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“Good choice in London” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Thistle Kensington Gardens

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Thistle Kensington Gardens
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   104 Bayswater Rd, London W2 3HL, England   |  
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Ranked #217 of 1,075 hotels in London
Newcastle, UK
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Good choice in London”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2011

Stayed here in September 2011. Great location just a couple of minutes walk from a Tube station and directly across the road from, guess where, Kensington Garden, which was a nice place for a post breakfast stroll.

Hotel has obviously been refurbished very recently and though the rooms are a little on the small side (though probably average for London), they are really nicely appointed and are very comfortable. Busy road outside but bedroom was very quiet, so no problems there. The bar was really nice and prices very reasonable, especially compared to what one might expect in other four star London hotels.

The staff at the hotel were absolutely outstanding. We arrived quite late a night night and they were, without exception, charming, efficient and welcoming - on reception, in the bar and at breakfast.

All in all, a very good choice.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
186338Thistle, General Manager at Thistle Kensington Gardens, responded to this review, October 4, 2011
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for this positive feedback, we are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us. The refurbishment of the hotel has now been full completed with all 175 bedrooms and public areas having been fully refurbished. All of the Deluxe and Executive bedrooms are larger than our Standard bedrooms plus they have the benefit of amazing views over Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

Thank you again for your feedback and I hope to welcome you back again soon.

Kind Regards,

Paul Knightley
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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LaSalle, Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
349 helpful votes 349 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

My husband and I stayed at Thistle Kensington Gardens September 3rd for 5 nights. We arrived about 9am after our transatlantic flight and found our room was not ready, which we anticipated. Instead of checking our bags we decided to just sit ourselves in the 2 chairs located in the small lobby and wait. The gal at the front desk said it would be approximately an hour until our room was cleaned and ready. About 40 minutes later a gentleman who turned out to the the guest relations manager approached us and asked if he could help. We explained that we just arrived and were simply waiting for our room. He went to see what he could do and within minutes came back with our room keys. Before 10am we were up in our room which is outstanding. We had just booked the standard accommodations since we did not plan on spending a lot of time at the hotel anyway. If was our first trip to London after all. The room was immaculately clean and everything brand new since the hotel had recently been renovated. With 2 larger suitcases we did have to manuveur ourselves around the bed carefully but really it was not a big deal. We had lots of laughs about it actually. The room was equipped with extra pillows, a hairdryer, a iron and ironing board, and a tea kettle with instant coffees, tea and even yummy buttery shortbread cookies (replenished daily). Also there was a good sized programable safety deposit box which could hold my netbook and our other valuables. For anyone bringing a larger laptop I am not sure you could store it in this safety deposit box. We could have used a few more hangers but we made due. The bathroom had a very good sized easy access shower (no tub) and the water pressure was excellent. The towels were new and very large. The hotel did provide small bottles of shampoo if you were inclined not to take your own. The bedding was white and crisp but the duvet was on the heavy side for the weather that we had in early September. In the colder winter months it would be very cozy. Internet was available in your room for an hourly or daily charge (a little pricey in my opinion). This is one thing that I normally expect to be complimentary these days but I did find free access nearby.

We enjoyed the complimentary breakfast but at times there was a delay in getting the fried eggs or toast. With how busy it was it seemed like they could come up with a better system and they did try different things throughout the next few days. The staff were extremely pleasant and tried very hard. The breakfast consisted of the fried eggs I mentioned, scrambled eggs, beans, english bacon, bangers (English sausages), fried tomatos, cheese slices, multiple types of cereals, a fruit salad, yogurts, orange and another berry mix juice, fresh bread, and several different jams and jellies. They served tea and coffee at your table. All in all it was an excellent start to the day.

