We stayed at the Novotel end of October 2012 to 2nd November, it was a 5 day stay, business trip for me and a sightseeing trip for my partner and our 11 year old son. Unfortunately we experienced significant problems during check-in which led to my partner's credit cards (2) being declined and him being unable to use them until Monday late afternoon. When I spoke to Charlene at reception regarding the mistake they made which resulted in the two cards not being usable and us feeling humiliated when they were declined at the Chinese restaurant nearby, her response was to try and qualify their actions. When I tried to draw her attention to the fact that I am a seasoned traveller and it is usual practice for hotels to swipe a credit card so that you can charge drinks at bar to your room but it is not standard practice for them to attempt to withdraw a notably large sum of money from your card without consultation she persisted that was usual practice? They did make the telephone available to my partner so that he could rectify the situation but it meant that he and my son lost a days' sightseeing plus I was worrying about them when I should have been focusing on business. That evening I asked Charlene if, as a gesture of good will and for us as a family to close the day on a good note, we could have a free movie. She clearly did not want to do this and never got back to us. I often advice people to try and fix problems as they occur rather than complain later; so following my own advice I did go down and ask to see a manager on Wednesday night, I was told the manager was Charlene and she refused to see me?? I did say I was hugely disappointed what I was extremely pleased about however was that Mr Batista was keen to understand the situation and to see if we could find a happy medium. Thank you Mr Batsista for caring. A simple sorry from Charlene in the first instance would have gone a long way.
Mark Hardy is no longer at the Novotel Excel and whilst I feel that there are a number of staff that support Mr Batista I did feel that there were some staff that to some degree were undermining him. He did make me feel like a valued customer and genuinely wanted to know why I was upset. I think he has excellent managerial skills and a kindly, considerate caring approach with residents. I would most certainly stay at the Novotel with him at the helm.
Check in problems aside, with regards to other aspects of our stay, the room was clean, the bed was comfortable, we slept well through out our stay. I made some requests before setting off to London and was pleased that those requests had been actioned ie duvet for my son rather than blankets, extra pillows, red and white wine glasses in the room and an ice bucket. I also asked to be on a floor which had an ice machine which was what I received. The breakfast selection is very good, full English, American waffles or pancakes, extensive continental breakfast, etc. we were particularly impressed with Jolanta for her thoughtfulness and attentiveness. We were also impressed with Tutkute.
Two other people I would like to give a special mention to are Giovanna Della Volpe and Zakir Hussain. Mr Hussain was an absolute star, I was able to leave a bottle of white wine with him in the morning and it would be perfectly chilled for me in the evening. I love the contemporary bar at the Novotel, my partner and I will return after a long day out and have a drink whilst we contemplate what/where to dine in the evening, my son loves the free use of the internet and the Xbox and feels special at the Novotel. It is a 12 minute walk to Canning Town tube or 4 minute walk to the DLR. There is a Tesco Express and a Nisa within sight of the hotel and the views are amazing, there are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby however I would like to give a special mention to the restaurant at the Novotel, I had the children's carbonara because I was not feeling particularly hungry and it was amazing. I felt the food was reasonably priced and the wine selection was good, I would eat there again as the dishes were well executed and the staff were very attentive. Would I return again? Absolutely, but only because Mr Batista was bothered that poor communication potentially led to our initial problems and affected our first day and a half stay. So my advice again is if something is troubling you raise it with staff at the time and give them an opportunity to resolve the issue. It has taken me some time to write this review because I had mixed feelings but on reflection and because we are considering re-booking at the Novotel I knew that ultimately we did have a very good stay and I would like to say a very big thank you to Mr Daniel Batista.
I like a room with a view of the river and the Excel centre and to be on a floor with an ice machine
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 1, 2013
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Thank you for your comments on Trip Advisor regarding your most recent stay at Novotel London ExCeL.
We are delighted with the good comments on our products and services; and, especially with the mention on the service attitudes of our team. Jolanta, Zakir and Giuliana are overjoyed.
I am glad that despite the issues experienced, you enjoyed your stay and will be returning to Novotel ExCeL. In a hotel of this size and level of business, it is inevitable that things will not go as they should every time, but when they do happen, we do everything we can to rectify. After all, caring for our guests is the main purpose of our business. And for your understanding, we thank you.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Novotel London ExCeL in the future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.