Historical Traveller Reviews of The Tower Hotel
Great Room - Great Service!
from A TripAdvisor Member
I have stayed at several Thistle hotels and have always been pleased with the service - but I particualrly liked the Thistle Tower. A friend and I each made a reservation for a single room using Londontown. I found the service to be wonderful and the room to be impeccable. For a single room (in the U.K.) it was roomy with a large bathroom. There was even a phone in the bathroom! Moreover, I found the concierge desk to be above averge. I needed to make several bookings and these guys knew everything and everyone. The breakast buffet was very....British....but, we got in without a wait and there was more than enough choice to make for a good morning start. The view from each of our rooms was, of course, spectacular as it overlooked tower bridge and the location was great for touring as we walked along the Thames stopping at the Tower of London, Shakespeare's Globe, the Embankment, and over to Trafalgar Square, etc. Sometimes this hotel, and all of the Thistles can be a bit expensive, but check the rates every couple of days and I can pretty much guarantee that sooner or later you will "stumble" upon a rate that is about 1/2 the normal rack rate - and you strill get the great service!
Extremely unimpressed, worst hotel stay in years
This hotel is terribly expensive given the following issues: Check in and check out takes forever, long lineups; the rooms are in urgent need of repair. worn dirty furniture, the bed was so worn (like a banana) that my back still hurts; minibar was not stocked, strange for a "4 star hotel"; TV channels come in and out and none of the interactive features worked; chamber maid woke me up despite the do not disturb sign activated; food in the restaurants was always served cold; worst tasting orange juice I have ever tasted; breakfast buffet a rip off at 16 pounds a person, all the food greasy and cold; ultra slow waiter service in restaurants; housekeeping slam doors all the time on the floors, very noisy; elevators are always busy and take forever; extorionate high speed internet access (15 pounds a day); All this for 150 pounds (300 USD!!!) a night.
from A TripAdvisor Member
This was a nice hotel - perhaps for a business traveler. It is not terribly close to an underground station, and the staff is unfriendly. We did get a great rate on our room through lastminute.com - but we did not have any kind of a view to speak of - not sure if that was related to the rate we got on the room. The breakfast is fine - at least you can start with a happy tummy for a busy day in London. The bed was dreadfully uncomfortable. If we had it to do again, we would not stay here.
Avoid Rooms on 5th Floor at all costs
My husband was on business in London for a few days so we made the most of a weekend in London beforehand. We stayed in the great Kingsway Hall hotel for the weekend because of its fantastic location in Covent Garden and then moved to the Tower Thistle on May 17th becauses it was a handier location for business.
We had booked a standard room and were given a room on the 5th floor - to say it was horrific for a 4* hotel is an understatement. It was smelly, dingy, old dark furniture that had peeled almost all over and that general feeling of not wanting to sleep in the bed! We asked to be moved rooms and were moved to a room next door whch was as bad and were eventaully moved to a 3rd room which was marginally better but still awful.
We then found out that the 5th floor is the only floor in the hotel which hasn't been renovated. To cut a long story short we had a long long row with the hotel manager and reception manager who told us that in a hotel with 800+ rooms they had no where else to move us that night but would try to move my husband the next day (as I was going home). We spent an awful night in the hotel and they did move him the next morning - the new room was like something out of a different hotel!
I travel to London frequently with my job and stay in 4* hotels all the time - what they offer as a standard 4* room is nothing short of disgraceful. It is actually misrepresentation when you read their site or any other site for that matter.
t be going back
I've stayed at the Tower Thistle on several occasions whilst my OH has been in London on business. We will never do so again.
Because of the frequency of our visits, we were usually upgraded. But to what? The carpets were stained, wood and paintwork scuffed. Generally scruffy and in need of a bit of tlc. Room way too hot in summer. Supposedly has air-con, but we could never get it to do much. Had to demand a fan.
Check-in/out a disaster EVERY time. As someone who worked Front of House in hotels for 9 years, I despaired at the lack of training/efficiency of the staff. It always took forever. There was usually something on the bill which didn't belong to us.
By far the worst thing I encountered was the elevators. 4 to service an 800-bed hotel is not enough. At busy times - every morning - we'd have to wait a ridiculously long time for one to arrive with enough space for us to get in it.
They also have a lot of large group bookings so the lobby & lifts are frequently jammed with them coming and going.
