Visiting London can be rather stressful. It is so big and there is so much to do, that finding a spot to stay in is actually quite difficult. You’re spoilt for choice! I’ve managed to stay in numerous hotels across London, but I’ve never stayed in the Stratford area, I’ve shopped at the amazing Westfields Shopping Centre, ridden some of the Olympic Park cycle routes, but that is as much as it is. For another visit to London we were going to completely ditch venturing into central London and just seeing what Stratford was all about, and find out if just stay in this East London hotspot, was better than being in the middle. We were staying at Roomzzz Stratford, a 10 minute walk from Stratford station, in their new aparthotel. We couldn’t wait!
Believe it or not, I’ve never actually stayed in an hotel with its own kitchen, which when I thought about it seems quite daft. I’m always on the go, I barely get a moment to myself in London, and let’s be honest if you have to eat every meal out when you visit the area, it is pretty expensive. Having the flexibility of your own space, like a studio flat in London, but with hotel facilities, is by far the best thing I recently experienced. I didn’t actually take complete advantage of the Roomzzz Stratford cooking equipment, but it was so good having it there, so next time I visit London I’m staying here for sure!
Let’s take you through my personal experience at Roomzzz Stratford. I arrived, parked the car in the hotel carpark and was greeted by friendly staff. Our room wasn’t ready so we took a seat in the hotel’s onsite coffee shop/deli. Due to it being an hotel with cooking facilities, you can buy produce there in the lobby area, all that you can cook with. Pizzas, ready meals and all sorts just beyond the cafe area, so you don’t even next to venture far, failing that there is two corner shops in strolling distance.
Greeted by the lovely Hotel Manager Roger, he escorted us to our rooms after a show around. We discovered there was a small but practical gym, and the car park had a side entrance straight into the hotel. There was a lot of seating and open space downstairs which was good to see, with the decor being trendy but not ostentatious. The space downstairs was the perfect area to grab your complimentary breakfast, with a range of fresh fruits, tea and coffee and of course, a selection of pastries. Nothing too fancy or complicated just grab-and-go, which is perfect for the type of guest staying here.
The bedrooms were clean and smart, with ours having the compact kitchenette and a wet room bathroom. Well used space I’d summarise it as, with a big flat screen TV, a desk, and a little seating area – should you wish to cook and eat your meals in your room.
To tell you a little about Stratford I thought I’d explain what Nick and I decided to do whilst we had our night away. We initially thought we’d head into central London, but after driving over from the East Midlands, and doing pre-trip research, we decided to embrace Stratford! We booked a range of activities in East London, kicking things off with the ArcelorMittal Orbit, aka the big slide! Both Nick and I saw it from outside and started to question if it was a good idea, but after seeing children go on it without a squeak, I knew I had to just get on with it!
It was actually a really fun experience. We wanted to GoPro it, however you cannot take your own cameras on it, you have to rent theirs. At £16.50 a go, (adults) then a £15 GoPro hire, it started to get expensive, so we ditched the GoPro idea and just had fun without documenting it. The slide is over pretty quickly but it is lots of fun, you can even explore it further and take in the vast view. Now, if you are feeling particularly brave you can actually abseil off the building – just to let you know that definitely wasn’t on my agenda! It was ridiculously high up, (114.5-metre-high) but for more adventurous adventure seekers, you have that as another thrill option.
Being me, I had to have a bit of shop and obviously the huge Westfield’s Stratford was our go-to. Getting there early was key for a relaxing experience, we didn’t even get to do all the shops, but we had some great food from there and bought things I really didn’t need! Of course!
Finally to finish our day off we’d booked ourself in at Roof East for an open air viewing of my favourite film, Ghostbusters (1984). Roof East seemed to be a bit of a trendy hotspot, situated on top of the Stratford Centre carpark, and converted into an instagrammers paradise! Hosted by the Roof East Film Club, they did different showings all the time, it just so happened my fave flick was on when we were visiting. We got there early to enjoy some drinks outside and play our favourite game, Bean Bags, or Cornhole. We’d played this for the first time in a bar in San Diego and Nick and I were hooked. We were thrilled to battle it out again! This is free to use, unlike some of the other activities available, simply take your I.D to the booth on arrival and they’ll exchange it for the bean bags. Obviously, return them and you’ll get your ID back.
We also indulged in some tasty street food and chatted to lots of locals, mostly who were asking how the bean bag game actually worked! Soon we were in our comfy deck chairs with blankets watching the film. It was just amazing and an experience I’d say was worth every penny.
Back to the hotel where you used your key card to gain access back in when it was late. Super easy to do, and back up the lift to our welcoming bed. Which, I must point out was very comfortable. We then grabbed our breakfast in the morning, backed up our bags and took our cases to the car before checking out.
We decided as a final activity we should embrace the fact activities at the Lee Valley Park were available, so we’d booked ourselves on a BMX taster course. I was a bit nervous having never actually done this before, but was so excited we’d be riding the 2012 Olympic course! We did soon discover that the ramp you dropped in on, which we all considered high, was nothing compared to the one they actually had at the London Olympics! Still getting to know the basics, then actually riding the course was incredible.
So, yes we completely embraced East London and loved it! Roomzz Stratford was in such a great spot, if we’d had time we would of gone for a run in the park opposite the hotel, but there was just too much to do. For once I went to London and didn’t get stressed from loads of people, it was a rare relaxing and enjoyable experience. Roomzzz Stratford were spot on, and I’d like to say a huge thanks for having us stay – we’ll be back!
Want to see our full Stratford adventure? Take a look at my Youtube video below.