'Tactics', our meeting room concept. On this occasion we clearly let you down and after you brought his to my attention, I was glad to be able to change the set-up quickly in the morning, before your meeting started.

We have taken your feedback very seriously and I have personally reviewed this situation with the team. Please accept my apologies and also personal apologies from the team member who failed to communicate the request you made. This should never have happened.

We look forward to the welcoming you back for a more comfortable experience in Tactics next time.

Julia Harnischfeger
Hotel Manager
julia.harnischfeger@alofthotels.com
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Bat Yam, Israel
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

This summer I spent three nights in a very nice hotel Aloft London Excel. Good and tasty food (breakfast and dinner), spacious room including all necessary things: safe, mini-bar, Wi-Fi Internet, etc. The hotel is far away from the London center, but the DLR station is very close to the hotel so you can reach the Tower of London within 10-15 minutes. Bar and restaurant, free newspapers, walking along the Thames river, you will enjoy every minute in this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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:
#99 Best Value Hotel in London
#155 Romantic Hotel in London
#165 Business Hotel in London
#170 Luxury Hotel in London
#214 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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