Location of the hotel was excellent. Right out front was a stop for the hop on hop off bus, and if you had not prepurchased this you could buy it right there. The first bus was at 930am so no need to get anywhere to start the tour. Also, just down the street was a bus stop where you could take the bus right to the heart of London. I think the bus was #143 or #148 which operates 24 hours of the day. Coming back the stop is 1/2 block down in front of the Porchester apartment building. So convenient. In addition there is the Bayswater tube station within 2 blocks and Paddington Station about a 10 minute walk away. We both got an Oyster Card to use for the tube and bus and it was so convenient. No need to worry about having change or ticket. We simply walked to the Bayswater tube station, put our 5 pound deposit down for each card and loaded both with 15 pounds for travel. When you get on a bus or tube you swipe the card and the appropriate amount is deducted. You can add $ on if necessary. When you are ready to leave you simply go to a station and get your deposit and whatever value is left refunded. SIMPLE! One day we walked down to Paddington Station and went out to Windsor Castle on our own. Another simple trip. We just purchased 2 roundtrip tickets at the window and got on the train to Slough and changed trains onto Windsor. Much less than going with a tour group and you could come and go as you pleased. The location was also excellent to visit Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. We had exceptionally warm weather during our stay so we went to a local shop and bought sandwiches and drinks and had a picnic along with lots of others. A great way to relax and just people watch. The location was also excellent because within a short walk there were lots of different pubs, restaurants, and shops. One of our favorites was the Black Lion which was about 2 blocks towards the Bayswater tube station. The food and drinks were quite reasonable and very tasty. We fell in love with having a pint of Strongbow and a classic Pimms and hanging out mingling with the locals. Just remember to go up to the bar to place your order for drinks and food. You wait at the bar for your drinks but they serve the food to your table. The table number is on the menu holder somewhere. The Black Lion also provided free internet if you signed up to "Cloud". It was great to go there after a long day and sign on to the internet to let family and friends back home know how everything was going.

The hotel does provide concierge service and it seemed like one or two gentlemen were there from first thing in the morning to about 8pm. We sought information from them on several occasions and they were spot on in what they advised. One of the men (had dark hair with ponytail) was exceptionally nice and we wish to thank him for his service. For some guests I seen that they would help with airline check in and even print out boarding passes. That was another reason why I would recommend this property.

Our only minor annoyance was on our second to last morning our shower backed up during the night and we had a minor flood. We called down to the front desk and they sent maintenance up to access the situation. Apparently it happened to the people in the room next door to us as well so we left them to it and went out for the whole day. Upon returning we found out that it was not a problem that was easily solved so they had to move us. The guest services manager we had interacted with on the first morning gave us some time to pack up and came and helped us move our belongings to an executive room just across the hall for the last night. It was not a big deal whatsoever. This way we got to see what an upgraded room overlooking the park was like. Yes, it was bigger and had a tub but I don't know if I would pay personally for the upgrade. The tub is narrow in comparison to North American standards and I would worry about the high step up if I was a senior. If you are in need of more elbow room and an extra chair to sit you miight consider the upgrade

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
186338Thistle, General Manager at Thistle Kensington Gardens, responded to this review, September 20, 2011
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for this positive feedback, we are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us. The refurbishment of the hotel has now been full completed with all 175 bedrooms and public areas having been refurbished. Please accept my apologies for the issue that you experienced with the drainage in your room, and can I assure you that this has now been fully resolved.

Thank you again for your feedback and I hope to welcome you back again soon.

Kind Regards,

Paul Knightley
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2011

My wife and I stayed two nights. This is a very good location right across from Hyde Park and it was an easy fifteen minute walk to Paddington Station. Staff were friendly and helpful. The room was clean and was a decent size. The whole place looked modern, like it had been recently refreshed. The only negative I can think of was that the bed was a little hard for my taste. Will stay here again.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
186338Thistle, General Manager at Thistle Kensington Gardens, responded to this review, September 20, 2011
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for this feedback, we are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us. The refurbishment of the hotel has now been full completed with all 175 bedrooms and public areas having been refurbished. With regards to your feedback concerning the beds we are now in the process of trialling an additional mattress topper which can be added at the guests request.

Thank you again for your feedback and I hope to welcome you back again soon.

Kind Regards,

Paul Knightley
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2011

We stayed here for 2 nights on short notice booking only the night before staying in one of the top floor rooms overlooking Hyde Park. The room was excellent with a generous amount of space, much larger than most of the other hotels we have stayed at in London in similar locations.

Service was generally very good apart from one of the gentlemen on reception who had a "computer says no" type complex when we asked about a discounted breakfast offer, lucky for us the marketing manager was also present the second time I returned to ask about this fixed the issue with a smile. Apart from this one exception the staff provided a good level of service with the porters being particularly helpful. We are planning to stay here again on our next visit to London.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
186338Thistle, General Manager at Thistle Kensington Gardens, responded to this review, September 20, 2011
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for this feedback, we are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us. All of the Deluxe and Executive bedrooms have the benefit of amazing views over Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and the bedrooms on the higher floor also come with binoculars to get an even better view. Can I assure you that the issue you experienced with the team member has been addressed.

