“ Address: 272-283 Victoria Dock Road / London / E16 3BY / United Kingdom / Tel: +44 (0)20 7474 0011 „
I have stayed in this hotel on two occasions now, once in December and the second time in February. Both times I have been extremely pleased with my stay. I needed a hotel close to the o2 arena on both occasions and after hours and hours of looking at various hotels and studying tube maps I decided that this would be my best bet.
I paid just under £50 for two people both times, this works out at under £25 a night which in my opinion is a bargain. The second time I stayed here this even included a buffet breakfast! This hotel is nearly almost always available on sites like lastminute.com and various others, its worth searching around a bit until you find the one that includes the breakfast.
The hotel is located right next to the Excel centre and from London Victoria station I think it took on average about 40 minutes of tubes and the DLR. Its very easy to get too and after getting off the DLR you cannot miss it and it could not be closer to the station as it is directly opposite. To get to the o2 from here it takes about 10 minutes and is two different trains which are very easy and run frequently.
Checking in was very easy and pain free, they were very friendly and we asked about which tubes to get to the o2 arena as several were not running that evening, the girl on reception said she would look it up for us and call our room if we wished. We had been in the room no longer than 2 minutes when we got the phone call and she was extremely helpful and had even written it down for us so we could collect it at reception on our way out.
Inside the hotel itself it has its own Chinese restaurant, a pub type restaurant, a place for snacks and lighter meals and then another area where they serve breakfast. The food is about average price wise and there is nothing too fancy, fish and chips, burgers, sandwiches etc. The hotel itself is set out on what I believe is 3 floors and is serviced by two lifts, neither of which you have to wait for more than a couple of minutes for and they are easily accessible from all floors. Next to the lift on the ground floor is a little table with complementary magazines and the daily newspapers, some of the magazines cost £3 to buy in the shops and the free newspapers I thought was a lovely touch.
Both rooms that I stayed in were almost identical, very big, clean and just the amount of facilities required. I have found the beds to be quite firm but comfortable, the bathrooms look like a spaceship (lots of molded plastic) but are clean and have complimentary shampoo, body wash, soap and plenty of towels. There is extra bed linen provided such as an extra blanket and two pillows which I find is a nice touch as I'm always cold at night and the first time we went it was December and snowing! They provide two keycards for each room, you have to place your keycard in a little slot once you are inside the room for the lighting and heating to come on, both times we have been a bit sneaky and left one keycard inside the room with the heating on so when we got back in the evening it would be nice and warm for us. They have their own Wi-Fi service which is an extra added charge but each time I visited I didn't use this so I cannot comment on the speed and service. The rooms are well equipped with kettles, a few biscuits, tea, coffee and hot chocolate and even a hairdryer which is a rarity and it was actually quite a powerful one unlike some of the others provided in hotels! They also all contain a flat screen tv which you can rent movies through the hotels system, it had good signal and a good choice of channels were available.
The second time staying breakfast was included and I was quite looking forward to having a big breakfast having not eaten much the day before and I was not disappointed there is a large selection of food from rolls, toast, fruit, cheese and meats, yoghurts and cereal to the usual cooked breakfasts. As its all served buffet style sometimes the food isn't replenished enough and its not very hot but this definitely wasn't the case. They also have a good selection of drinks such as tea, coffee and various juices if your not a morning eater! The breakfast area was large and clean and tables were cleaned quickly.
The surrounding area to the hotel is run down and we never ventured out around the area but a short tube ride away is Canary Wharf which we spent some time looking at all the things we couldn't afford and Greenwich Village is also about a 5 minute DLR ride away.
Check in is at 2pm and check out is at 11am. A lot of hotels check out is usually at 10am but this gives you a little extra time especially if you are having breakfast here. The second time we stayed here we got back at around midnight and as we hadn't eaten anything for dinner we asked at reception if they knew anywhere in the area that might still be open. The guy on reception couldn't have been more helpful, he presented us a huge range of takeaway leaflets and said that if we decided what we wanted he would be more than happy to ring it through for us and bring it up to our room when it arrived. I really couldn't believe this at first because most hotels will charge you if you bring a takeaway into your room. We just opted for pizza which arrived really quickly and was brought straight to our room. Its definitely the extra small touches that count and I really cannot fault this hotel in anyway. Its not a luxury stay but for the price and the incredible service I have received on both times I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone.
