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“A hidden surprise”

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Thistle Kensington Gardens
Ranked #299 of 1,069 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
1,922 reviews
220 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 569 helpful votes
“A hidden surprise”
Reviewed 26 June 2014 via mobile

At times you can find a hidden gem where you don't expect it. I just booked this hotel because it looked like a good value hotel and while the entrance is deceiving, service, rooms location and views are excellent and worth the money. A good choice in a central location

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ricardo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Olney, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

I stayed in this hotel recently, based on a recommendation from a colleague, who travels further and often stays there. After dragging my suitcase from Baker Street thinking "it can't be far now", we made it there and I have to say I was a little concerned with the view from outside. Not to worry, once inside the building, it's a perfectly nice hotel, with neat and tidy rooms (if a little small - this is a Thistle - and in London!).

My colleagues and I ate in the restaurant, which was nothing special - but equally there was nothing wrong with it - and had a perfectly pleasant stay.

And that's my point: it was "nice", and "perfectly pleasant"; hence my "average" review. There's nothing that really stands out about this hotel - good or bad.

In all, I'd have to say that it's fine for business travel but I'd probably be looking for something a little better for the money if I was staying in London with my wife...

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MarkAWilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 25 June 2014

Stayed in this hotel over the weekend of 13th-15th June 2014 on a theatre break. Hotel is well situated and allowed easy access to the centre of London. Staff were at all times helpful and we enjoyed excellent breakfasts both mornings; a full range of options offers something for every taste. Our room wasn't the most spacious but was well-equipped, spotlessly clean and equipped with tea and coffee making facilities. Initially disappointed with a rear facing room but had no concerns when we discovered how quiet it was overnight. Probably the best shower we have had in any hotel! We would certainly return on a future visit to London.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mbi i
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
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
Canberra, Australia
Level 5 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
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Denise O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 2 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 2 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
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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
#220 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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