Walking with luggage to Underground / Airport bus may be bothering
Breakfast can be chaotic in peak times
Premier Inn is a branch of budget hotels which is especially active in the United Kingdom. There are, however, also outlets in other countries. For example, Premier Inn drives some locations in Dubai. I visited the Premier Inn London Stratford a couple of times already, majorly due to its location. In July 2019, my wife and I have been back at that place. Here is my experience.
Premier Inn London Stratford – Location
Premier Inn London Stratford is located right at the edge of Westfield Stratford, Britain’s most visited shopping mall. The transport connections are close to perfect. Stratford International rail station is more or less right across the hotel entrance, the corresponding DLR station is behind the rail terminal. When you cross the mall, you also have connections to TfL Rail, more rail lines as well as the Central and the Jubilee Line to Central London. The hotel used to be quite ideal for Stansted Airport, as you more or less were right at the bus stop for the transfer buses to the Northern London hub. However, the bus stop has been changed so that this connection may be a bit more unfortunate. You either have to cross the mall or (which feels to be faster) walk around it.
Westfield Stratford, of course, offers a huge variety of shopping and dining options. For example, a Waitrose supermarket is very close to the hotel. The mall also features a major cinema. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, home of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, is adjacent to the mall. You enter the hotel from ground floor level – the reception and restaurant / bar facilities are on first floor.
Premier Inn London Stratford – The Room
There are no different room categories in the hotel. We paid 152 GBP for two nights, non-refundable, including breakfast. We have been assigned a room in the 2nd floor. The room is basic, but offers all necessary amenities. Having said that, the room is comparably large and also features sufficient space for suitcases. The TV set is a bit small, but apart from that, the room equipment was fine. The bathroom even features a bathtub. There are no toiletries provided, apart from soap / shower gel. The room features one bath mat, two major towels and a minor ones.
We were not too happy with the state of the room. We created a little mess in the bathroom, for example – but as there is no drainage on ground level, the floor stood wet and even the carpet in the sleeping area soaked water. The curtain rod was not properly fixed on the wall – instead of fixing it, house keeping just “hided” it in a way that of course it came down again when we wanted to close the blinds for the night.
Premier Inn London Stratford – Breakfast / Food
Breakfast and dining is definitely a plus in Premier Inn hotels. The breakfast buffet, which is 10.50 GBP per person and night when you pre-order, offers quite a nice variety of items. Some of them, like the pancakes (which are just in the bread section, not freshly made/warm), have rather minor quality, though. There is also a breakfast and dinner package for the restaurant, which has a very competitive pricing. The “Kids eat for free” policy attracts many families. While our first breakfast was very relaxed on a Saturday morning, the Sunday morning breakfast (at a slightly later timing as well) was in line with previous experience we had. If it is getting too crowded in the breakfast area, the processes tend to become chaotic with major queues and items not being refilled.
Premier Inn London Stratford – Services
You shouldn’t expect a gym or a pool if you go to a Premier Inn. Finally, the list of amenities in the place, other than food and luggage storage, is limited to WiFi. However, the internet connection was a terrible mess during our stay. You do have the option between complimentary and Premium internet. The complimentary option, though, is at most sufficient to do WhatsApp on your mobile. Updating flyctory.com with it (just activating posts, not even picture uploads) was impossible and felt like blackmailing the Premium one for 5 GBP/day, three devices. This option was still not competitive to other hotels’ internet connections, but at least reasonable.
The check-in staff was nice and friendly, so was the breakfast staff. You also did not need to use the check-in machines. However, when we left from breakfast on the first morning, maintenance staff was standing on a barstool, fixing some painting in the bar/breakfast area. Apart from that it might be not state of the art for workplace safety to do so, I feel it is absolutely disgusting that staff is standing with working shoes on barstools, which are used by guests thereafter.
Unfortunately, there was free access to the floors as well. In general, you should only be able to access the ground floor (exit) and 1st floor (reception) via key card. In addition, on the levels 2 to 10, which feature the rooms, you should need the card to open the doors to the floors. However, you had free choice of levels in the elevators and the floor doors lock did not operate. This means, any non-guest could have easily make it right to your hotel room door without passing any Premier Inn employee or security. This safety feature definitely did work in previous stays at the hotel.
Premier Inn London Stratford – My View
Premier Inn hotels are in general no luxury places. However, at our stay, the hotel did not meet several basic requirements of a hotel stay. In other points, I did even see improvements to previous stays, but the terrible WiFi, the inappropriate state of the hotel room (including the “repair” of the blinds) and the inactive room access security finally prevent an average or good rating.