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I check out new hotels walkable to City Airport and Excel

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If your travels take you to London City Airport or the Excel exhibition centre, you will be interested in a new rash of hotels which has sprung up in the area.  I popped down earlier in the week to take a look.

If you take the Docklands Light Railway to Royal Albert – the first stop after Excel – and walk west, towards Excel, you come upon a strange little road.

On one side is a watersports centre and the dock.  On the other side are four hotels as you can see in the picture below:

Holiday Inn Express London Excel

In order, walking from Royal Albert DLR:

Holiday Inn Express London Excel (about 90 seconds walk)

Travelodge London Excel

Moxy London Excel

Hampton by Hilton London Docklands (about 3 minutes walk)

They are literally next door to each other – there are no other businesses on the road.

The Holiday Inn Express and Travelodge have been open for a while.

Moxy is the new joint venture between Marriott and Ikea which we wrote about here.  I asked Marriott for a tour of this first UK property but they declined, so I can’t recommend it because I haven’t seen inside.  It has only been open for a couple of months, however, so it should be in good shape.  The Moxy website is here.

This picture shows the Moxy on the right and the Hampton on the left:

Hampton by Hilton London Docklands

The Hampton by Hilton London Docklands (website here) is brand new.   It has only been open for a couple of weeks and still has that ‘new hotel’ smell.  In fact, in places, the ‘new hotel’ smell is a bit overwhelming!

I got to see a room in the Hampton and it was very pleasant.  It’s not huge, and this room – being on a corner – presumably has more daylight than most.  It is well decorated with a decent desk and a ‘proper’ ergonomic desk chair.  Tea and coffee is provided.  Toiletries are from dispensers but you can’t have everything.

Hampton by Hilton London Docklands

As a Hampton, breakfast is free for all guests.  The public areas are very pleasant – spacious and with a separate hot desking area with printers, newspapers and large communal tables with plug sockets.  It is a bit like a WeWork hot desking area and I could imagine myself happily working there instead of in my room if I was a guest.

Hampton by Hilton London Docklands

A reflagged DoubleTree

The Hampton is literally 90 seconds walk from the DoubleTree by Hilton.  This is the old Ramada hotel at Excel which has been rebranded (and hopefully refurbished, as it was a bit worn when I stayed there a few years ago).  Behind this is a Premier Inn and a decent pub, if you want to eat or drink somewhere that is not a hotel.

This is a photo from the window in the Hampton room showing the DoubleTree and Premier Inn on the other side of the bridge:

Hampton by Hilton London Docklands

What I didn’t know is that you can walk to City Airport from the north side of the dock.  And I did.

If you are the Holiday Inn Express, Travelodge, Moxy or Hampton you need to walk past the Hampton and follow the road which leads under the elevated road.  This brings you out opposite the DoubleTree.

If you heading to Excel, keep on walking past the DoubleTree and the Aloft hotel and you are there.

Down by the dockside next to the DoubleTree is a pedestrian swing bridge which runs underneath the road bridge across the dock.  Cross here and you find yourself on the perimiter of the airport by the Jet Centre.

The entire walk to the terminal from the Hampton took around 15 minutes.  To be frank, I wouldn’t want to walk with luggage and I wouldn’t want to walk it in the dark, but at 5pm it was straightforward and quite interesting. 

Taking the DLR to the airport from Excel or Royal Albert takes a long time because you need to take a train back to Canning Town and then change to the other branch.  Walking is quicker.

The Hampton by Hilton is currently selling for around £65 on a weekend.  Given that the hotel is brand new, you get breakfast included and you’re only a couple of minutes from a DLR station, it isn’t a bad option for a low cost London stay.  Be quite clear that this is still a pretty bleak part of London to hang around, but for the money you can’t complain.

