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“Room was OK but service the worst I have experianced”

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The Grainstore Apartments
Ranked #440 of 909 Speciality Lodging in London
Reviewed 3 April 2012

We booked this stay on line and the web site states arrival between 2 and 5. We organised to arrive at 4. Finding the place was really difficult with no real signs and a scruffy office.

When we arrived we were told that the lady who needed to check us in had left and there was no one to do it (bear in mind this was at 4pm and their site was clear about before 5). A guy from another company who shares the office was amazingly helpful and phoned them. I heard the lady on the phone being very critical of trying to get hold of us. She tried twice 30 mins before and we were on the tube and she left no message

This guy then checked us in and had real problems taking us to the appartment which was a real maze.

If this guy had not been there when we arrived we would have been stuck for the night. We tried to call them on both numbers we'd been given and could not make contact so we would not have been able to get in.

Once there, the appartment was clean and comfortable but the service and attitude was the worst I had ever experianced.

Apparantly, the lady who was supposed to check us in fancied an early night (we were told later) and as a result almost left us in London with no where to stay.

In summary:
- nice appartment
- very difficult to find
- appalling service
- no out of office hours contact ability if there is a problem

I would avoid at all costs

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank StevieNewbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (22)
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14 - 20 of 22 reviews

Reviewed 12 March 2012

I stayed at the Grainstore when I attended a recent conference and exhibition at the ExCel Centre. The rates offered were far more competitive than the nearby hotels and I appreciated the flexibility of having my own lounge and kitchen. As other reviewers have indicated the reception/arrival experience was poor but keep in mind that this is not a hotel with a full compliment of front of house personnel.

Once in my apartment, I was quite happy. The one bedroom ground floor flat was accessible via a lift (down two levels) and I overlooked an interior courtyard. The furnishings are contemporary and comfortable and the apartment was clean - with the exception of a rogue spider-web in one corner! Tea, coffee, sugar (but not milk) were all provided and although I didn't cook, if I had wanted to the kitchen had every utensil I would possibly need.

Bathroom fittings were as you'd find in a 3/4 star hotel and a good quality hair dryer was also provided.

Due to the location I wouldn't recommend these apartments as a base to explore central London, but I would definitely stay here again if I needed to attend an event at ExCel.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank SP2202
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2011

I booked the Grainstore Apartments as I was on a business trip and thought the extra space and independence would be ideal.

The taxi driver couldn't find the apartments, I couldn't find an entrance, and was left in a scruffy office for ages until someone eventually came, gave me an envelope with one sheet of paper and the key then pointed to the lift. My apartment was down a long dark corridor, which smelled very musty, and one door had been smashed open and had been padlocked. Not very reassuring when you are a woman travelling alone!

The apartment was grubby, and had filthy stained pillows in the cupboard. Walls marked, carpets stained, bathroom plughole had hairs in it, and there was a smell of cigarette smoke.

There were no instructions for any of the appliances in the kitchen, nor for the TV.

I tried to access the internet, following the instructions, only to discover there is no service in this apartment. This was a complete disaster for me, as I had overseas business calls to make in the evenings. There was no-one around apart from some chap reading a book at a desk in the lobby who said he was just the relief guy, but he would pass the message on. I never did get internet for the whole 5 days I was there, and no-one came back to me about it. The TV didn't work properly.

There was a party one night in the apartment opposite. It must have gone on until about 4am and the noise and language was appalling. I kept the curtains closed in the apartment as frankly, I didn't feel safe there.
I complained about the noise next day, and the same guy on the desk promptly handed me a photocopied letter with details of how to complain to the local authority! so they must be used to noise complaints, I imagine.
Since complaining formally to Grainstore management, I have since found out that many of the apartments are privately owned. The manager tried to say that there is wifi in the apartment, and has ignored my other points.
I stay all over the world with my job. I do sometimes get a disappointing hotel, but I can overlook some glitches. This place however is dreadful, overpriced, and how they have the audacity to say they are 4* luxury beats me. I've stayed in better 2 star places.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank Causette1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2011

Although the apartment was of a very high stsndard the customer service is appalling. This place is difficult to find, it claims no parking on the internet so we booked to park at London City Airport only to find a multi story a stones throw away for a third of the airport price on arrival. After finally gaining entry the reception area is not staffed. I eventually traced "a voice" to a room and thought I would just knock and find out how you get the key to your room. This turned out to be the apartment manager who took ages to answer the door. When we finally got the key to our flat we discovered it only had one bedroom when we had booked for two and had written confirmation of this. We were simply told my mother would have to sleep on the sofa as there were no spare apartments. After a four hour drive down from Leeds this is really not the service we expected. However, the apartment was of a good size, very clean and well furnished. The balaconies are furnished with outdoor furniture and overlook a pleasant courtyard. Sineage in and out of the building is distinctly lacking, if you are not on the main floor it is even difficult to find the lift or your way around the building to actually get out. Very frustrating when all it would take is a couple of signs. Although the overland tube link is quite far out of London the excel station for the DLR is very convenient and you are soon in the centre but it can be quite tiring getting back out to the exel area after a long day in town. All in all the apartment was great, customer service very poor and location ok if you are not too worried about getting about. It is a shame they are so badly managed as the apartments themselves are lovely.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank buttywoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2010

Possibly the worst 'premium' hotel/apartments I have stayed in during my times in London. I have to travel to Canary Wharf every other week and end up staying everywhere in the Docklands (Hilton, Marlin, Discovery Dock, Brittania, etc.)