The best thing about the hotel is its proximity to a gorgeous restaurant called Lightship Ten in St Katherine's Dock.
Good views, consistent hotel
I had the pleasure of a 10 day business stay at the Thistle Tower. The rooms were comfortable, well appointed, and clean. There seems to be a difference between a business room and traditional guest room. I would suggest, if possible, that you get a river view room. The view of the bridge at night is wonderful. I didn't bother to eat the expensive hotel fare, there is too much of culinary London hidden near by to eat expensive hotel food. Right up the block is a lovely underground/ale house called Davy's. Excellent food. Also, just a brief walk across the bridge (do it at night in the fog if you really want to step back in time to an erie London past) there are fine restaurants aplenty.
Above average hotel in an above average location.
from A TripAdvisor Member
Our room was clean and nicely appointed. The view of the river was lovely but as one previous reviewer said, beware of the river view if you are a light sleeper. Those party boats that tour the river until the wee hours are really noisy. We too had a fire alarm incident and after reading other reviewers' comments, I gather that that is pretty common. (What's up with that?) Other than those two drawbacks the hotel and the room were great. The location was perfect for tourists. Between walking, the nearby Tube stop, local busses, and riverboats, you could easily get to anywhere you needed to be. Breakfast was hectic and cafeteria style but adequate and filling. We reserved our room over the internet and got a great deal. For us it was a perfect introduction to London.
Nice location, but must try harder!
Chose this hotel because of the location - which is great. St Katharine's Dock is attractive, and of course the Thames side is brilliant. However - the room was small for an "executive" one, with a slightly obscured view. The food on offer for breakfast at the two locations was not identical - which as I'm a vegetarian, and the missing items were mushrooms/tomatoes/hash browns, was a major problem - no-one warned us about this. It's also the only hotel I've been in that's mean about replacing toiletries. Check-in seemed to take about 3 times as long as it should. To cap it off, there was a false fire alarm - walking down 7 stories in the middle of the night is not much fun.
Above expectations and with a view
from A TripAdvisor Member
March 2004, 6 nights. This hotel absolutely exceeded my expectations. Our room was on the fourth floor, wtith a fantastic view of the Tower Bridge. It's within walking distance of the Tower Hill station, with some fun restaunts at St. Katherine's dock. There's a Safeway around the corner as well, making late night snacks easy. The rooms were a great size with a large bed and the bathrooms were clean and had plenty of outlets. They even had a conversion outlet for US plugs. There's a television with cable and movie options. Our room was quiet, blue and yellow decor and good maid service. Continental breakfast was well worth the cost as you can easily fill up on the seletions. Went for dessert only one evening at the restaurant and the prices did seem high, recommend going to a pub instead. Do keep in mind it's in the financial district, therefore many restaurants close early and there's not a lot of night activity. This worked for us, great stay.
What a Let Down!
from A TripAdvisor Member
This is possibly, no scratch that, this IS the worse hotel it has evr been my unfortunate luck to stay in. I booked a weekend stay as a suprise valentine's present for my Partner this year. We supposedly had an executive double room with a city view, which cost us £125.00 a night. If anyone manages to locate this "view" could you please let me know as I don't seem to have found it yet! The room was shabby, dirty, old fashioned & TINY! The bed was as lumpy as the welsh hills - not great for a romantic break if you catch my drift. The flooring in the bathroom was ripped, tiles were missing & there were nowhere near enough towels. The scenes in the resturant @ the "compilmentry" breakfast were reminiscent of my schools day, lining up for schools dinners , being shoved and shouted @ by the bigger kids ( the staff). To be fair the breakfast was good and there was plenty of it. But what bugged me more than anything was the staff's complete indifference to any problems you had - it didn't matter whether you complained pleasantly or shouted the place down - they didn't give a shine stuff. The manager should wear a mask, stripey black & white jumper and carry a bag labelled "SWAG"!! Do yourself a favour and don't bother - it ruined our whole trip.
Top Local Tips for London
Do not book directly with hotel, book with a travel agent it's a lot cheaper!
Use the 6 zone London travel card for your stay. Gets you everywhere, including Heathrow Airport
Single fare rip off...
Do NOT, I repeat DO NOT buy single tickets on underground - now £4 (ie $8) single ... but a travelcard that gives you free access for the whole day is only about £5.50 ($11). If you travel frequently, well worth obtaining and oyster card (you do NOT have to be a London resident to have one) which reduces fares by over 50%.