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“Confusing Experience!”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Aloft London Excel

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Aloft London Excel
Ranked #260 of 1,088 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Kent
Level Contributor
49 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Confusing Experience!”
Reviewed November 29, 2013

My partner and I were going to a concert at the O2 & the Aloft hotel is conveniently located for the O2; however, we left with very mixed feelings about the Aloft.

When we arrived at Prince Regent DLR station, we were slightly confused with where we needed to go, but gathered we had to go the opposite way to the 'way out' signs, as they lead us away from the hotels. We arrived in the hotel on the level with the restaurant (2nd floor), with no signs stating where reception was. After a moment, we realised reception was downstairs on the ground floor and followed the spiral staircase down.

Upon check in, Johann booked us in and as pleasant as he was, we could barely understand a word he said and his writing was just as bad! We were then asked for a £25 refundable deposit! We had already paid for our room and couldn't understand why a £25 deposit was necessary; taking our card details would have been acceptable, as this is quite often the procedure in most hotels. As we were in a bit of hurry we reluctantly paid the £25 deposit on our debit card and were upgraded to full English breakfasts instead of continental for the 'inconvenience'.

Johann pointed us in the general direction of the lifts, but had failed to explain we had to swipe our room card in the lift in order to make it work! That was very frustrating; especially as pre & post check in/out, you have to use the stairs as the lift will only operate when you swipe your room card.

We reached floor 5 & walked down the long corridor to what we thought was our room (516), only to find the door wouldn't open. We couldn't read the room number that had been written on the card; we then tried 518 to no avail and finally 510, which worked!!!

The room itself was very clean and a good size; we liked the layout and although we would have preferred a view over the Thames, it wasn't a major issue. The shower was one of the best we've used in hotels and the bed was comfortable. I would have preferred china mugs for tea/coffee instead of the take away cardboard cups, although they did come in useful when we left, as I took a coffee with me. The hair dryer was powerful (unlike most hotels), but the spiral cord and the plug socket located under the sink made it very difficult to dry my hair as this resulted in insufficient cord length.

The television in the room looked good, but it was very slow - it took a long time to load a channel or to bring the menu up (which didn't provide a synopsis of the programme) and the sound did not work on ITV or C4.

Breakfast was OK but nothing special - usual buffet style with luke-warm food (unless you managed to grab any of the fresh items, which were piping hot!) and orange juice from concentrate.

I queried the £25 deposit when we checked out, as I wanted to know why it was taken and when it would be refunded. I was advised in was in case we had room service (??? I wasn't aware there was room service!) or if we had anything from the bar (??? surely we would have paid that at the time OR it could have been charged to our card if our details had been taken!). The room did not have a mini bar, so there was nothing chargeable! I was then informed it would take up to 7 days to refund the deposit! Quite frankly, I was disgusted and offended with this procedure and was made to feel incredibly insignificant. I can honestly say, I have NEVER come across this in any other hotels I have stayed in and I will most certainly not stay in Aloft nor will I recommend their hotels.

This hotel is unquestionably style over substance.

Room Tip: Preferably one on the 4th floor or above & make sure you know which room number is yours before...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KentishBullies
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, December 6, 2013
Hello KentishBullies,
Thanks for staying with us at Aloft and thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.
I know our Duty Manager had the chance to meet with you during your stay, once again, please accept our apologies for the fact that the handwriting on the key card was not legible. We have reminded the whole team that this needs to be clearer and we sincerely apologize for the confusion it caused.

Many of our guests appreciate leaving a credit card on check-in as a form of guarantee, to be able to charge hotel services to their room account during the stay. I am sorry that you had not experienced this before, it was also never our intention to make you feel uncomfortable with that procedure.

We hope to be able to welcome you back.

Julia Harnischfeger
Hotel Manager
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Sunnyvale, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2013

Had a really enjoyable stay at this hotel. The location is great if you're attending a convention at the ExCel. The staff were friendly and helpful. My room was decently sized, modern and had a nice view of the Thames. The fitness facility was well equipped with treadmills, ellipticals, and free weights. I also liked that they provided 2 complementary bottles of water, free WiFi, and a little 24-hour cafe for food and beverage purchases.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lccwang
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, December 6, 2013
Hello Lccwang,
I am glad you had a great stay and enjoyed our fast&free WiFi. At Aloft Hotels, we provide a relaxed atmosphere with easy-breezy charm for our guests to enjoy.

Thank you for the fab review.

We can't wait to welcome you back on your next trip to the exciting spaces of East London!

Julia Harnischfeger
Hotel Manager
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Washington
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2013

This is a beautiful hotel. It has everything you could ask of a Aloft/Starwood property. The front desk is very helpful, its directly next to the train to the city.

