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“Did we get lucky?”

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Thistle London Heathrow Hotel
Ranked #9 of 12 Hotels in West Drayton
Byron Bay, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Did we get lucky?”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2004

I did not check out these reviews before we booked at this hotel for the night in late July 2004 - if I had, we wouldn't have stayed there!!

Thankfully our experience was not as bad as some others reported here. However, the hotel is in need of a re-vamp - it's all a bit dated and tired. We paid a last minute rate of about 60 pounds, which was supposedly about 125 pounds saving off the usual rate. But I would not pay more than 60 for a room here - that's all it is worth.

The room and bathroom are small but were clean. Tea and coffee making facilities were a bonus. We too did not eat in the hotel - preferring to save our cash (if not our figures) by eating at nearby McDonalds.

For the right price and provided your expectations are not too high - this place is okay for a bed for the night at what it is - an AIRPORT hotel.

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2,408 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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North Wales
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2004

I was torn between giving this hotel one or two stars, but I opted for two as it's cheap enough and serves only one purpose - a bed for a night.

We booked this hotel as it's a Thistle hotel, a respected chain, and we have stayed in other Thistles which were lovely hotels (The Selfridge and Marble Arch on Oxford Street). We caught the shuttle bus from Heathrow after flying down from Manchester for a connecting flight the next day. When we arrived at the hotel, it reminded me a lot of Bates' motel. It's arranged so that there's 3 main buildings, each at 90 degrees from each other forming an incomplete square, with the car park in the middle. Each building is two stories high.

When we walked inside it seemed respectable. The restaurant seemed OK, and we were served quite quickly at the reception. When we checked in, the man told us to 'walk out of this building across the carpark, into the opposite building, through the door and up "some steps"'. These "steps" turned out to be 2 fleet of stairs, and carrying 3 full suitcases and quite a bit of hand luggage and other things we bought for our flight down isn't easy! They have no lifts there.

When we eventually managed to get to the top of the stairs, we were greeted by a security guard in his office, talking in a foreign language on the phone, smoking with the bottom few buttons of his shirt undone. There was a heavy musty smell of a combination of cigarettes and just generally stale air in the corridors. I don't think they have windows that open in this place or an air condidtioning system in place. (I also suspect they've had their fair share of damp here) The corridors are very very dark, all decorated in dark wood and brown. Just to the right of the stairs is a disused kitchen, door wide open and equipment just left out free for anyone to have a fondle of.

The room is very dark. The place is decorated in dark wood and doesn't exactly lift your spirits. The bathroom was clean, as was the room. The TV wasn't working, but we called reception and a man promptly came and fixed it with no hassle. The bathroom also has rubber ducks.

We went to the bar, which reminded me of a Working Men's Club. It was, again, dark. It also, surprisingly, stank to high heaven (that lovely musty smell of fags and stale air again, even though they had a patio door wide open!) They had 2 TVs there, each blaringly loud and reminded me of a 1980s school TV (they must have got them free from a local school, methinks) one showing Emmerdale and the other a sports channel. We didn't stay there long!

We went to the restaurant which was pleasently decorated in a light colour, and not something out of the 1700s! The food was nice, but slightly overpriced.

The next day I felt really poorly, and I had a lovely 11 hour flight that afternoon! The only thing I can think it was was the bearnaise sauce I had with my steak, which really makes me feel ill thinking about now. All I could eat was a slice of bread the next morning.

There is supposed to be a walkway between our building and the restaurant that breakfast was served in (oh yes, there are two - guess how this one was decorated. Yep, dark and dank again!), but the door was locked. This walkway is suspended mid-air, with damp on the edges of the carpet, the glass surrounding the walkway is very dirty, so much you can't really see out of. Also, the walkway slumps in the middle as though it's not suspended safely.

We booked a taxi to the airport as it was a pound cheaper than a shuttle (if you're travelling with a party of 3 or more it's cheaper, as it's 8 pounds, as opposed to 3 pounds each one way to the airport, and you have to stop at every hotel making you later than you thought. If you've never flown from Heathrow before, I really can't being to tell you how congested the roads are!

