In the (Dock)land where chain mediocrity or bland corporate efficiency prevails, Aloft – a cheaper option from the swanky W chain – is refreshing. Outside, the design is rather cool, a swoop of shiny surfaces with charming coloured lighting; inside, service is winningly offhand. Shove your credit card into the self-check-in and your key card is dispensed, giving you access to the upper floors by lift, where further funky lighting guides you to your room (nicely finished, masculine decor; remote keyboard to operate the telly; free Wi-Fi; decently appointed wet room). Your card also gets you into the pool and gym, while careless packers have a coin-op mobile phone charger in the lobby. Aloft is right at the exit from the ExCeL convention centre, so Friday night in the bar-diner is lively with post-convention hair being let down.
One Eastern Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock
|Price:||£94.50 to £251.90 per night|