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“Stratospheric Customer Service - great location”
Review of The Tower

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The Tower
Ranked #263 of 1,069 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
York, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
71 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Stratospheric Customer Service - great location”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

I guess I could start by thanking TA reviewers because some of the more 'sensible' concerns (as opposed to those who seem to have stayed in a different hotel) gave me clues as to what to ask for and about.

I was also EXTREMELY lucky to have my initial fact-finding phone call answered by someone with a very high standard of customer service and a graciousness that never faltered (I have issues that mean I have contacted hotels & B&B's worldwide - & I can truly say that none has come up to this man's standards AND even more important, delivered all that was described and more.)

We had a perfectly fine room, everything functioned, & was clean enough, the shower pressure was adequate; we were concerned about the heating, given some reviews, but found we could control it sufficiently. The thing that this hotel should DEFINITELY ADVERTISE in bold, loud & clear, is that it has the best light blocking lining to its curtains I've come across (in these days of the insanity of thin white curtains, & including those fitted by law in Canada where it's part of an obligation to provide a good night's sleep).

We were guided away from possible sources of noise most effectively - we sacrificed the Tower Bridge view that was part of our group booking, I could see a bit of it on my tippy toes; the general location meant that we were always seeing delightful views which we didn't need during hours of sleep, though we were high enough to enjoy great river sunrises.

Breakfast was a bit pressured but we avoided the 'scrum' on our first morning, as we had to be out & ready by 9a.m, by having breakfast come to us.

All staff to whom we spoke were cordial & helpful, including the breakfast waiter with drinks/table clearing duties.

Nearby Butler's Wharf & St Katherine's Quay provide eateries: Tesco Express was a blessing! Boat stop right outside hotel was great!

Room Tip: Quiet room locations do exist if like me you have sleep issues & are wary of city centre hotels...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank DCN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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LEEDS
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

The room was booked as part of the celebration of my 10 year old daughter's birthday. Having booked the hotel, I spoke to the hotel asking that they leave chocolates in our room as a surprise, which turned out to be flowers which were no good as we had travelled on the train. Our privacy in the room was disturbed by cleaning staff walking in. Once I had managed to track down a customer services manager, she put matters right and offered an upgrade in room, which we declined. Having ordered room service breakfast, we were disturbed by a telephone call demanding payment in advance. After 10 minutes I finally got the staff to understand I had left an open card swipe to pay. While eating breakfast, three further staff entered the room without invitation. The view from the room was fantastic.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fluff45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMTower, General Manager at The Tower, responded to this review, January 10, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to post your review. I would really like to personally look into the issues you’ve raised, please feel free to contact me on billy.hughes@guoman.co.uk.
Kind regards, Billy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014 via mobile

Used to be wonderful is now a waste of money. In personal and way to big. No facilities and a boiling hot airless room. Even though we upgraded to an "executive" waste of a 100 pounds. Room was serviced and the bottles of water and a half drunk can of lager from the night before were left on the night tables. Only in place to eat which looked dirty so we didn't bother! Checked out early and went to another hotel which was wonderful! Oh and don't expect a fully running shower, no water pressure on the 11th floor.

  • Stayed January 2014
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Helpful?
Thank liz b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMTower, General Manager at The Tower, responded to this review, January 10, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to post your review. I would really like to personally look into the issues you’ve raised, please feel free to contact me on billy.hughes@guoman.co.uk. Kind regards, Billy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2014

We got off at tower hill tube station and had. 5/10 minute walk to the hotel ( nearer 5 minutes) first impressions were very good with the main reception area being rather big and looking fresh. I actually timed our checking which was also 2 hours early might I add and it only took 5 minutes even though there was a reasonable que. We asked for a sea view and we got one at no extra charge so try pull that card if you can. There are only 4 lifts which isn't alotmforma big place like this but never the less we got upto the 7th floor eventually. The room was abit small in my opinion but a nice view accompanied by free bottles wart and a firm bed I was very satisfied. The toilet facilities were very good,also very clean with free shampoos and all other parafanilia as you would expect. All in all nothing to complain about at all although the room was very very hot. Great quiet nights sleep as well. In conclusion I have no faults and the staff we're very friendly.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view with no extra charge
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JAMES K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level 6 Contributor
143 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2014

Make sure you get a room with a view of Tower Bridge and the Thames. The rooms are great but nothing exceptional but the location is really superb. The reception area and restaurant were spacious and very pleasant. Seemed to be permanent queues at reception. Breakfast expensive if not included in the room rate. I was very impressed with the housekeeping manager who located an item I had left in my room and posted it to me.

Room Tip: Go for rooms on the higher floors overlooking the river and Tower Bridge.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank colin49uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013 via mobile

Fantastic hotel, staff and perfect location.

We booked a double room for 2 nights and we arrived (outside the congestion zone) to a hotel in the very heart of London.

We enquired if it was possible to upgrade our room for a special occasion and were delighted when Lisa (from the Netherlands) said we could with pleasure. Presumably the hotel was not fully booked and she promptly upgraded us to an apartment with balcony overlooking St Katharine's Docks.