Altogether, this place is OK for the money and for a night's sleep, but don't go expecting a full-blown Thistle hotel. It isn't! There must be better places than this hovel! And DO NOT stay here if you're planning on staying more than a night.

P.S. I know this is stating the obvious, but be aware of low-flying aircraft!

  • Stayed July 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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1 Thank North_Wales_Lass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2004

My first indication that there might be a problem with the hotel was when I caught a taxi from Heathrow Terminal 4 (about 8 minute drive - no shuttle bus from Terminal 4). The well-seasoned taxi driver said "I don't take many folks to this hotel." (Fee was 9.20 pounds).
While the check in (about 8 pm) went fairly quickly, we had to lug our luggage up and down stairs (think London subway) through the dark and drab maze of corridors for about 10 minutes to our room, even though we were on the first floor.
The room and bathroom were fairly large and clean, and simply furnished. Like most London moderate/budget hotels, no washcloths were supplied, although they supplied rubber duckies for the bath. There was tea and coffee service in the room, along with an iron and I think a hairdryer. Soap, shampoo. lotion provided.
It was quite late, so we ordered room service. We were told it would be about 45 minutes, but it came in about 15. Outrageously expensive, but we were desperate. (I was ill and couldn't leave the room). My 13-year old daughter, a picky eater, thought the dinner was very good. I would have walked to the local pub or McDonalds if I had not been ill to avoid the charges.
The ATM machine in the lobby did not accept my debit/Visa card, although other ATMs in London did with no problem. The front desk was very helpful in converting a small amount of money to British pounds, however.
Soundproof? You must be kidding. The whole room shook and roared every time a plane took off (every 10 minutes or so until about midnight). Our room was on the airport side of the hotel, so maybe the back of the hotel is more quiet.
The sports bar in the hotel is squeezed in beside the rooms, so there were a few loud, drunk people in the halls during the night.
Wake up call (offered by the front desk before I asked) took place on time, although the tv also blared very loudly at the wake up time as well.
Overall, for one night, it was okay. Front desk and room service were helpful. Room was clean.
One more problem, however. I was quoted (in writing) a rate of 88 pounds which I booked through Londontown. When I checked out, I was in a hurry and didn't realize when I got home that I was charged 148 pounds. I e-mailed them, and the reply was "the rates may be different on different days." I'm still working on this one.
The shuttle bus (a generic one that services all the hotels) leaves from the hotel every 20 minutes or so starting at (I think) 5:30 am to Terminals 1, 2, and 3. Charged us 3 pounds total for 1 adult and 1 child. If you are departing from Terminal 4 (International terminal), you have to go to 3 and take the Heathrow Express train (free to Terminal 4) or the underground for a fee to Terminal 4. Reverse this if arriving at Terminal 4. This adds another 15 or so minutes. If you are receiving VAT taxes back, you have to go to Terminal 3 anyway, though first (located right inside the door).
If you don't mind some minor hassles and just want a place to put your head at night, it was okay. (I'm not a fussy person, so I might actually use them again in a pinch). Otherwise, I would pick another (saw Sheraton and Holiday Inn on way to this hotel which are also served by the same shuttle bus).

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2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thistle London Heathrow Hotel

Property: Thistle London Heathrow Hotel
Address: Bath Road, West Drayton UB7 0EQ, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Greater London > West Drayton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 12 Hotels in West Drayton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Thistle London Heathrow Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 310
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located close to all terminals, with direct access to Terminal 5 via the eco friendly Ultra POD network in 7 minutes. As well as boasting spectacular views of the northern runway and architectural splendor of terminal 5 from the hotel restaurant, terrace and bar. The Thistle London Heathrow is the ideal place to unwind whether you are flying off early or arriving late at night. Also because we're close to central London Thistle London Heathrow is a perfect venue for business meetings and other events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thistle London Heathrow West Drayton
Thistle Heathrow
Thistle London Heathrow Hotel West Drayton, Greater London

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