Today I feel like writing so I will give another review - this time about the London hotel Custom House.
Why did I choose this hotel?
Tricky question because I didn't get to choose. I am from Germany but a Great Britain fanatic, so I come to England as often as I can. The cheapest way is to go with a tourist group that travels by bus and stays in a cheap hotel.
The company I went with is called Rainbow Tours. They book the hotel shortly before the journey when they know for sure how many people are in the group and then they take the best offer a hotel makes.
I have gone with them four times and ended up at Custom House twice.
Where is Custom House?
The address is: 272-283 Victoria Dock Road, London, E16 3BY.
Since I rode on the bus I can not tell you for sure how easy it is to get there, but the bus driver seemed to be fine. However, parking seemed not as easy. There was a parking space where you were able to let people on or out, but the parking was a little further
Costum House located in the docklands, next to the ExCel buildings - perfect for business trips.
The best thing about this position is that the tube station is just across the street. You just cross the street, walk up a few stairs and there you are! It's not exactly the tube - it's the DLR train station, but when I was there last time, construction work was going on and I think the point of it was to create a better connection between DLR trains and the tube.
Anyway, this train will take you to Stratford where you can change into a tube to Central London. The journey to Stratford only takes a few minutes.
Although the hotel is so close to the station, there was absolutely no noise to be heard at any time. In general I found it to be calm and professional.
The hotel itself
The outside looks clean and modern, but at the same time quite plain and boring.
The reception is a long desk and there is always someone who will help you out.
When you come in you turn right to reach the elevators.
A chinese restaurant and a door to a concluded space outside (safe and circled by the hotel) are also situated in the ground floor.
I have not tried out the restaurant, but other guests told me it was nice. I had a look at the menu and the prices where your usual restaurants, starting at 4 to 5 pounds for a meal and 7 to 9 pounds for more posh dishes. The restaurant looked fancy and clean, probably a good place for a business meeting or if you want to have a nice meal without going somewhere. For me it wasn't an option since I wanted to eat all the special things you can get in Central London instead of something I can get eveywhere.
When me and a friend smoked in front of the hotel, we were asked not to smoke there but go to the terasse-like space they had. It was like a little space sorrounded by the hotel itself with two picnic benches. Although we found the proposal a bit strange, we were happy to sit there, safe from the wind and the people who wandered the streets (more about that later).
There are three floors, if I remember it correctly. The two rooms I have been in were completely identicial. They were fitted with a twin bed, two bedside tables, a table with a blow dryer and a kettle, a little tray with tee, coffee, sugar, instant milk and a biscuit. This tray was replaced everyday.
The blankets and the pillows where satisfactory.
The light switches were operated strangely. If you turned one on, the other one wouldn't work, and then there were ones that would only work if they other one was on. But that was just a little odd and not really bothering me.
The room had a carpet. One morning on my carpet had a wet spot. I thought it was from my feet after I showered, but when I came back I was worried because it had grown and taken over half of the room. Luckily it was my last night. When I told the stuff, they said it was fine and I didn't have to worry.
The bathroom is en-suite, of course, but don't expect a regular bathroom. The bathroom are pretty much plastic cabins with a toilet, a sink which is lowered into a table-like board, a big mirror and a shower unit. The shower curtains are round plastic boards with a handle and you close it around you once you are in. I was fine in them, but I am quite skinny. If you are a very big person, it might get problematic.
There was a sachet of shampoo and conditioner and a little piece of soap. I tried the conditioner and it was quite nice but of course I recommend bringing your own - but if you are stopping there at surprise, they are convenient and satisfying.
The soap was also fine.
There were two plastic cups for brushing your teeth as well.
The staff is very polite and mostly Indian. While the leader of my travelgroup told us that they love to keep you waiting and tend to be bossy if they notice that you are in a hurry, I have not experienced such a thing. I was quite satisfied with the staff.
I booked a continential breakfast for both stays and was very satisfied. I was allowed to choose from rolls, toast, fruit mix out of the can, regular fruit like bananas, oranges and apples, cheese and meat, different flavours of low fat yoghurts (huge plus in my opinion!), muesli and milk.
As drinks you could have as much tea, coffee, cappucino, water and juice as you like.
