Nice hotel, great location
We stayed at the Thistle Marble Arch from Dec 10-17, 2004, and had a completely enjoyable, uneventful stay. We arrived around 9:00a, planning just to check our bags, deferring check-in until the stated 3:00p time, but the staff checked us in immediately, which was very welcome and appreciated after a trans-atlantic red-eye flight.
Our room was very modern, clean, and relatively spacious. We were in a standard room - billed as a "double double" but in reality two single beds placed very close together. This posed no real issue, and upgrades are available for those desiring a king- or queen-size bed. Our seventh floor room was very quiet - the windows faced what was a essentially an air shaft, but again this was no problem for me. Given that this hotel is directly off Oxford St (one of the busiest retail areas in London), the evening quiet was very welcome. Given that we were on the penultimate floor, the room did become a bit warm around 2a, as the heat from the lower floors rose, but this was easy to address, and not a real problem in December. The Thistle Marble Arch is air-conditioned, but I can see this being more of an issue in warmer months. The hotel itself (lobby, hallways) is very much in the art-deco style, but the rooms have been updated and are a bit more modern. The lifts were a bit slow, but were always functioning.
The staff was very friendly and accomodating, and the continental breakfast included with our room was fine, if uninteresting. There is a good coffee shop in the lobby. We ate in the "Glenn Miller" room one evening, but there is better, less expensive pub food very nearby (ask the staff to recommend a nearby pub).
As I mentioned, the hotel is directly off Oxford St., and the Marble Arch tube stop is literally just around the corner. We found that most of the places we wanted to visit were no more than 1-2 transfers away.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a clean, comfortable location in Central London. I would definitely return.
Bed bugs and horrific housekeeping
The only advantage of the Thistle Marble Arch is its' location, being a stone's throwaway from Oxford and easy connections to the tube and bus networks.
We relocated to the Thistle due to having some major house work done, we found a reasonable rate through a last minute deal on a website and really the deciding factor was the price and loaction.
On our first night, we found our bed throw and sheets to be less than clean. It was quite late in the evening so no-one was answering the phone in housekeeping. Instead I was forced to make a trip to the reception and had to wait 10 minutes before even being served, since 2 members of staff were serving just one customer. There appeared to be plenty of staff in the office behind reception but no-one offered me any assistance.
Admittedly, the problem was addressed fairly quickly, but I felt disgruntled that a customer needed to point out the dirty bed linen before it was changed! The bathroom sink had some soap scum and the bathroom floor was hairy when we arrived. Furthermore I was bitten by bed bugs on my first night which was even more distressing.
Also, when I returned to the hotel after work every evening, I found that there was still hair on the bathroom floor that didn't belong to me and the soap scum was still there. I despaired at the thought of how long I would have to queue in reception every day to tell them of my plight so decided to put up with it.
But the above experience has really put me off staying at the Thistle Marble Arch again and I decided to shorten my stay by 2 days to escape the filth.
Heating in the room was also a problem, the air-con/central heating system was confusing to use and I spent my time either roasting or freezing.
Not recommended at all.
Great but don't touch the phone!!
I stayed there with my sister for 6 nights in Sept. (2nd - 9th) of this year. The hotel itself was great. The location was great, the room that we got was pretty good. It was a lot more roomy than what I expected and was very clean. The air conditioning was a blessing. The staff was nice and helpful. I would rate this hotel as being excellent for the price however, I would not advise picking up any phones in the hotel. The last night we stayed there my sister got her credit card eaten by the bank machine. She need to call her Bank which is a Citibank and there are branches all over Europe. We tried several times calling from our room the free number to connect to a bank representative in the United States to put a block on her card and never got through. We didn't not know that we where charged a 1.50 pound each time we tried connecting. That cost came out to being $20.00 US dollar for a free phone number we never got through to. This gets better (Not!) In the end we went down to the reception desk for help. They said our phone was not connected to the outside line because our room was prepaid for and I did not want to leave a credit card with them. So, they charged me anyway for the phone that was never connected but the ultimate insult was that we finally had to leave our credit card at the desk, they connect our phone but the hotel operator did not connect us to the 800 number for the US Citibank but connected us to the European Citibank representative which was not a free number. My sister had no choice but to talk with the representative for about 6 minutes and the bill came out to be a wopping $36.00 US dollars. I almost had a heartattack. So our phone bill came out to be over $50.00 for crap. So my advise is: stay there, it's a great location, it has air conditioning and clean rooms but do not and I mean do not, touch the phone unless you have money to burn!!!!
Thistle Marble Arch Hotel London
I'm tentatively booked for a week's stay here as part of an American Airlines vacation. I know its a huge hotel, but what I'm wondering is has anyone stayed there recently--its supposedly recently been renovated. How are the standard rooms? Are they at the least clean and with decent beds, towels, etc.? Are there ice machines in the hall ? Any other comments positive or negative?
Thanks a lot.
Re: Thistle Marble Arch Hotel London
Is there more than one "Thistle" in London? I know my cousin just spent 8 days in London at a place with "Thistle" in the name and she was quite satisfied.
Re: Thistle Marble Arch Hotel London
Thistle is a chain. We stayed at Thistle Kensington Palace last June and it was very nice. The rooms were nice and clean and the staff was helpful and friendly.
As with all chains, some will be better than others, but I suspect your hotel would be fine.
I would highly recommend the Thistle Kensington Palace. Their breakfast buffet is excellent; their location is perfect with a bus stop across the street and fairly near Tube station. You look out on Kensington Park and can walk over to the Kensington Palace (Princess Diana's Palace) and even have tea there fairly inexpensively.
We walked easily to Buckingham Palace and that area. Public transportation in London is very good.
Obviously, Marble Arch would be a different location, but it is the same chain of hotels.
Re: Re: Thistle Marble Arch Hotel London
Actually, Thistle Marble Arch is just a couple of blocks away from Thistle Kensington Palace. It's on the same street (Bayswater Road, if I'm not mistaken), right across from Kensington Gardens, just a bit closer to Marble Arch.
I've stayed there twice (though last time about 1.5 years ago). Then it was not, as you say, recently renovated, but rooms were fairly clean and comfortable, water and ice dispensers in the halls, friendly staff, etc.
All in all, I find Thistle hotels very good value for money. And, of course, your location is superb - my favourite in London.
Re: Re: Thistle Marble Arch Hotel London
I haven't stayed there as I live in London, but Thistle Hotels generally get a good reputation, you should have no problem.