More about Thistle Bloomsbury
Great location...and that's about it
If you are looking for a spacious room right near the theater district for a very reasonable price, Thistle Bloomsbury is for you. If those are the only things you care about, read no further.
If you care about things like having a working toilet or a hotel that looks like it has been updated since WW2, this is probably not the right place for you. One particularly comical scene was when my wife started screaming because the side of the tub fell off to reveal a never-never land of dusty and soot-covered pipes. It was a learning experience for me as I was unaware up to that point that tubs were ever manufactured in anything but one piece. I had to laugh- although in throwing my head back to laugh I unfortunately saw the crumbling ceiling above which I was sure would fall on me everytime I was at the sink. We reported our tub calamity to the front desk before we went out for the evening and to no one's surprise, they did nothing about it. Other problems included being charged 50 pounds for breakfast that we didnt eat and the on demand movies not working. Still, at least we got some funny stories out of it.
Recommended for: cheap accomodation in the heart of London
Not recommended for: honeymooners, people without a sense of humor, people who demand top-notch service and posh surroundings.
Clean & Comfy great Location!
When I first read the reviews posted here about the Thistle Bloomsbury I was alarmed and tried to cancell the reservations but I got them thru Priceline and could not. I was pleasantly surprised. Rooms were clean, towels fluffy, bedding clean and very comfy. Staff was great. Called for ice a few times they weere there in minutes! Nice little bar, but we did not eat in the retaurant but ordered room service once and it was tasty. Its a little shabby in the public rooms and not American 4 star. No view and the windows were a bit dingy but it was quiet and the location was beyond reproach. Around the corner from everything, restaurants, cafes, pubs, Covent Garden, Britsh Museum, West End. We were delighted that it was not in the more busy touristy area like Marble Arch. I got a great deal $90 a night and Bloomsbury is so covenient! Bus at doorstep (literally) a short ride to Harrods, Knightsbrige, Hyde Park Kensington, the tube was a short walk, but we prefered to get an all day bus pas for about $6.50 and hop on & off. It is near all the cool stuff, the Tower, Westminster, Big Ben, Parliament etc. yet it was distinclty quieter for strolling to Russel Square etc. and we never left a 4 block radius for dining and Pubs it was a lovely safe area with beautiful Edwardian buildings. The Lobby was cozy, not grand, fireplace was lit and you could get coffee service. They also had an inexpensive internet access machine there. Staff was excellent. Be warned London is expensive. We would go back again in a heartbeat. Note: they say they have coffee makers its only a pot that heats boiling water. But they supply assorted teas, coffees, sugar, biscuits etc. in each room. Also there is an iron and ironing board in each room. They supply citrus scented toiletries, shampoos etc and nice bar soap. Each bathroom has a decent wall mounted hair dryer.
Charles Dickens slept here
No, Charles didn't sleep here, but I think the Thistle Hotel group might have inherited his mattress for use in room 223, given its advanced age and lumpiness.
Overall though, the Thistle is a clean, secure, convenient pied-a-terre for your time in London. Yes, it's probably due for a renovation, but if you can get past the dirty facade (nothing a good sandblasting wouldn't solve) and the odd patch of duct-tape on the hallway carpets, we feel it was very good value for the price paid. It was part of a package deal, so it's hard to say exactly what we paid for the Thistle Bloomsbury, but it probably worked out to about $150 per room per night. This represents excellent value, based on our previous experience with London Hotels.
Our room, bathroom and walk-in closet (!) were spacious by English hotel standards, and featured conveniences such as daily newspapers, coffee, tea and cookies, iron and trouser press, safe, even a heated towel rack.
The room was kept scrupulously clean and well presented by the cheerful maid service. The rest of the staff don't exactly radiate warmth or charm, but were unfailingly polite and efficient.
The entertainnment options aren't much by North American standards (five TV channels plus radio alarm) but when you have the whole city of London, (and the West End!) at your doorstep, this is the last thing to worry about. It's a five minute walk to Leicester Square, and an even shorter walk to the nearest tube station.
Our rate included a daily hot breakfast in the lobby restaurant. This consisted of a decent range of hot and cold breakfast items, served buffet style, and was a great start to a long day of sightseeing. The choices don't vary much from day to day, but the food was always hot, plentiful and of decent quality... and at London restaurant prices, this is a significant saving on eating breakfast out. We ate a big breakfast at 7am, and seldom felt the need to eat for another six hours!
