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“Nice hotel in a good location”

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Thistle Kensington Gardens
Ranked #293 of 1,063 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
69 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Nice hotel in a good location”
Reviewed 25 June 2014

Don't be put off by the exterior, this is a really nice hotel. The entrance is just around the corner from the petrol station and the connected Waitrose is very handy for picnic items (and reasonably priced wine!).The public areas are clean, modern and beautifully styled and although our room was small and at the back of the hotel (we booked the most basic room they had), it was perfectly formed and I didn't actually mind the rooftop view - on a short break we weren't spending much time in the room anyway. We didn't eat an evening meal in the hotel but breakfast was genuinely one of the best hotel breakfasts I've had; plenty of choice, all very good quality and all items constantly being replenished and rotated so everything stayed fresh and tasty. To top it off, EVERY member of staff we met was friendly and met us with a smile. We were a little disappointed that housekeeping didn't come to clean until well into the afternoon which meant that when freshening up to go out we had to use the towels that we'd previously dumped on the floor to be changed. But otherwise it was a great stay and I'd happily recommend the hotel.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bea926
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (514)
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English first
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
60 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

While we all know London is expensive I still question the value. Our room was extremely small making it uncomfortable to dress or move about. Housekeeping could have been better, we had towels left in the bath and a better wipe over of the bathroom would have been welcome. Service in the dining room was sporadic depending who was on duty. The food in the restaurant was very good though and we enjoyed several meals here. As we were travelling for several weeks we looked for alternate options for laundry as the hotel's prices were ridiculously expensive, cheaper to buy new underwear!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Denise O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014

Where, oh where to begin.

Let's start with the fact that even though you're paying a couple hundred bucks a night (CAD$), and then you pay extra for the executive upgrade, you still do not get so much as a kettle for tea or coffee in the room. Make no mistake, the room is pretty and everything, but I stayed in a cheap dive motel that gave me a kettle, tea, and coffee. This place did not. Not wanting to pay £12 for breakfast per person, we chose to go around the corner for a good inexpensive cafe breakfast

We can also discuss the fact that their self-promoted "eco awareness" is a sham. They say "put towels in the tub if you want them changed". We did not, but they changed them anyways.

But the big one of course was when we put a 'do not disturb' sign on the door, And housekeeping came in despite this. Then they rearranged some clothes, INCLUDING SOME OF MY WIFE'S UNDERGARMENTS, and others just got tossed onto the bed. Of course, I went straight to the evening front desk "manager", who at least acted appropriately shocked.

When I went back to the front desk in the morning to follow up, the woman there was completely and utterly dismissive of my concern, stating that "housekeeping probably just saw the tag, and thought it was the one that said make up the room". She totally ignored the fact of my wife's undergarments being re-located. The overall sense of her attitude towards me came across as "I don't care". I am only glad that my wife and I were not otherwise occupied when housekeeping entered our room.

I have stayed at this property before, and it shows every sign of a hotel that has stopped caring. Little things like signs with burned out light-bulbs (on the outside of the building). The railings in the elevators coming loose (2 of the 3 elevators). No one at the concierge desk. Ever. The reason we went back is because the first trip was so far above par it was silly. This one was so far below grade, I will never go back, and in fact will go to lengths to dissuade my friends and associates from ever frequenting this property.

The service is rated poor because of the handling of our matter by the staff. Value is poor because of the same, and because of the lack of care and attention (they charge top dollar, they should offer top service), plus the cost of the breakfast (most hotels in the UK include breakfast). The rooms rating suffered for the same reason

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeremy_Colwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Evansville
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014