The breakfast room was bright and clean. There was a machine through which you could run your pieces of toast to have them toasted. There was a sign next to it telling you to not put rolls inside, but people did it anyway so the rolls were grilled to death in the back of the machine and we had a good laugh. ;)
The staff member who managed the breakfast and checked us up on his list was very kind and friendly. He explained everything to us.
There was also a full English breakfast buffet to be had if we'd have paid extra.
A turn-off is the sorrounding area. While you can witness what is slowly happening everywhere in London - and with that I mean everything being modernized and sold to more fortunate people - this is an area is still a little rundown and looks less then inviting.
Upon turning into the street next to the hotel, you encounter a few, small rundown shops, a supermarket which always seems to be closed.
There is a small Caribbean shop which does not smell too nice and a run-down shop selling birthday cards and other useless things. There is also a smelly take-away.
If you chose to not turn into that street but go further down Victoria Dock Road, you eventually end up at a rundabout which is not too easy to cross. There is a street with restaurants and supermarkets, as well as a McDonalds - but that place is uninviting too and when my friend and me went there in search of a beer around 9 in the evening, every single place was closed and we settled for McDonalds, which was closing at 10 as well.
Scary people were trying to chat us up a lot although the area didn't seem that shady, but still we didn't like it.
But after all, if you are staying at this hotel, you are either travelling London or making a business trip - so you don't really need to wander around the neighbour hood.
Since my hotel was included in the price for the whole trip, I can't tell you how much I paid, but from what I read prices go from 30 to 70 pounds, depending on what kind of room you want and how early in advance you book.
The early bird gets the worm!
- Closeness to Central London
- Very good access to trains
- Good continental breakfast compared to what I have seen in other hotels
- Nice and formal service
- Quick check-in
- Clean, simple rooms
- Tea making facilities
- It's nothing special.
- The neighbour hood is a bit shady and there is nothing to do
- The bathroom is almost completely made out of plastic.
If you are simply looking for a clean place with a nice bed that is not too far away from Central London, this is the place for you! I can only compare it to Travellodge, and find Custom House more welcoming. The breakfast is nice too and the staff is much more helpful than the one in Travellodge.
I think the rooms are the best for you if you are travelling alone or as a pair. I heard
the family rooms are a tad too small and thus uncomfortable. 4 stars - I am taking one off for the not-so-nice neighbourhood and the water leak that I had in my room last time.
I stayed at custom house in may 2009.
I ended up booking in there becuase of an event I was attending at the Excel center and wanted to be closeby. When I was looking for Excel center hotels and It was the only one I can across that had rooms available at the time.
I stayed 3 nights in a standard double room.
I can't remeber the exact price I pad, but it was around £170 for the three nights; With a booking I made for the same time this year its gone down a little.
Earliest check in is 2PM. claheck out is by 11AM.
The room has a double bed, seperate shower and toilet 'cubicles' int he room, sink, TV, bedside lights, refreshment making facilites including kettle, one chair, towels, some toiletries, hairdryer, phone, air conditioning/heating.
The door locks are all by keycard, which doubles as the key for the room power, which is operated by placing the keycard in a slot by the door.
One thing I don't like about it is its lack of in room iron; It has both dry cleaning and ironing facilities available, but I personaly would rarther iron my own things.
There are two sets of lifts for access as far as I remember, though one of them did require going across the car park to get to it.
There is internet connections in rooms, but that is a pay for use service.
The room TV has a mix of trerestrial and freeview channels and a selection of pay per view films.
I'm not 100% sure about its food, It has a breakfast 'room', cafr, chinese resterant and pub, but I tend not to eat in the hotel so I can't say much about them. I did have breakfast one time; They have a continental and full english; You don't need to book, but it is offtered to you on check for a slightly reduced price than just turning up. Both are in a same room and are a buffet style. There is a wide selection of cereals, fruit, bread products, cold meats and others available for the continental, There is also a selection of fruit juces and hot drinks. It not anything exciting but it. there is also vending machinces in the downstairs area.
It does have parking on site, but its on a first come, first serves basis.
Its situated directly oposite the Custom house Docklands Light Railway station, is within a few mins walking distance of a couple of others and there are a several close bus stops so getting into the city is easy.
The Excel center is incredibly close, it is just over the road and shares access with the DLR station. Past the station lifts/stairs is a bridge that connects to the front entrance and it literlay takes a minuite or two to get there.
