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“London Weekend”

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Thistle Kensington Gardens
Ranked #315 of 1,078 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 22, 2011

I have stayed in many hotels in London but would have to say this one in a little gem. Its in a great postion and I was lucky enought to have a room that looked over Kensington gardens. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The restaurant and bar area is very stylish and comfortable, and I must say the menu was very resonable and had a good variety of food.
The room was extremely comfortable and very clean. And girls it even has a proper hairdryer and not one of those stupid ones that do nothing.
I can highly recommend this hotel .

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Sharon M
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 reviewResponded October 4, 2011

Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for this positive feedback, we are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us. As your note in your feedback every room comes with a ‘proper hairdryer’, there is also a socket next to the full length mirror in each room for ease of us. Small things, but they all make a difference to a guests stay.

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.
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1,702 - 1,708 of 2,045 reviews

Reviewed September 21, 2011

Weekend break to take advantage of London openhouse. Thistle Kensington Gardens easily reached from Bayswater or Queensway with its array of restaurants. Hotel was pristinely clean. Lift interiors gleamed whatever time of day or night. Room was nicely furnished and well equipped. Hotel had a calm get away feeling about it even though it was in the middle of London. One advantage of staying at a smaller hotel is that eggs for breakfast can be freshly made as opposed to baking over a heated tray. All in all a great location for a mini break with Kensington Gardens and Palace directly opposite the hotel. Good value for money.

Room Tip: Go for a high floor or room at back of hotel road can be noisy in the early hours.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank janWalton
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 reviewResponded October 4, 2011

Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for this feedback, we are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us. Its great to receive positive feedback concerning the ‘egg station’ as being the size of hotel that we are its nice to provide this personal touch.

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.
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
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2  Thank JessNOliver
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 reviewResponded 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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
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4  Thank jetsetbet
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 reviewResponded 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.
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
    • Value
    • Location
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1  Thank woodway
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 reviewResponded 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.
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
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2  Thank NatandPaulAus
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 reviewResponded 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.
Reviewed September 14, 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
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1  Thank Phil I
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 reviewResponded 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.
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Additional Information about Thistle Kensington Gardens

Address: 104 Bayswater Road | Hyde park, 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:
#172 Business Hotel in London
#210 Romantic Hotel in London
#225 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range: $134 - $292 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Thistle Kensington Gardens 4*
Number of rooms: 175
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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Thistle Kensington Gardens London, England

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