I stayed at the Aloft Hotel by ExCel from 30 December to 2 January (2013/2014) for New Year’s Eve in London. The hotel is, by London’s standard, good value for money and at an excellent standard too, with easy access to the new DLR route into the City. It is very trendy, unique from other hotel chains, with comfortable bedrooms and great facilities…and it is immaculate and very clean too.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL?
YES! I would definitely stay there again for sure and it was nice to come away from a hotel feeling positive and that the management are doing things right, which makes a change!
It is only 15 minutes away from Canary Wharf on the DLR, which is adjacent and next door to the hotel and a couple of minutes’ walk from the lobby. It took me less than 45 minutes to get to Covent Garden and Hyde Park and less than 30 minutes to Stratford.
The hotel is less expensive than other 4 star hotels nearer or Central to the City. It’s no less inconvenient to be further out near to ExCel. People think ExCel is too far out, which isn’t the case if you make use of the fabulous ‘new’ DLR and are familiar with the tube. It is also quiet and it was nice for me to be out of the hustle and bustle of the City.
It is a new hotel (I think!) and is immaculate. It is a quality hotel and ideal for professionals and couples/friends on a mini break.
London City airport is next door, but I couldn’t hear the planes due to the way the hotel is built and was remarkably quiet.
With all the new hotel complexes in the area, I did get slightly lost, as my SAT NAV wasn’t up to date with the Aloft’s new postcode, so I used the postcode from the Ramada hotel next door instead.
Once I arrived, I parked my car and prepaid my parking ticket when I checked-in at the hotel’s reception - parking was £14/day. I was glad I did it that way, as I didn’t know how to use the parking metre. The daily charge is valid from the time you park your car (or check-in) to 24 hours later. The reception staff were all really friendly, helpful and checked me in very quickly.
The hotel is stylish, but with a cosy feel. All the staff were dressed in jeans, relaxed and always helpful. It’s a warm hotel, in its ambience too, immaculate and clean.
I stayed in room No.808, on the 8th floor, which had great views of the surrounding areas. It was a modern room, with a king sized comfortable bed. The room had two large full length narrow windows with black-out blinds for a good night’s sleep. There was a desk (not a dressing table) and a flat screen TV, with a keyboard. It caters for those who may wish to work from the hotel room. The TV however wasn’t that great, as it was full of international TV and News channels, with only a few UK channels to watch - I guess it catered for overseas guests too!
The bathroom I really liked. It was open planned with the sink in the main part of the room’s entrance way, with a sliding door to the toilet and then a glass door to the shower wet room. The hotel didn’t provide unnecessary toiletries, only the ones I really needed and there were dispensers in the shower. They offer shampoo/conditioner in-one, so I was glad I packed my own separate shampoo and conditioner. I would have liked a bathrobe, as one wasn’t provided.
There were drinks making facilities, but the hotel provided disposable cups, for drinks ‘on the go’, not china mugs.
There was a great hairdryer in the room too and as I have long hair, it took me minutes (no lie) to dry it, so I didn’t need to use my own. There was an iron and ironing board too.
The décor was as contemporary as the rest of the hotel. It is not minimalistic, but the walls are textured and balanced with a dark, warming colour scheme of black, greys, purples and more vibrant colours.
Overall the bedroom was lovely and wished I could have stayed longer, as the modern aspect of the room was very unique and appealing. It is not shabby like other hotel chains and everything was in working order, which again makes a change!
The hotel has a fully equipped gym, which I didn’t have time to use, but it looked pretty good. The pool was really modern, with dark grey tiles and purple strip lighting, with a large mirror at one end. The pool however was a little cold for the time of year and I did mention this to one of the staff members who said she’d look into it for me. I used the pool again and it was a little warmer that time. There is a sauna, which was nice, but the steam room next door wasn’t hot enough in my opinion. One day I used the pool, the doors to the sauna and steam rooms were left wide open, so I would suggest to the staff to check the area and make sure they are available to use at all times. I closed the doors, but it took a while to heat up. If this was for cleaning and maintenance purposes, then this should be done out of hours, to not inconvenience the guests. What was missing from the pool area was a toilet and toiletries for showering. A spin dryer for wet costumes would be a good thing too.
The WXYZ bar was really cool, with lots of comfortable, trendy seats. The drinks I ordered were quite pricey, typical London prices, but was disappointed that it was closed on the 2nd Jan. There was also one bar tender, so I had to wait 10 minutes to be served as he was labouring over making cocktails and chatting to other guests. All I wanted was a coffee and liquor, but when after waiting 10 minutes, I discovered the coffee machine didn’t work and had to go to the coffee shop instead. There is a pool table, which is free and a private TV room. I did see non-paying guests occupying the pool table and they were a slightly intimidating group of young locals. I guess they were there to have a drink.
As mentioned, the hotel has a coffee/snack shop which I thought was a really good idea. Not all hotels offer this and I see the benefit to professionals 'on the go' or those who may be working from the hotel (away from the office) and are looking for a light snack or lunch.
THERE IS MORE…
I didn’t use anything else at the hotel and I believe it offers more stuff, but I didn’t stay long enough or have the time to investigate further.
- 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