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Hotel Crowne Plaza (London-Docklands)

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1 Review

Address: Royal Victoria Dock / Western Gateway / London / E16 1AL / United Kingdom / Tel: +44 (0) 870 990 9692

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    1 Review
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      27.09.2009 10:43
      Very helpful
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      5 Comments

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      A luxurious, peaceful, London hotel.

      Despite living just a couple of hours away, I have not previously ventured into London without adult supervision! Infact the last time I was there it was on a school trip a good few years ago! My friend and I decided that between the two of us we may well be competent enough to keep safe, navigate a little and watch a west end musical! We booked our trip as a "show and stay" deal which gave us the option of many hotels. The further the hotel from the theatre, the cheaper the deal. The Crowne Plaza caught our eye as it looked very nice and the price of the package was the most affordable to us.

      Despite the fact that I am apparently fit to educate children, I am a complete dunce when it comes to geography so the fact that the hotel was 13 miles away from the Appollo Victoria theatre meant very little to me. We booked two nights in the hotel online and our "show and stay" deal also included theatre tickets to our chosen show (Wicked) and our train travel to London. The prices for the hotel alone vary dramatically depending on how, where and when you book. The hotel lobby displays the price for a standard room as a whopping £240 per night although seeing as we paid £175 each (which included two nights in hotel, train and show) I think you need to shop around online to get the best deal.

      We looked on the hotel website prior to arrival which seemed very informative and was useful in giving us directions using public transport. Which leads me nicely onto..........


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      Location
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      We were impressed with the location of the hotel. Situated right on the waterfront, it made us feel instantly relaxed. Our train arrived at London Bridge and we ventured onto the Tube to take the Victoria Line to Canning Town. At Canning Town we took the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to Royal Victoria which although it meant a couple of changes was surprisingly simple for us public transport newbies! I do recommend purchasing a Pay as you go Oyster card as it is easy to top up and you can just tap it on the barriers as you get on and off the tube and DLR (and it automatically deducts the cost of your journey) which saved us a great deal of time and effort as we didn't need to keep buying tickets. The hotel website reassured us that the hotel was within 5 minute walking distance from the DLR, but realistically it was about 2 minutes round the corner even with suitcases in tow! It is worth mentioning that whilst the hotel was so near the DLR (very convenient) from our room we could not hear the trains and were even able to keep our window open at night.

      The hotel is 10 minutes from Canary Wharf and only a 5 minute walk from the Excel Exhibition and conference centre. There is a Spar shop 30 seconds along from the hotel which we found very useful during our stay and a slightly larger shop 2 minutes in the other direction. We went for a walk along the waterfront one evening which was beautiful and very quiet. During our stay we made a visit to the O2 and it was literally a 10 minute journey from the hotel. We had initially been a bit worried when looking on a map and seeing just how far away our hotel was from the theatre. But within a day we became experts at using the Tube and DLR with our Oyster Cards, and could not fault the location of our hotel as we did not want to be in the centre of London with all the hustle and bustle! It took us 40 mins to get to the theatre which sounds bad but it really wasn't.


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      Arrival and Our Room
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      On arrival at the hotel we felt a little bit scruffy after 3 hours of travelling but were greeted pleasantly and the check in process was quick and painless. There was just a quick form to fill in and we had to offer a credit card deposit of £50 although this was never actually taken from the account. We were immediately impressed with how clean and attractive the hotel was and made our way up to our room. We had booked a standard twin room and were very impressed which how nice it was.

      The room was very spacious, attractively decorated and with everything we could possibly need during our stay. The toiletries in the bathroom were in cute little branded bottles and the bathroom soap and body wash was Dove. A hairdryer, iron, ironing board and tea and coffee making facilities were all available in the room free of charge. The two twin beds in our room were amazingly comfortable - infact it is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on! The bathroom was pristine, with a large bath and power shower. The air conditioning in the room worked well, had various options and was not too noisy. The information folder told us everything we needed to know and we were able to view our bill on the television (useful after we had drunkenly ordered room service on the first night!). The minibar was well stocked but as usual in hotels was very expensive so we placed the contents in the cupboard for safe keeping and used the minibar fridge to chill drinks we had purchased from the shop along the road. Whilst mini bar drinks were expensive, there are a couple of vending machines in the hotel which offered drinks and snacks at more realistic prices. The desk, additional table and chair in the room were a nice feature.

      The towels provided were sufficient for our needs and extra towels, pillows, blankets etc could be requested although with extra pillows in the wardrobe all our needs were met. The room also had very effective blackout curtains and double glazing.

      Overall we were incredibly impressed with the room, it was clean, beautiful and there were lots of nice touches such as expensive looking statues in the bathroom (well it is always nice to admire art whilst having a wee isn't it) and excellent paintings on the walls of the bedroom. Our view was of the carpark but this didn't bother us (some of the rooms must have had amazing views of the waterfront though). There are only two things I could fault about the room, one being that there was no safety deposit box installed (although I think these could be hired) and the window only opened a little bit (although the air conditioning meant that this was no real problem.)


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      Room Service
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      Once we had arrived and settled in our room we only had a couple of hours before we had to leave for the show. We wanted to get ready in this time and decided to treat ourselves to room service. The menu was reasonably varied and I chose Steak and chips (mushrooms and grilled tomato were also included but I don't eat them!) My meal cost £18 but the steak alone was ENTIRELY worth it as it was delicious! There was a £5 tray charge with the room service but split between the two off us we didn't mind it. Our food was brought up to the room in about 40 minutes and was nicely presented and scrumptious! Room service was available all night long, with some items (such as pizza) only available up until 11pm.