Thank you again for your feedback and I hope to welcome you back again soon.

Kind Regards,

Paul Knightley
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2011

2 adults and a child aged 12
Great room with a view over Hyde Park.
Very spacious and comfortable room - would have been nice to have a fridge.
Stayed here a week and enjoyed every minute.
Location is fantastic with a garage and convenience store underneath the hotel which was handy.
Heaps of shops and two tube stations a 5 minute walk away. Laundromat a 10 minute walk. Heaps of supermarkets with a huge range of food available 5 minutes.
Hyde Park across the road - spent heaps of time in there. Great childrens playground at Kensington Palace.
Portobello Road not that far away.
Hop on Hop Off bus (recommended) right outside the hotel.
Breakfast was included in our tariff and the breakfast was a full English Breakfast with plenty of variety.
Staff very helpful with requests and helped us book a few things.
Highly recommended to all

Room Tip: Try to get a room overlloking hyde park - well worth it
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
186338Thistle, General Manager at Thistle Kensington Gardens, responded to this review, September 20, 2011
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for this feedback, we are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us. All of the Deluxe and Executive bedrooms have the benefit of amazing views over Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and the bedrooms on the higher floor also come with binoculars to get an even better view.

Thank you again for your feedback and I hope to welcome you back again soon.

Kind Regards,

Paul Knightley
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2011

Stayed here for 4 nights on a business+leisure visit so got a good corporate rate that included VAT and breakfast. The rooms are nice but limited storage space so don't expect to unpack into drawers, etc. Maybe I had an executive room so these were a little different. The other negative was the choice of TV channels - very limited and absolutely not a single satellite sports channel. In fact, besides news and the regular British channels, their selection was very poor. They had a tea kettle as well as an ironing board+iron both of which I used.

The beds were very nice and the bathroom, although small (typical for UK?) was functional with a nice shower and bath combined.

The housekeeping I thought was average at best. It was not as thoroughly cleaned as I'd expect - did not remove the paper trash or the old newspapers.

On the plus side, the location is very good since it's 5 minute walk from Queensway tube station, 7 minutes from Bayswater (right next to Queensway) and therefore very close to the Whitelys Shopping centre and movies Screens in case you need some R&R. Plus it's right opposite the gardens so you can easily go there to relax too.

Also, the London bus tour has a stop right outside the hotel which is convenient for those that want to tour the city and have limited time.

The breakfast was decent - good selection of juices, cereals. Typical continental fare with limited eggs to order.

Since I was there during the peak tourist season the hotel was crowded with many tourists so I guess it must be a popular choice.

Would recommend it to people if they want to be close to public transport and have the option for some leisure activities

Room Tip: Higher the floor the better
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
186338Thistle, General Manager at Thistle Kensington Gardens, responded to this review, September 20, 2011
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for this feedback, we are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you for your feedback concerning the television channels, whilst there are no sports channels we do have a number of domestic channels including news and movies, plus a number of European channels.

Thank you again for your feedback and I hope to welcome you back again soon.

Kind Regards,

Paul Knightley
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basildon, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2011

Stayed for one night as part of a Theatre break and would recommend this Hotel. Reception staff very friendly and efficient, found working the lift tricky at first but soon got the hang of it. The room was bigger than I expected, great view of Hyde Park and London (they even provide some binoculars); comfortable bed and immaculately clean and fresh bathroom.
Large flat screen TV and a nice touch were the bathrobes to lounge in after a shower as we relaxed after the journey. Had a quiet comfortable night.
Resteraunt was busy in the morning but we were seated almost immediately by a friendly resteraunt manager. Breakfast was buffet style with a good choice of well cooked good quality food. Would definately stay there again. Its just down the road from the tube station and a bus stop just outside on the main road.

Room Tip: 9th floor odd number
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
186338Thistle, General Manager at Thistle Kensington Gardens, responded to this review, September 15, 2011
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for this really positive feedback, we are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us. All of the Deluxe and Executive bedrooms have the benefit of amazing views over Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and the bedrooms on the higher floor also come with binoculars to get an even better view.

Thank you again for your feedback and I hope to welcome you back again soon.

Kind Regards,

Paul Knightley
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Thistle Kensington Gardens

Address: 104 Bayswater Rd, London W2 3HL, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#157 Business Hotel in London
#157 Luxury Hotel in London
#188 Romantic Hotel in London
#210 Family Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Thistle Kensington Gardens 4*
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, England

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