Thistle City Barbican Hotel London

3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

120 Central Street, Clerkenwell, London, EC1V 8DS, United Kingdom

6 Reviews

Thistle City Barbican
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Satisfaction Poor
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 53% more and rated 19% lower than other 3 star hotels

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Good For Families
  • Families60
  • Couples55
  • Solo23
  • Business22
  • DAO's Profile Photo



    The last time I stayed here (yes the last), I had 2 rooms booked. One for me and one for an employee of mine with a bad attitude. They have 2 kinds of rooms – good and bad. Guess what I got? And I had put in writing on the reservation that I wanted a quiet room on a top floor. What I got was:
    • A boiling hot corridor
    • A boiling hot room (the fan did almost nothing)
    • Weird plumbing that shot boiling hot water all over me several times
    • A kettle for boiling water that I had to set on a pillow so it would reach the electrical outlet
    • A room near the Maid’s office and where they kept all their supplies
    • A hell of a lot of noise early in the morning from the above.
    • Needless to say – I was boiling mad

    Now then. The other person with me? He tells me the next morning that his newly renovated and air-conditioned room was fabulous! I’m thinking my room was noisy hot and dangerous. The receptionist knew there were 2 drastically different standards of rooms at the same price and I checked in 2 at the same time. It is stupendously stupid that they still put me in a vastly inferior room and I had just paid for 2 rooms! Stupid.

    The amazing thing? My employer uses this hotel virtually daily. Shocking.

    Anyway, I recommend you stay somewhere else unless you are guaranteed a new room. And nowhere near the Maid’s area on the top floor. Or the top floor or ……

    Unique Quality:

    • Located close to The Barbican Centre and the City of London (Supposedly)
    • 463 rooms – all non-smoking
    • 13 Meetings & events rooms
    • Health and leisure Club with pool, spa and beauty treatments
    • Car parking is £30 per night! And only 9 spaces for 463 rooms!

    • 2 room types: Standard (not recommended) and Deluxe
    • Air Conditioning in Deluxe rooms and Suites – ONLY
    • Wi-Fi (chargeable of course)
    • Coffee and Tea making facilities
    • Hot temperatures and bad plumbing in some rooms
    • Reasonable toiletries
    • All are en-suite and non-smoking
    • Telephone, TV, hairdryer, iron/ironing Board
    • Mini Bar (advertised, but none in my room!)
    • Radio , safe, desk

    • 120 Central Brasserie - à la carte menu (British and European)
    • Bar 120 – drinks and snacks
    • CoMotion Bar – light meals and coffee during the day

    Old Street and Angel Stations (Northern Line)

  • davido7236's Profile Photo



    I had to stay overnight at the hotel recently. Convenient for Old Street but not very good for the price. The self-service breakfast was good, but the room was quite basic and it looked in need of redecoration. I don't think it had air conditioning, or if it did it wasn't good. There had once been a bolt on the door which had been removed, the shower sealant was becoming discoloured and it just didn't impress me generally. The staff were helpful however. For £140+ a night I felt I could have got a better place.

    Unique Quality: It is convenient for many financial institutions and offices in the Barbican area. I'd say the building itself has no particular positive features. There is a health club and pool but I got to the hotel late and so this facility was closed.

    Directions: Near Old Street.

  • marecky's Profile Photo

    A decent hotel in nice area


    I've been there a couple of times and it's got its strenghts and weaknesses.

    When travelling alone- try to ask for a double room with single occupancy as single rooms are increadibly small.

    The recodecorated rooms are really nice yet I can't see much difference between superior and standard. Perhaps they call the renovated ones- superior.

    Generally a decent hotel especially if booked online and in advance due to high prices

    Unique Quality: Very good selection at breakfast,
    Swimming pool a great plus !