I spent hours going through reviews on tripadvisor to find a hotel in London that was under 300USD a night in a good location. I narrowed it down to this one or Lancaster Gate. Both were comparably priced in the same location. This one had better reviews. The thing that sold me was when they emailed and told me they would upgrade us to a room with a huge bed made in to two plus a twin. When we got there...the beds looked nice and we sat on them and they were comfy. When we came back after dinner....the room had not cooled at all. The A/C was not working. So at past ten at night we had to pack up and move to another room....with smaller and less comfortable beds. My daughter said she could feel the spring in the mattress. And then the drains would not drain properly. SO the next day we again had to call maintenance. Plus when we arrived the new girl at the front desk first could not find our reservation and then could not get our credit card to work. I was very disappointed that we did not get the room with the larger and comfy beds. We did however get upgraded to a room on the side of the park. But the beds were not what we were expecting. And the lifts are extremely small. On the plus side....another lady at the front desk was quite helpful when we needed to ask questions. Ate in the restaurant once. Service was very slow....but the food was good. And yes...it is above a gas station. A few blocks away is a street with tons of cheap souvenir shops and lots of ethnic restaurants....not exactly the area of London we thought it would be. Plus one of the lifts at station is broken and people have to cram in to one lift. OH..and one night past ten the fire alarm went off. It was just on long enough to wake us up. SO...bottom line is we did not get the bigger comfortable beds that made us choose this hotel over Lancaster Gate. Also...my daughter was extremely disappointed when the room they switched us to only had a shower. The other room had a bigger bathroom with a shower and a tub. She so wanted a nice bath. SO we would probably not stay here again..... I also responded to their email about HOW WAS YOUR STAY and mentioned these issues...and no one emailed me back.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Beatleskris2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coolangatta, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 June 2014

Rooms a bit small, but on holiday, the room is just to sleep, so not an issue.
Bathroom great with a REAL shower and lots of hot water.
Location makes a London visit a dream as everything within easy walk, bus or underground access.
Would be nice to have small in-room refrigerator...
Recommended for travellers looking for quality, value, good service and and friendly reception, restaurant and other staff.
Little convenience store at servo (service station) around the corner for those little snacks in the room.
Aussie business traveller... John

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JohnBanora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014

The first thing we saw when arriving is that there is a busy gas station on the street level of the hotel. Do not expect a grand entrance when you arrive. The room smelled like mold every time we entered. The wifi (which they advertise as fast and free) is painfully slow. I brought this up to the front desk twice but nothing was done about it. One front desk person told me she would call the internet provider but that she'd probably be on hold for hours. That's comforting. The breakfast buffet was boring and uninspired. The walls of the room were paper thin, we could hear our neighbors talking on the phone and doors slamming all day. On the plus side, the shower had great water pressure and the a/c in the room worked well. We will definitely not be back.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank capat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GM_KGN, General Manager at Thistle Kensington Gardens, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Dear capat,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences, I am genuinely sorry and disappointed that on this occasion we failed to live up to your expectations, or mine. It is certainly not very often we deal with these sorts of complaints - yes we are located above a 24hr Waitrose - but most guests see that as the convenience store that it is. I am sorry the WIFI appeared to be slow, again we have a process for reporting this - I will certainly ensure this is reviewed with the team to give a more appropriate response. As for breakfast, we have recently increased the amount of items and offer an extensive hot and cold buffet - I am only sorry there was nothing on there that was satisfactory in our Full English Breakfast offering.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you in further detail, allowing me to understand in detail the areas we fell short in during your stay. I would appreciate it if you could email/call the hotel with contact details. I sincerely hope to hear from you soon. Kind regards - Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nj
Level Contributor
40 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2014

I stayed here for two nights as part of a tour. The staff was extremely helpful and the location is directly across the street from Kensington Gardens. The street is quite busy but is near the underground so it is easy to get around London from here. Nearby restaurants are pretty touristy.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the park
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank teejay86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GM_KGN, General Manager at Thistle Kensington Gardens, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Dear teejay86,

It was pleasing to read your recent review of Thistle Kensington Gardens and the positive comments regarding the team and location. I am delighted you enjoyed your stay with us. Thanks for your review. Kind regards - Andrew
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Thistle Kensington Gardens

Property: Thistle Kensington Gardens
Address: 104 Bayswater Road | Hyde park, London W2 3HL, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#172 Business Hotel in London
#189 Family Hotel in London
#210 Romantic Hotel in London
#215 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Thistle Kensington Gardens 4*
Number of rooms: 175
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Newly refurbished modern hotel located on Bayswater Road with the tranquility of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens opposite, and within walking distance to Paddington, Oxford Street, Kensington, Notting Hill and Edgware Road, the hotel is ideally placed for business or leisure. Good transport links ensure that the city and theatres are also within very easy reach. All Deluxe and Executive bedrooms are located at the front of the hotel and have amazing views over Kensington Gardens and are available at a supplement. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thistle Kensington Gardens London

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