For the weekend of the MCM Expo at the excel center, it has the reputation for being the 'close quiet hotel', due to it being slightly further away and just putside the excel center compated to some of the others. It also gets booked up slightly slower, but not by much; to guanrenee a booking that weekend most may expo regulars will say late january at the latest to guarentee getting in.
Overall, its a conftable, clean hotel. Its nothing massivly exciting but it is good value.
For my Christmas present my hubby had booked tickets to see a show in London and make a weekend of it so along we went last weekend (I know its March but this was the earliest we could get tickets and a willing baby sitter!).
As usual hubby had left it until a week before we were due to go before bothering to look for a hotel despite my constant nagging. He spent a good few hours googling London hotels and came up with this one.
Custom House Hotel is situated in the Dockalnds area of London and is directly opposite the Excel exhibition centre. It boasts 282 rooms and 3 restaurants. It is also situated directly opposite the Docklands Light Railway station - making it easy to get into the city -about a 30 minute tube journey. I find this fine although I appreciate that some people may want to be more centrally located. It is worth noting that at the moment there is ongoing engineering work at this station but there is a replacement bus service which will take you about 10 minutes extra to get on the tube. I'm not sure how long they anticipate this to go on for but they were working on it when we went to Excel in December and they have pulled up a lot of the track so I'd imagine it will be quite some time.
We found the hotel no problem and checked in about 6pm although you can check in from 2pm. The sat-nav took us directly there so we couldn't go too wrong! We arrived and parked in the hotel car park - it is reasonably small with room for probably 50 cars. As with most hotels these days you just leave your car registration number with reception so that they know you are a patron. It is manned some of the time and there are barriers to let you in and out. You cannot leave without an exit code from reception so I felt that our car would be pretty secure here. Car parking is charged at £10 per day which compared to parking in most London car parks I thought pretty good -and they did let us leave our car there the following day while we did some touristy type things and collected it about 4pm at no extra charge.
When we checked in we were greeted by a friendly gentleman who gave us our room key and details. He explained that if we booked breakfast there and then we would get 20% off the usual price of £10. He explained that there was a full English and continental breakfast available but we declined as we didn't know what wanted to the following day. Breakfast is served from 7-10am should you wish to have it there.
We arrived in our room which was a superior room - it was quite small although had the necessities - double bed, flatscreen TV, wardrome, loo and shower. This was fine for us as we were just using it as a place to sleep and didn't need it all singing and dancing. The one good thing about the room is that it was spotless. It was lovely and clean.
Our evening in the hotel was fine, the temperature was just right although there was a thermostat in the room the adjust it should you need to. The matress was quite firm and the quilt was nice and snuggly. There was the option when we booked to either have blankets or duvet so its up to you.
After I got up I had a shower - towels were all there and quite soft compared to some hotels I have stayed in. There was also 2 bottles of complimentary shower gel and shampoo and 2 bars of soap. We didn't use these so I chucked 'em in my bag - you never know when they will come in handy! The shower/toilet and basin were in kind of a 'pod' which was pretty small but was fit for the purpose. The shower cubicle was tiny but there was enough room for a hair wash and shower. You couldn't swing a cat in there but I wouldn't want to! The water was just right and the pressure was ok, not a power shower but it was adequate. There wa also a hairdryer to make myself slightly more presentable.
There was kettle and tea and coffee available also in the room - a few sachets of each but these also found their way into my bag!
There are no ironing facilities in the room iteself but there is an ironing room on the second floor should you need it.
The hotel has 3 places to eat -although we didn't use any of them. The Ho Lee chinese restaurant on site looked absolutely lovely and I don't think it was too expensive - about what you would expect really looking at the menu. There is also the Custom House Cafe selling tea/coffee and snacks and the Custom House Pub and Kitchen serving meals, snacks and of course alcohol. They are all open late too so no need to worry about getting something when you get back to your hotel.
There is a lift and stairs to all floors so everyone is catered for and there is a choice of standard or superior rooms. Rooms are available as double or twins - there is no provision for families. The standard rate is £130-£150 per room per night. I think this is expensive but the other half had booked it through another site and paid under £50 so we were very happy. There are also banqueting and conferencing facilities available on site too.
We had a fantastic weekend and this hotel offered great value at the price we paid, it was clean and staff were friendly. I'd recommend it if you are planning a break in London.