  • DaveRowley's Profile Photo

    Great Hotel between East and West End


    Hotel was well situated or sight seeing, partying in the East End or West End...and closre to a great little boozer called the Britannia in Lever Street
    The room was excellent both in value (for the middle of London) and in appearance
    Didn't eat here but the menu and restaurants looked appetising and busy respectively
    The bar was a decent one and was bust after 2am when most people were getting in from their partying

    Unique Quality: Had a pool and spa but we didn't use it

    Directions: 15 mins walk from Old Street tube station..

  • A2002's Profile Photo

    Thistle Hotel - Barbican City.


    This hotel is not very near an underground station. It is in a very quiet part of London. There's a taxi line right outside the hotel too. The hotel shuttle from Old Street station or Barbican Station is only available during the peak hours in the morning and evening from Monday to Friday only.

    To get there and to walk the shortest distance, get a bus 214 from King's Cross and alight at City Road and then walk along Central Road and you will see the hotel. The nearest underground station is Old Street or Barbican or Angel.

    The reception and lobby of the hotel looks modern and spacious. It feels comfortable as I enter the hotel. At the check-in counter, the staffs are friendly, courteous and attentive. The one at London Ryan was flirting with the bell boy when I was at the counter checking-in, and that's the one and only one staff for check-in at London Ryan.

    The room rates usually includes buffet breakfast. There's a wide selection of hot and cold breakfast. You can have English breakfast or continental breakfast. There's cold cuts and cheese. Selections of cereals is excellent too.

    Unique Quality: I booked the economy room. It was a small room with bathroom and toilet. There's a bath tub too! In the room, there's tea and coffee making facilities, trousers press, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, small safe, small desk, phone, TV.

    The room looks new and clean. The bathroom is not very crammed. The walls to the next room is very thin. I was unfortunate on one occasion having a room beside someone who snores loudly. For the whole night, I can hear a man from next door snoring all the way very loudly till morning. I am not eavesdropping mind you... Becareful not to make too much noise in the room... ;-)

    Generally I am quite satisfied considering it is London. I would stay there again if the price remains competitive.

  • wbozic's Profile Photo

    Thistle Barbican.
    This is a...


    Thistle Barbican.
    This is a three star hotel which is kind of out of the way from the major London attractions. Rooms are compact by American standards, but there is a coffee pot in the room.

    Unique Quality: Great buffet.- You chose what type. We were satisfied with the least expensive Continental option.

    This was only a place to sleep and eat breakfasts, so we did not explore anything else.

More about Thistle City Barbican Hotel London

A suprising treat!

by A TripAdvisor Member

After reading some of the reviews about the Thistle Barbican, it seems there are far more fictional writers out there then i first thought.

On arrival at the hotel we checked in with perfect ease and were shown to our rooms, which as a 4* star hotel represented exactly what we expected; clean, neat and comfortable. The pampering facilities were a much welcomed retareat and we readily took advantage of the luxurious swimming pool.

The food satisfied and the staff were all extremely helpful in assisting any request we had. I found the hotel pleasing, accomodating and the perfect place to stay when visiting London.

Give this one a miss

by A TripAdvisor Member

I stayed at this hotel and vowed never to return.

The hotel itself is in a very run down part of London and personally I did not feel at all safe here. The hotel is quite close to the Barbican but is also surrounded by run-down council housing estates (the UK equivalent of the projects). I cannot imagine why anyone would want to visit this part of London and if they did I don't imagine that they would want to come back. If you have to stay in this area, the Jurys Hotel in Islington is at least a high street location.

I stayed in this hotel on business and was appalled with the poor standard of accommodation.

The hotel is in two halves - the main hotel and annexe. The rooms in the main hotel are not too bad (I saw a colleague's room) and at least have air conditioning. The rooms in the annexe are small and very dirty. The room I stayed in had a window that would not open and no air conditioning. The room was dirty and smelled of stale tobacco (even though it was supposed to be a non smoking room).

I will never stay at this hotel again.

Not as badas they say!

by A TripAdvisor Member

I agree that the hotel isn't in agreat location but I had a conference at the barbican the next day so it was handy for that! I had my car with me and managed to get a space out the front (£20 and night) the concerge was very helpful. Check in took some time! 1 lift was broken but my room on the 3rd floor was small but clean and well presented - ideal for my stay. I ordered room service whihc arrived promptly and was of good quality. Check out took forever!