Let's rack off the problems with my one night stay: the lights in the bathroom did not work, stains on walls and carpet and a used nappy left in one of the rooms!, wifi connection was flakey upstairs and did not connect downstairs, poor television reception, and the hallway lights had a habit of not working...

When I checked in the staff were very unhelpful because I did not bring my confirmation. Yet I have never had to bring a confirmation to any hotel before!?

For £170 you can get much better around Canary Wharf...

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled on business
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Thank PureToast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2010

My wife and I spent two days at the Grainstore Apartments in London's Docklands and they were very nice indeed. The staff were extremely helpful especially as we turned up on the morning all the roads around ExCel and that part of Docklands were closed for a big cycling event. They helped us get in to the Grainstore Apartments and unload our luggage despite the severe restrictions outside.
Check-in was fast and efficient and made without any fuss. The apartment we had was spotlessly clean, well-equipped and tastefully furnished. There was plenty of room and everything was of real good quality and especially value for money compared to some of the tiny little rooms you get in 2-star hotels in central London for the same price.
I'm sure the apartments would be much more expensive if there is a big exhibition on at ExCel but outside of that these rooms are great value for money.
Yes, you need to take the Docklands Light Railway ( DLR) in to London to see the sights and it can take up to 45-50 minutes from leaving the apartment to get up to say the museums and shops in Knightsbridge and about 25 minutes to the Tower Bridge area. We took the DLR up to town and then took the Thames Clipper river bus back to Canary Wharf which was a very good service and if you have purchased a day card for the Tube then you get reduced ticket prices for the river bus.
The apartments may not be the ideal location for central London but you do at least go back to a really nice room rather than something poor for the same price up in town.
There are a few decent restaurants literally just steps away from the Grainstore and close by there are more in the Canary Wharf area about 5 minutes on the DLR.
The drawbacks are that the rooms do not have air-conditioning so they do get very stuffy indeed and the Wi-Fi is less than reliable. The connectivity was poor and the signal continually got lost so service was pretty inconsistent which might be important if you were staying for a few days or a week.
Parking if you are bringing a car is in a multi-story car park about 100 metres away but they do let you park outside for a little while to load your luggage when you arrive and depart.
Finally be warned the noise from planes taking-off from nearby London City Airport (less than a mile away) can be hellish. Our first night we didn't hear a thing as it would appear the planes were taking off to the east so going in the opposite direction from the apartments but the second day they were taking off to the west and were right overhead and very noisy as a result.
Overall these apartments are very well kept and superb value for money if you are prepared to stay a little out of town.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sweetville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2009

We moved to the Grainstore Apartments following a trip to the English country side. We booked via a last minute type of site and recieved quite a good rate however it was all down hill from there! It was impossible to contact the apartments to seek any info prior to arrival. We had requested an apartment with NO stairs as my husband had hurt his back we arrived to find a double story apartment connected by a spiral stair case! We tried to contact the apratment managers but couldn't ( there is no representiitve on site)so rang the original booking agent to be told that they had called the apartmetn agents who had said it was too bad about the stairs and that there was a 100% cancellation charge if we were to move.
Finding the apartments was very difficult. We had look for the 'blue door' in our instuction however the entire row of buildings had blue doors! it is on the DLR which takes you off the London underground and while it was easy enough to get into London it did take a long time, about 30-45 minutes.
The apartment it was very clean however it is difficult to use the washing machine, the TV has very bad reception (which is also affected by the apartments being under the London City airport flight path!) and the internet was slow and unreliable. The main corridor on the building smells VERY badly of wet carpet and the light sensors for the long corridors are sometimes slow to respond so you can find yourself walking along the corridor in the dark before the lights activate! This a long with the complete lack of WAY OUT signs (which is via the lift on the second floor) led to a scary 15 minutes on the first night feeling like we were in the 'twilight zone'.
The area has quite a few nice restaurants however lacked the atmosphere of inner London.
We stayed our 6 nights put it down to experience then left!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank liana59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Grainstore Apartments

Address: The Grainstore 4 Western Gateway | Excel Royal Docks, London E16 1BA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #440 of 909 Speciality Lodging in London
Price Range: £238 - £428 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Grainstore Apartments 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A selection of spacious 1, 2, and 3 bedroom short let serviced apartments in Docklands, Excel London, E16 ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Grainstore Apartments Hotel London

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