The only issue is that it is far away from anything in the center of London. It is not always an easy transfer. The best advice I got was to make sure I had an oyster card. You can use it between the different train lines and you don't have to stand in line each time for a new ticket. Also the fare on Oyster cards is significantly cheaper then paying for single tickets.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DCGuy2777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
55 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2013

Due to the great price I got this hotel for I wasn't sure what to expect but have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The rooms are lovely and clean. Great king size bed and a lovely view of the river.
We were visiting the excel and were late back every night but the 24 hour grab and go area was really good and plenty of choice.
I will definitely be back here the next time we go to the excel as its a perfect hotel and a great location if you are at an event. Wish I had stayed here now during the Olympics instead of where we stayed.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the river
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rikimuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Storrington, west sussex
Level Contributor
54 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2013

very quiet room, didn't hear anything! small, but views over docklands, kent and the River at night were spectacular, watching the red cable cars over the city was fascinating.
only thing I didn't like was the bathroom, very clean but only a sliding non lockable door which had I been with anyone would have been very embarrassing as would have heard everything!
tea and coffee making tray, bottle of water, hairdryer and safe provided, very comfy bed.
Breakfast is pay as you go self service and car parking was safe and I think £14 a night, plenty of it too.
very quiet, gorgeous lit warm swimming pool which was open well into the late evening, sauna and steam room. brilliant hotel for a fraction of London Prices, difficult to find if driving, call hotel for satnav info as listed postcode won't get you there! DLR easy 1 minute walk, so leave the car and use the train, simples!

Room Tip: I was on the 7th floor, the higher the better for the views
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ShereeH
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, December 6, 2013
Hello ShereeH,
Thanks for taking the time to write a review of your stay, we are excited to hear you loved it and are celebrating the great feedback and perfect score! Aloft is all about affordable luxury.

Our swimming pool Splash is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the hotel. With the long opening hours from 06:00am-11:00pm, there is always time for a dip or to relax in the steam room and sauna.

Top Tip for all future guests: parking is available in the hotel car park and is charged £14.00 overnight. In case your SatNav does not yet recognize our postcode, just enter E16 1RH and you will be lead to Aloft.
See you soon again in the Docklands.

Julia Harnischfeger
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshire
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2013 via mobile

This is a great hotel at a good price. Julia and the team are extremely friendly, making everyone feel welcomed and do all they can to make the stay enjoyable and relaxing. The rooms, pool and gym facilities are far better than you will find in any hotel in the local area or indeed across central London, for the price. The location may not be central however the hotel is well located for both business and leisure breaks, with the DLR connection 1 minute from the hotel (Canary Wharf and Stratford shopping centre c10 mins away, with Central London no more than 20-25mins on the tube)

The hotel restaurant has recently been taken over by the hotel itself and the quality is significantly improved, there are also a number restaurants within a 10 minute walk (other-side of the excel centre)

Despite travelling frequently, I rarely submit a review, however I feel this hotel deserved a few comments and recommendation.

Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Carlos02
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, December 6, 2013
Hello Carlos02
Wow! Thank you so much for the five star score. Taking the time out of your busy work schedule to share your experience with the world is the biggest compliment we can get. I am delighted to read that as a team we do a great job in meeting your expectations and I will certainly celebrate with the Aloft team!

Our hotel is becoming a firm favourite on the ExCeL campus for our business guests.

Top tip: If you are heading to Canary Wharf in the morning, or coming from Canary Wharf in the evening, we have free shuttle service that can drop you off in the morning or pick you up in the evening. (we know you already use it, but other guests might not know)

The team and I look forward to welcoming you again very soon.

Julia Harnischfeger
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 25, 2013 via mobile

Very good price for a nice facility. Very comfortable room, great TV and shower. But...
Check-in at 4:00PM on November 18 involved a man giving me a key and pointing me to the elevator. Never heard if there was a gym or a pool or anything else the hotel had to offer. When I asked about a wake-up call, the response was: "We don't do that."
By exploring on my own, I found out the restaurant and bar were not open until 5:00 or 6:00 PM (I got there at 4:00 and hadn't eaten all day) but when I asked about other options, I was told to try their "Touch & Go" kiosk (lobby convenience store). Not in the mood for a candy bar, upon further investigation I discovered that there was a pub with food, within walking distance. It was pretty good. And the staff was nice.
Aloft? Good for a DIY traveller. Only positive interaction with staff was the guy that checked me out at 7:00 AM on November 20. He gave me tips on using the train and asked about our stay.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Larks M
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, December 6, 2013
Hello Mr Larks,
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

I am glad you liked the hotel décor and style and had a pleasant stay. Our sassy space at Aloft, including splash, re:mix lounge and the loft-like guestrooms, make the hotel very stylish and unique, and our quality beds and linen make for a comfortable stay - all our fans agree with it too.

I apologise that the welcome you received upon check-in was poor. It seems we did not do a good job in communicating the many facilities at Aloft London Excel to you.

We will take the feedback on board and follow up with the team member and hope this does not deter you from visiting us again. Please let me know when you are next in the Dockland's area and we would value the opportunity to welcome you back to show you how we live life Aloft.

Julia Harnischfeger
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aloft London Excel

Property: Aloft London Excel
Address: 1 Eastern Gateway, London E16 1FR, England
Phone Number:
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:
#164 Romantic Hotel in London
#176 Business Hotel in London
#193 Luxury Hotel in London
#217 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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