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Clean, simple and easy.
Hotel Custom House (London)
Member Name: morticiaaddams
Hotel Custom House (London)
Advantages: closeness to Central London, cheap price, breakfast
Disadvantages: sorrounding area, small shower, plain
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.
Summary: Plain, but clean and convenient.
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