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“Great location, good food, not so great rooms.”

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Thistle Kensington Gardens
Ranked #307 of 1,075 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 June 2014

We stayed 5 nights in the Thistle and were each time glad to leave. We were taking a tour and decided to go 2 days early. We booked two additional nights at $300 each. The rooms were standard rooms which means it is exceedingly small. It was only possible to have one suitcase open and the other needed to be stowed in the cabinet. The fit was so tight we needed to squeeze the suitcase together so as to fit it between the bed and the desk. We had to juggle things around to have a place to brew a cup of coffee or tea.

The elevators are enough for 4 persons and match the size of the rooms.

The hall ways have low ceilings and the carpets were dark and drab.

The bed itself was acceptably comfortable and it was a clean room. The bathroom was as well clean and highy efficient. The bathtub/shower was a high step from the ground with nothing to grab onto to assist getting in or out.

The room came with breakfast which was a positive point of the experience. They had fresh sourdough bread, brioche loaf, scrambled or fried eggs, rasher, sausage, potatoes, tomato and beans.

In addition, there was sliced cold ham, salami, cheese and fish. The cereal preparations as well were fine and the fruit was fresh and ripe.

We ate dinner there one night also and it was served buffet style but it was a creditable job.

The last night we asked for a wakeup call since there is no clock in the room. Unfortunately, no call came but we were up anyway and no harm done.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank NJTravellingfool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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987 - 993 of 1,996 reviews

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
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2  Thank Ricardo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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1  Thank MarkAWilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank mbi i
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank Bea926
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank Denise O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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1  Thank Jeremy_Colwell
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

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
#223 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range: £112 - £224 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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