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“Average hotel, tired rooms”

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Thistle City Barbican, Shoreditch
Ranked #583 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Reviewed 11 July 2009

Stayed here recently for 5 nights on business. It's a 10 minute walk from Old Street tube which I didn't find too onerous. It was well located for what I needed, but what I needed was fairly specific. If you are here as a tourist, perhaps best to stay in a different part of London. First impression is that the neighbourhood could be a little sketchy, but actually there was no litter/broken glass and I had no issues returning on foot around 10PM on a couple of occasions.

On arrival, the receptionist offered a room upgrade which thankfully I accepted. When I got to the room, I didn't want to imagine what the standard rooms were like! It had been rather warm in London recently so I was glad of the A/C, however it only seemed to cool intermittently. There was an iron & trouser press in the room, however the ironing board was built into the trouser press unit. This was located right next to the door which made it awkward to use.

The room was tired at the corners and could do with a refresh. The fridge definitely needed to be replaced, it seemed to impart a flavour on anything kept in it for a day or so. There was no damage to the furniture, but for an 'executive' room it was a fair bit below what you would find in say a Holiday Inn.

The bathroom was clean but a little tired. Basic toiletries were supplied but the towels left a lot to be desired. They were harsh and a little small (and I'm not overweight!) and had obviously had a hard life.

The communal areas were in a lot better shape. The pool, sauna, steam room & whirlpool were all clean and in good condition. The bar area is small and a little formal, it could do with some more lounge-type couch seating. I didn't eat in the restaurant but did have breakfast there as it was included in my rate. Breakfast was typical buffet style, it could have been improved with more fresh fruit.

For around £110/night inc. breakfast in central London, I was satisfied if not overjoyed. I'm not sure I would choose it for my next stay.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled on business
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Thank DuckLovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,469 - 2,475 of 3,204 reviews

Reviewed 6 July 2009

I'm afraid I'm joining the many negative reviews. Having never written on trip advisor before and normally very satisfied with basic hotels, I feel forced to vent my frustrations. I'll keep it brief, but the room was about 40 degrees with no air conditioning available. There was a plug in fan which I had to leave whirring all night to get any sleep. The cold and hot taps in my room both poured out scalding hot water which made having a glass of water and a shower very unpleasant. The staff were polite but incredibly unhelpful. When asked if I could have some sort of breakfast sent to my room, even a croissant or bowl of cereal would have been fine, as I had to leave before 6:30am, I was led around in unhelpful circles for an hour. Eventually when I had fallen asleep a man knocked on my room with a lunch menu and no way of me ordering anything, at which point I gave up. I was also charged £2 for a small tube of toothpaste which I had to extract from a vending machine. When I pay £132 for one nights accomodation I don't really expect this.
Basically I really wouldn't stay here again if you paid me, which is pretty bad considering I was only there for one night and normally stay in much cheaper hotels.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled on business
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Thank cazzarini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2009

stayed here on a theatre break. room was fine - we could open our windows enough to enjoy a lovely breeze, comfy beds, clean room and bathroom, nice TV. kettle did not work but staff sorted it out immediately. no biscuits! breakfast was very busy but was managed excellently by staff. the only downside was the location - tubes a 15 minute walk, shuttle bus did not run on weekends (!!!), so cost us a fortune in taxi fares, which is why I give it 3 stars instead of 4.

  • Stayed: May 2009
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Thank kiera1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2009

I travel to London on business pretty-much every week. I usually stay closer into the city but was booked into this hotel because of Wimbledon (not many rooms to be had!).
Was been booked into a standard single grade room - asked about upgrade on check-in, offered a suite - not necessary given I was only staying for one night.
* Room very small - about 6 ft wide by 12 ft
* No aircon - a free-standing electric fan had been provided! (too noisy to run at night - and happened to be one of the hottest nights of the year so far!!)
" En-suite looked like it hadn't been updated since the '70s - very basic
* In summary, the room had the feeling of a student dorm - very functional
* Massive queue into breakfast - only one person checking folk in and seeing them to their tables - very frustrating given the number of senior staff buzzing around
* Breakfast buffet very basic - great (I suppose) if you want a fully cooked breakfast - otherwise limited selection - e.g. poor selection of fruit (about 3 selections of prunes, etc out of tins)
* Staff pleasant and helpful - I valued the free shuttle to the tube (NB This hotel IS NOT in easy walking distance from a tube station)
I chose not to eat in the hotel - didn't look very appealing
There are more comfortable and better value hotels in London

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled on business
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Thank commuter_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2009

This is definitely the worst hotel i have stayed at in London, and i stay there pretty much every week. I have not ever felt sufficiently compelled to write a review like this, so please take note. In summary:

1. Location - if i did not know London very well, i would have been intimidated to walk around the area as the hotel is basically situated in a rough council estate and definitely not in the part of Clerkenwell that you might be familiar with
2. Room v small and stuffy with no air conditionining or ability to open windows. Also random cover up paint all over walls and door - worse than a student house;
3. Walls are paper thin and i could hear coversations from rooms on all sides. This, combined with various noises of fighting etc from outside, made sleeping impossible;
4. The desk in the room was torn and splintered to add to the fact that there was no free internet; made it difficult to work;
5. I requested an iron no less than 3 times before someone finally came back to me to say that none were available until the morning, making it very difficult for me to have a shirt ready for an early meeting;
6. The bathroom was shabby and the mirror located about 4 foot from the basin, which made shaving very tricky - and no shaving mirror.