The apartment came with free mini bar and an absolutely unbelievable view of the London sky line.

Nothing was a bother for any staff which I found unusual from previous London hotel staff. The gentlemen at the concierge were particularly helpful with stowing our belongings and valuables that couldn't fit in our room deposit box.

We enjoyed our stay so much we decided to extend it to a third night which I guess resulted in extra business generated directly as a result of Lisa's initial kind welcoming gesture to us.

Whilst this hotel doesn't look much from the outside, it's quite beautiful inside.

If I was splitting hairs (as I'm prone to do occasionally, apparently) it was a shame they didn't do ordered individual breakfasts such as omelettes, salmon, eggs benedict etc. However the full English breakfast offered was still fantastic.

Overall a brilliant mini-break in a brilliant hotel.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank NickLAWRANCE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2013

On the whole I would say this hotel is at best average for its class and definitely overpriced (probably due to its location). There were some positives but the negatives and the price outweighed those, leaving a negative impression in my minnd. Most of my review is based on my experience in booking a group into this hotel and overall I would say my experience with this was poor to average. Some staff I dealt with were very helpful, but some were not.

While staying at the hotel, my personal room and stay were fine for the most part. The concierge and housekeeping staff were helpful and attentive. There were some definite quirks - they seemed to be doing work near my room at one point and left the doors open to the outside cold air - making the hallways quite chilly. A couple of quick notes: the club rooms are much nicer but have less workspace, if you can get a view of either the bridge or the docks, the views are quite nice. And the club room I stayed in seemed smaller than the standard room I stayed in. The elevators seem to very slow and busy. I took the stairs most of the time as I found waiting for the elevators exasperating at points. One pro is that the computers in the lobby are free and it is free to print.

The hotel layout for each floor and the guest rooms seems very similar to what cruise ship or passenger ship might be - it is a bit of a labyrinth and there are wooden swinging doors at different points in the hall, making it very difficult to maneuver suitcases and bags as you head to your room.

With regards to making the group booking, tracking down sales and booking staff prior to our stay seemed a bit of a challenge. We were a smaller group for a hotel that clearly deals with larger groups and events (I say this based on the convention and other groups I noticed in the hotel on the days we arrived) so perhaps that is why some of my emails went unanswered. I never was dealing with one direct contact and really never knew who was reading my emails that were sent to a general email box or who I was going to be dealing with on the phone when it was answered (there were times where the sales/booking numbers I had rung without answer or voice mail) - it seemed a bit of an odd system for booking in groups and not really efficient and not similar to other hotels I deal with (where you deal with one sales contact and one booking agent or at most two).

The hotel seems to have a lot of things that just aren't quite up to standard in terms of efficiency and service - long lines at the check in seem to be a regular occurrence, and it seems to be due in part to either a slow computer system or inefficient check in process. Yes hotels get busy, but the amount of time that each guest spent at check in seems longer than at many other hotels I've stayed at. Note - if you are booking a big group in the hotel, you may want to consider this when making your decision.

Another item was the cleaning/ room allocation system. Several of guests who booked as part of our group were told their rooms weren't ready even though I had noted on the rooming list that they would be arriving early (transatlantic flights). I inquired at the front desk about this and was told that club rooms were cleaned first. I asked if these individuals could be put in these rooms, since I had made a special note on the rooming list that members of my group would be arriving early. I was told that they could pay an upgrade fee if they wanted a room. I understand that club level rooms do get priority in many hotels, but after noting it on the rooming list and realizing that they clearly have club level rooms that aren't going to be used that evening - it seems management could have made the decision to either clean the rooms first for those individuals requesting early check in or provide the club rooms to the guests arriving. It was a bit of an annoyance for a person trying to manage group expectations and definitely left a bitter taste in my mouth. I felt like they were trying to upsell rooms to groggy and tired people arriving off an overnight flight. I also seemed to get little redress when I raised this with front desk and booking staff, which is unusual when dealing with a group booking.

If you have other choices, I'd suggest those. Overall, it was fine, but I definitely would not choose this hotel again.

Room Tip: Try for a club room or room with a view of the docks or bridge
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lm1813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMTower, General Manager at The Tower, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
Dear reviewer,
Thanks for your post. I'm really sorry to hear of your disappointment and please be assured that I most definitely do care about all guest feedback both positive and negative. I have noted your comments to address with the team. Thank you for taking the time to post your review and for sharing your experience.
Kind regards,
Billy
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 The Tower

Property: The Tower
Address: St Katharine's Way, London E1W 1LD, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#197 Luxury Hotel in London
#201 Romantic Hotel in London
#224 Family Hotel in London
#292 Business Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Tower 4*
Number of rooms: 801
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Large contemporary hotel located at St. Katharine's Dock on banks of the Thames, overlooking Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the Shard. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Tower Hotel London
The Tower London, England
Hotel Thistle
London The Tower

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