      We were very impressed with this service, the prices of items were varied but it wasn't horrific for most things and I am glad we indulged.


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      Leisure Facilities
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      The swimming pool looked so lovely that on our first morning we woke up at 7am and went down for an early morning swim. The pool is just off the lobby and the windows have a relaxing view out onto the waterfront.

      The swimming pool had its own reception desk where you sign in (the pool is used by local residents too). There are lovely white fluffy towels available so that you don't need to worry about bringing your own. The pool is not huge at 14metres but never seemed busy during our stay. The changing rooms were up some stairs and would therefore be unsuitable for the less mobile or disabled. The male and female changing rooms were communal areas with one private, large changing room available. There were also 4 toilet cubicles in each changing room area which we used to get changed in and did not feel as confident with walking round butt naked as the other couple of women there! There were three shower cubicles with curtains and these had shampoo/body wash and conditioner dispensers in them wall which we felt was a nice touch.

      Hairdryers were available free of charge as well as a funky machine that takes the water out of your swimming costume! The male and female changing rooms each have their own sauna with three different fragrances available. As you walk down the steps to the swimming pool there are some sunbed style chairs, the pool, a Jacuzzi and a steamroom. We tested each of these facilities and they were all very clean and lovely. The pool is kept between 30 and 31 degrees so was a nice warm temperature.

      Gym facilities were also available but I felt that a few lengths of the pool was about as strenuous as I wanted to be! The hotel website states that the gym offers the latest in gym equipment technology including an individual audio system on each cardio system and that the 20 station gym is fully air-conditioned and has views over the dock. From what we observed I have no reason to doubt this, my only comment would be that the floor to ceiling windows don't give much privacy while you are hot and sweaty during your work out.

      It appears that beauty therapists are available on request and that a range of fitness classes are also available.


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      The Bar
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      The bar is nicely laid out with attractive, comfortable furniture and views of the dock. The bar offered some nice food options (generally those that were available for room service) and the cocktails were great. On our second evening we sat in the bar after our meal and had a few cocktails which were delicious but they certainly hadn't skimped on the alcohol so we had to take a walk along the waterfront to sober up afterwards! But in general the bar offers a nice place to sit and relax. The staff were very friendly and the prices weren't too bad considering it is a decent London hotel!


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      The Restaurant
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      On our second night we decided to try out the restaurant. We had been advised to book but were offered a table upon our arrival and it was not too busy. The menu was good although I am very fussy and there were no starters that I would eat. For the main meal my friend and I both ordered Corn-fed chicken breast with Raspberry, oregano and baby spinach leaves. At £12 we were surprised that we had to order "side dishes" if we actually wanted anything other than the chicken! But anyway my friend ordered onion rings and I ordered Lyonnaise potoes (which truly were delicious). The chicken would not have constituted a meal on its own but was amazingly tasty. The service could not be faulted and we both ordered dessert where I had the best Pavlova EVER! The food wasn't cheap and the service charge was over £5 but for a one off treat it was worth it as the food was such good quality.


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      Breakfast
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      Our "show and stay" deal also included breakfast which we were pleased with as to purchase the breakfast during your stay was £17 per person!!! On both mornings we really did make the most of breakfast. It was all buffet style with yummy cooked breakfast as well as continental breakfast available. Freshly squeezed juices, tea, coffee and prosecco were available free of charge with breakfast. There was plenty of choice and everything was of high quality. Our breakfasts filled us up until dinner time!


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      Checking out
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      The day we were due to leave we decided to do some sight seeing first. The check out was midday but we did not want to have to rush back to clear the room so we asked the hotel to store our luggage which they did politely and efficiently. Checking out was quick and easy, we settled the bill and were on our way!


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      Other General Things
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      The hotel had 210 rooms and apparently a small number of smoking rooms are available on request. Check-in is 2pm with check out at 12 noon. Children up to 12 years old stay free if sharing a room with parents. In addition to the standard rooms, executive and suites are available which look very nice from the website photos!
      The hotel appeared to have a good range of conference rooms and meeting facilities as well as a range of wedding packages available.
      Wheelchair accessible rooms are available and the hotel seem to be able to offer for all sorts of individual accessibility needs.
      The hotel has its own car park, which you can use for a daily charge.
      On the whole the hotel was immaculately clean, stylishly decorated and welcoming. The staff were brilliant and we cannot fault any of them. The room keys were credit card style keys and you need to insert it in the slot in your room to turn on the power, aircon and lights. As we were given two keys on arrival, we left one key in the room to keep the minibar cool and the aircon on.

      The maid service was very good. I had moved my bed against the wall as I am not used to sleeping in a single and didn't want to fall out of it! The maids kept the bed in that position for me which was thoughtful.

      The hotel lobby was nice and the toilets in the lobby were amazing! There was moisturised by the sink and individual hand towels which we were quite excited about! Everything about the hotel seemed quite luxurious.


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      Overall
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      The hotel was brilliant. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and were raving about how nice the hotel was for weeks. I would definitely stay there again if I could get a good deal and I fully recommend that you look at using the hotel as part of a "show and stay" deal. Food and drink wasn't the cheapest but hotels do usually over charge. Our room was great and we were sad to leave! I am already looking for a time slot where I can visit London again! There were so many nice touches which made our stay relaxing and luxurious. I 100% recommend this hotel as long as you can get a reasonable room price!

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      Rating: 4 Stars