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Comments (28)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • IslandDweller says:

    As you said, there is almost nothing on that road where these new hotels have sprung up. (There is a Chinese restaurant in the dockside sports centre – but that’s all). What’s the target market? Excel?
    I can’t see many people choosing a fifteen minute walk from these hotels into LCY terminal. Getting from these hotels to LCY by public transport takes about as long as from Tower Gateway, so you might as well stay in town.
    In any case, the DLR is always running before first flights, so (with short check in deadlines) there’s no imperative to stay close to LCY.

    • Roger I says:

      ‘What’s the target market? Excel?’ Exactly!

      Expect prices to fluctuate wildly depending on when events at ExCel are taking place, rather like the bunch of hotels around the NEC. They’re there for one main reason, to house exhibitors and visitors.

    • Wally1976 says:

      We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express when we went to the 02 recently for the gymnastics, £58 for all 4 of us on a Saturday night including breakfast – great value! It did seem strange to have so many hotels all next to each other but I guess they’re busier in the week.

  • Graham Watson says:

    You really wouldn’t want to walk it in the dark! I have several times, and parts are very dark and unlit

  • TripRep says:

    I have a booking in June at the Hampton, likely to cancel seems a bit of a shame to do so though given the value I got when I booked it.

    Shows another example of when the old points system was more favourable.

    Booked cost.. £39 + 12,000pts (before new Hiton features).

    Cash Price now… £159

    • John says:

      But what was the paid price when you booked? Even if no changes to Hilton P&M, this rate might not have been available any more

  • where2travel says:

    I’ve also stayed at the Novotel and the IBIS (the other side of Excel), both on an Accor Mondays rate (£40 and £25 respectively) which was ideal for early starts from LCY on a Saturday morning. They are a bit of a further walk than the hotels described here (I think about 15/20 minutes from LCY, but nice on a good day and provided you’re not carrying much).

  • Garry Flaws says:

    There is also a Moxy hotel within walking distance of Aberdeen Airport which opened several months ago.

    • Lady London says:

      There is a Marriott Moxy right by the terminal at Malpensa now. I’ve not stayed there but definitely holding it as a possibility as it gets good ratings.

    • Andrew says:

      Isn’t “Moxy” a bit of an unfortunate name to use in Scotland?

      We used to use it as a slang term for a dirty or unpleasant place, or a person who has infections.

  • Ba-flyer says:

    I’ve been jogging under that underpass at 6.30am for years, and although I agree it doesn’t look pleasant, I’ve never had any issues. Hopefully when the Crossrail works are finished and the hoarding boards come down, it will be lighter and more appealing!
    And there are plenty of people who walk from those hotels to the airport, particularly on Saturday morning when leisure travellers are getting away.

  • Rob Walker says:

    I’m staying at the Moxy tomorrow night whilst attending a Google event at the excel. If anyone wants to know anything about it, let me know.

    • Neil Shortland says:

      I have stayed at the Moxy twice now. I am an interim and work at bank weekly. Was staying in the Marriott Regents Park or Maida Vale and this Moxy sort of suits esp when I can get a room for under £100. No frills. Trying to be a bit modern and the staff need more experience but it is ok. 35 mins into the city door to door. And you get status credit although I am a platinum and didn’t get an upgrade. The hotel is regularly fairly full already

      • Rob Walker says:

        Thanks. Bad news on the upgrades though. I’m gold and was hoping for an upgrade to one of the family rooms/suites. Mainly because my tight arse of a company asked if we would mind sharing. So booked in a twin with a colleague.

        I’m going to try writing a cheeky message via the Marriott app and play to their funky modern style. There are still rooms for sale online so here’s hoping..

        • Lady London says:

          I would never EVER share a room with a colleague. And I’d probably leave any company that asked me to do that.

          • the real harry1 says:

            I might if she was 23, blonde, cute

          • Rob says:

            I share your sentiment, well, nearly! I’m certainly not going to make a habit of it. But as this is only my 4th overnight business trip in 7 years, I decided not to make a fuss this time. Especially as I’d have been the only one in the group who had a problem with it.

  • rjhcambs says:

    There is also a direct bus to LCY from Royal Albert.

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