I could go on, but compared to most of the other hotels i have stayed in in London, at a similar price, this place is an absolute pit. Mr Thistle, you should be very ashamed. Thinking about it, the only hotel which even comes close to being this bad is the Thistle Westminster, there is a trend here i believe!

Adam Baddeley

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled on business
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Thank badders74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2009

Our first impression of the Thistle-city barbican hotel was very good,entrance and lobby was very clean and staff where very friendly and helpful,though we where a little concerned by the location as it did seam a little out of the way.when we arrived at the hotel we where asked if we wanted to 'upgrade' our room for £30 for the 2 nights,which we agreed and we where upgraded to the 'suite' which was fantastic,we cant believe the bargain we had(though i think we where quite lucky,as not everyone will get this treatment), our room had air conditioning,king size bed,tv,etc. etc. breakfast was served from 7-11am and is a buffet style breakfast with a selection of full english,breads,cereal,juice etc,which was great because you could help yourself you can have as much or little as you want. very recommended..though if you are staying here try and get yourself an upgrade as our room(for the money) was fantastic.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Gazz69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2009

I have just got back from a weekend London break and had serious reservations about this hotel (selected by a local (Yorkshire) coach tour company) having read so many negative reviews. I travelled with seven friends, and between us we had reserved a triple and two double rooms. On arrival at the hotel we were quickly checked in ... initially we were a little disappointed not to have had our rooms close together (our own fault I guess, having not anticipated and pre arranged this.) However, we decided it wouldn't be a problem as we could easily meet up in the foyer later. Although, as with many London hotels the exterior of the hotel was'nt particularly grand, you shouldn't be deceived as the foyer, bars, restaurants and corridors were spacious and plush. When we entered our room (the triple) all three of us were delighted with it. We were surprised to find that we had been given the 'premier executive suite', and assumed that we had just landed lucky to be given such a well presented room. It was exactly as on the websites photos - brightly and attractively decorated in yellows and reds, with a double bed and sofa bed. It was the little added extras that made it all the more special - colour coordinated cushions, plants, dressing gown, toiletries etc. We really couldn't believe that we had come to the same place as described on this site, yet felt a little guilty thinking our friends would probably not be in rooms of the same standard... a guilt that didn't last long, however, as they both informed me that their rooms were "beautiful". I forgot to say that mine and one of the other rooms were in the main building and the other one was in the adjoining building - a few steps across the covered entrance area. We decided to eat out at Covent garden in the evening, and asked the staff if they could help us out with arranging a taxi. This was done within minutes, and the hotel helped arrange a fixed price with the drivers (which for the seven of us worked out about £7 each for two cabs including return journey - probably cheaper than the tube and far less stressful.)
On return to the hotel a few hours later, we enjoyed a quiet drink in the hotel bar.
Breakfast was (I think) from seven to eleven - plenty of choice - cereals, fruit, full English etc - I couldn't fault it.
Perhaps this hotel isn't as central as we would have liked, but it really wasn't a problem. We didn't really plan to stay around the hotel area anyhow - just to use it as a base.
I can honestly say we are all pretty surprised and curious as to why there are so many negative reviews on here - and it's certainly taught me not to believe all I read!
I should also mention a fantastic place to eat for anyone eating out and wanting to visit Covent garden -
Sofra (Covent Garden)
36 Tavistock Street, London, WC2E 7PB
The food was absolutely gorgeous - top quality food (with a Turkish/Greek slant), provided in lovely surroundings - we sat up in the covered roof terrace - we had a beautiful main meal, glass of wine and sweet for about £20 per head - I have no idea how they manage to do it for this price as they could be charging so much more.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank NickySheffield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Thistle City Barbican, Shoreditch

Address: 120 Central Street | Clerkenwell, London EC1V 8DS, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #583 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Price Range: £67 - £183 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Thistle City Barbican, Shoreditch 3*
Number of rooms: 463
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Within walking distance from Old Street and Barbican tube stations the Thistle City Barbican provides easy access to the whole of London and its many attractions. We have convenient transport links for King's Cross & Liverpool Street National Rail as well as St Pancras International station for Eurostar.Ideally located on the edge of the City of London, with the financial district just minutes away, we are also in a prime location for business travellers. Our dedicated conference facilities with 13 flexible meeting rooms will cater for business meetings, corporate special events, private dining and banquets for up to 170 delegates.Inclusive with your hotel booking you can enjoy the Otium Health & Leisure Club to work out, for a refreshing swim or simply relax and de-stress in the Jacuzzi, Sauna and Steam room. Whether you are here for business or leisure our Otium Health & Leisure Club has all you need to make your experience complete.Thistle City Barbican Hotel features 463 bedrooms including Standard, Deluxe and Family rooms as well as Suites. All of our guestrooms, meeting rooms and public areas are equipped with Free BT Openzone Wi-Fi internet access. For guests travelling to the Hotel by car there are 10 car parking spaces available which are allocated on a first come first serve basis. Alternatively there is a NCP carpark within walking distance. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thistle City Barbican London
Thistle City Barbican Hotel London

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