I was going to rate this hotel a "neutral" but after considering the value we received for the price we paid, I have to bump it up a notch to "above average". If we were travelling at peak season rates, or paying the rack rate, I might be a little less enthusiastic.
So, once the people at Thistle Hotels have spent a few pounds in sprucing up the property and replaced that saggy old mattress, we'll be back!
Charming older hotel in great location
Two of us stayed here for 2 nights June 25-27, and overall were quite satisfied with the hotel. Bid through Priceline and paid $110+tax per night, which came to about $134 total.
Friendly, efficient staff
Rooms on the smaller side
Rooms might not be equipped with all 4-star amenities
We arrived around 11am and tried to see if we could check in, but weren't surprised to be told that we'd have to wait till 2pm. We were able to leave our bags with the concierge, and when we came back around 5pm, a room was ready for us. Priceline had only guaranteed a room with two twin beds, and that was what the hotel had told me we had when I called them after winning my Priceline bid, but when we showed up, they told us we had a "Double Deluxe." The first room we were given was, mistakenly, a twin room, but as soon as I went back down to the desk, we were given a double with no problem. I got no Priceline attitude from anyone, and all the staff (3 desk staff and 2 concierges) I dealt with were friendly and helpful. Check-in and check-out were a breeze, and they also had no problem with us leaving a bag with them for one more night after we'd already checked out. However, since the reception desk is small, and I only ever saw one person working there at a time, I can imagine that when it is busier, there could be a wait.
Room was small by U.S. standards, but not terribly cramped. There was a small loveseat as well as a desk and chair. The window had a very wide sill, so we put one suitcase there, and another on the floor in front of the closet. Bathroom was older and not completely without evidence of that, so I can imagine some U.S. customers being displeased, but it was fine for me. The bathtub was deep enough to take a nice bath, although the shower worked in an odd way that took me a few moments to figure out. (In order to adjust the temperature, you had to adjust the bathtub faucets; to make the shower hotter, you turned on the cold water bathtub faucet to divert the cold water away!) Air-conditioning worked very well, although it was on the noisier side.
The television was small, probably only a 13-inch screen, and had only a few stations (probably the 5 terrestrial ones), but we weren't in London to watch tv so I didn't really care. There was no clock at all, but this was true of all the three hotels we stayed in in England. Internet available in the room if you had a laptop, but we made use of the BT pay Internet machine in the lobby instead (1 pound for every 15 minutes, although if you go out in the world, you can find Internet cafe where 1 pound buys 1 or even 2 hours of time.) There was supposedly a way to set the tv as an alarm, but we never needed to make use of it. (You could also get a wake-up call if you asked.) There was an iron and a (fairly old) built-in hair-dryer. No mini-bar in our room, but not a big deal for us.
Bed was firm and quite comfortable, but not being used to sleeping without a topsheet (European custom is a comforter only), I was hot the first night (we turned up the AC the second night). Pillows are also quite flat (another thing that seemed common in England), so be sure to request extra pillows if you need them. Room was very quiet both nights.
As others have commented, this is an older hotel. The outside of it could do with a good cleaning (brick looks grimey), and parts of the common areas have a faded feel with respect to the condition of the carpet etc., although during our second day, they were replacing parts of the stairway carpet. However, it also has a certain charm -- there's a nicely furnished sitting area around the reception desk, and the stairway has chandelier-type lights.
Location was really convenient. We were 5 minutes walk or less from the Holborn tube station on the Picadilly (blue) line (which is the line that goes to Heathrow Airport) as well as the Tottenham Court Road tube station on the Central (red) line. The hotel is a very easy walk to the heart of Soho, as well as being blocks away from the British Museum.
All in all, I think it was a good deal for what we paid during one of the busiest times in London (first week of Wimbledon), even though it was admittedly on the lower side of the 4-star range. We came back to London after one night away, and got the Cumberland Marble Arch, which was superb; I think if we'd stayed at the Cumberland Hotel first and then came to the Thistle Bloomsbury, we would've have been let down, but as the first hotel we experienced in London, we were very pleased.