I wouldn't stay here socially but for business it was fine :-)...pricey though.

Not a good example of a 4 star hotel

by TripAdvisor Member Bambi2

Stayed one night on business - 7 March 2004.
Having read previous reviews of this hotel on Trip Advisor requested single room at check-in within new block (as reports of rooms in old block were poor).

Annoyingly on check-in Thistle Hotels try and peruade you to pay an additional £20 to upgrade your room (rather similar approach to McDonalds) as business was paying I declined their offer.

Unfortunately as there is only one single room in the new block I was allocated a room in the old block.

The old block is opposite the main building and has an unmanned foyer/reception - the upper hallways were tatty with chipped paint and marked wallpaper.

The bedroom was on the first floor beside the traffic lights on a main road - as the room had no double glazing it was noisy and felt shabby.
I returned to the reception and was then allocated another room in the old block facing an internal courtyard - this was even shabbier than the first and smelt stale.

Once again I trailed back to reception and was finally given a twin room in the new block for the same price - unfortunately had to accept a smoking room but luckily did not smell to bad!.

The room in the new block was much nicer than those I had seen in the old block and the corriders/hallways were in much better condition.

Breakfast was ok - usual self service affair and check-out was quick and straightfoward.

On the plus the Receptionist that dealt with me at check-in should win a customer service award - she remained patient and upbeat through my many trips to the reception desk and even checked how I was when she saw me and my colleagues in the restaurant.

Pretty bad

by TripAdvisor Member MountainMan21

I had to stay there for business purposes (5 days) but will never return. Major problems included virtually no way to park a car within a mile (was told to park under the Barbican Centre for US$4 per hour 24 hrs/day, a very long walk with a suitcase), very high prices for mediocre accomodation, not able to get copies made(!), unhelpful staff with poor English, hotel surrounded by cheap smelly take aways, located within the London Congestion Charge Zone (Another $10/day). Only good points were closeness to city financial and law offices, and the excellent & courteous room service. I felt totally ripped off by the whole experience.

Forum Posts

Thistle Hotel- Barbican

by Avryle

Has anyone stayed here and is it a decent hotel? I got a great deal on my room so I booked it already and on the website it looks nice, but that's about all I know. If there's anyone who's actually stayed there, (or at least in the Thistle chain) I'd appreciate any info regarding it.

Re: Thistle Hotel- Barbican

by wctryltd

i stayed at what i think was part of the thistle chain outside heathrow recently - all in all a pretty mediocre experience- i'd encourage you to ask to see the room before checking in - make sure that the beds are flat and clean at least!

Re: Thistle Hotel- Barbican

by jacob_m

Well I have never stayed there but I have passed this hotel many times and from the outside it looks OK.
It's a generally safe and quiet area but just 10 mins walk north is the Angel/Islington area with loads of nice restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs and also nice shopping.
The Thames is just 20 mins walk from the hotel and you have four tubelines passing nearby (from Old street and Barbican) as well as buses to central London.

Re: Re: Thistle Hotel- Barbican

by leffe3

I've stayed in several Thistle hotels with work - particularly in central London. Typical business/package tour chain hotels: little atmosphere, large, public spaces, small but functional rooms. Nothing to get excited about, nothing to complain about. Barbican is in a good location away from the central hotspots - 10/15 minute walk to Islington but closer to one of the upand coming areas - namely Old Street. Check out the bars and restuarants in the immediate vicinity of the hotel.....

Re: Thistle Hotel- Barbican

by igoalone

I stay in the Thistle Caledonian in Aberdeen. It is a classic, a 100 year old hotel and the polished wood looks it. The staff is friendly and open and always helpful.


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 Thistle City Barbican Hotel London

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Thistle City Barbican London

Address: 120 Central Street, Clerkenwell, London, EC1V 8DS, United Kingdom