Not a happy Bunny.
I stayed 1 Night with my daughter.
Room not ready at 1300hrs.
This is a very typical chain hotel
The room we had been circa 1975.
Only one lift was working during our stay.
And the room we had (421) is in very much need of a make over.
The windows were so dirty it was pointless looking out of them.
The shower didn’t work.
The TV welcome message was unreadable due to the TV not being turned in.
The carpets on the landing outside our room had been repaired with GAFFER tape.
The staff where very pleasant and I feel working against the odds with the building in the state it was in.
Please Thistle I am sure you can do better than this.
I will give the Bloomsbury a miss next time
There are other hotels in this price range that are much better. I was told it is a four star but it is not like any four star I have stayed in the UK.
The room was overlooking a major road, with some 'stuck on' bits of double glazing that offered no noise prevention.
Bathroom in desparate need of repair - bathroom panel rotted in places and patches on the ceiling.
Cleanliness a real problem - headboards were filthy and there was a crushed biscuit behind the door from the last occupant.
I do not want visitors to the UK to think this is the usual standard of hotel.
Just so you know we had a standard room, not executive. Perhaps these have been decorated and cleaned?
Great deal for the price
If you aren't expecting a 5 star hotel, you won't be disappointed. The location alone makes it worthwhile. The hotel could use some work, especially in the hallways. The room we stayed in was good sized (by European standards), clean and comfortable. The staff was very helpful, and when we had a problem with the room’s TV it was fixed immediately. We didn’t have breakfast included in our deal so we didn’t eat there, but there were plenty of nearby cafes and coffee shops that were very reasonably priced. Overall, a good experience and I would stay there again.
A good deal!
All in all a good hotel that we got at a very reasonable rate. Helpful staff that changed our errorly booked twin room to a normal double room without hesitating. The room was spacious, the shower and bath just fine. It's not really what one might call a modern design, but it was really cosy and clean. Shortly: There was absolutely nothing to complain.
Great location, poor hotel!
The only good thing about this hotel was its location - right near Oxford St and conveniently placed for the theatres. Other than that, this hotel has nothing going for it! I only stayed for one night but it was enough to put me off ever returning. My single room was dark, dusty (you could see big clumps of it sticking to the walls) and extremely shabby. It had ripped wallpaper hanging off the walls, mysterious marks all over the ceiling and tired, 1970s style furnishing. The view was of the back of the hotel - terrible - lots of industrial type fans etc and the curtains were grey with pollution I presume.
I specifically asked for a wake-up call when I checked in but this never occurred and my breakfast was a huge disappointment and late (I ordered room service) - it had obviously been sitting somewhere out in the kitchen for a long while before they brought it up as the youghurt and juice had a thick 'skin' floating on top. The fruit salad was warm and straight out of a tin, and hot chocolate cold. I could barely touch it and at such an expensive price, I expected MUCH better.
A huge let-down, avoid at all costs!!
Thistle Kensington Park FEEDBACK
Dear all, i will be staying at the above hotel during my upcoming London trip. Had been to the trip advisor webpage to view but there was only a comment.. Hope to hear more comments or feedback on that place... Thanks !
on a side note, what do you guys think of the location?
Re: Re: Thistle Kensington Park FEEDBACK
WOW thansk for such a fast and heartening response! Im really glad to book it now. Hows the weather in london now? im expected to arrive in 16 sept.. by the way what will be the fastest way to arrive the hotel from stanstead airport?
Thistle Kensington Park FEEDBACK
Its a lovely area to stay in. close to many nice places and you've got all the needed transportation to other attracions in the city.
Re: Re: Thistle Kensington Park FEEDBACK
Location of that hotel is excellent.
Weather in London changes very fast. Heat wave two weeks ago, last Saturday when I was there, the weather was very nice, not too cold and not warm. It is getting colder though. Now it's slightly less than 20 degC. Weather changes very fast in the UK. In the morning, you can see some clouds with sunshine. Then perhaps when you got ready to go out in 2 hours, weather would change to gloomy or rain...
Re: Thistle Kensington Park FEEDBACK
i stayed at a thistle hotel a long time ago it was on right at Tower Bridge - it was really nice and also at the thistle bloomsbury - great location - but both were very nice so the chain itself is nice