Historical Traveller Reviews of Thistle Kensington Gardens Hotel
from A TripAdvisor Member
There have been a number of reviews added here since I booked our reservation last fall. I'm glad I didn't look right before our trip or I might have been concerned by some of the negative reviews. As it turns out, though, we spent seven nights and were completely satisfied with our stay. Although we would have liked adjoining rooms, my teenagers were given a room two doors down from my sister and I on the second floor. Our rooms were plenty large enough, clean, and afforded a great view of the park across the street. The staff and concierge were all quite helpful and polite. The bathrooms were clean with wonderful showers. I enjoyed having tea/coffee facilities, a mini fridge, and a safe in the room. I was also impressed by the lack of noise and light at night from the street. The location was ideal for the tube (2 or 3 blocks to Queensway and Bayswater) and bus. We never had trouble having the concierge hail us a cab when we needed it, either. The delicious breakfast provided each morning was an added bonus. All in all, we had a very pleasant stay there from March 13-20. I would definitely stay there again.
s just okay
We got this hotel as part of a vacation package where we didn't get to choose the hotel. (We pay fix fee, they set up air and hotel, almost like priceline).
Travel to central london is easy by bus and tube. The A2 bus from Heathrow also stops by the Queensway tube station. The bus is 8 pounds one way, which is more than double price of coming in by tube, but is just much more convenient if you have lots of luggage.
The room was small, not too clean, not too dirty. The wall papers were peeling. The towels and sheets were never changed during our 6 nights stay. There was no in-room safe.
Our room came with continental breakfast (all the cold stuff). the breakfast room was stocked with both continental and british breakfast.
There was a staff member that watched to see who took the hot food, and asked for their room number. If you took hot food, and it wasn't included in your room, you get charged 3 pounds. We were informed verbally about this, but there were no signs.
Overall, the hotel is okay if you don't expect to spend much time in it, and can get a really really good deal.
Excellent Location! Nice hotel, Would recommend
from A TripAdvisor Member
I would definately recommend this hotel to anyone. Location is excellent, across from Hyde Park, withing walking distance of Buckingham Palace, only a few blocks from the tube, and close to the famous "Portobello Road". Rooms are small, but modern, clean, and nice.
Continental breakfast is excellent, and in a beautiful dining area.
Hotel personnel are very helpful.
Too bad the service is DREADFUL b/c the location is great
My friend and I stayed here in July, and aside from the GREAT location, this hotel has nothing to recommend it. Bad service experiences: first key they gave us didn't work (the room was locked from the inside); second key worked, but the door to the adjoining room was unlocked (we had to call them to come and lock it); a safe deposit box was not available until a couple days into our stay; surly desk help; at least one elevator was always broken (the doors closed once before my friend could get out); no air conditioning in room (HOT in summer); forgot to bring us enough towels (we had to call them 2X before they got it right); forgot to refill toilet paper ......... Every single item had to be WRANGLED out of the staff. Never again.
Excellent Concierge staff
from A TripAdvisor Member
I spent a most enjoyable 3 nights at this hotel from Nov 29-Dec 2. The room was small but sufficient for one person and came with full amenities (heated towel rack, in-room tea/coffee, safe, mini-fridge, trouser press). Since I did not plan to spend much time in the hotel, the room was ideal. After I had booked this room, I became concerned after reading some of the reviews posted here -- I found most of these concerns to be unfounded. Despite being a slightly older facility, I found the decor to be updated, clean, and comfortable. Ideally located near the bus and train stations (both within a 5 minute walk), the hotel offers easy access to most sites. For about 4 GBP the taxi will take you to Paddington Station; I would not want to walk the distance with luggage. Most notable is the concierge staff. I emailed the concierge prior to arrival with needed reservations for theatre tickets, tea, and dinner reservations. The concierges were able to get exceptional seats to Phantom of the Opera and difficult reservations to many of London's prime eateries. This is a solid 3-4 star hotel with a 5-star concierge attitude. I would most certainly stay at this hotel again -- an incredible bargain for 55 GBP (including breakfast each morning!!)!!
Give your wallet a rest and stay at the Thistle Kensington Gardens
I stayed at the Thistle Kensington Gardens (room 716) From 12/4 to 12/7. After reading some of the more recent posts, I was getting concerned about the quality of the hotel. These concerns were unfounded. From check in to departure, I had a very pleasant stay. The single room was small (not tiny) but very clean. I did not have a sagging mattress ( very firm ). The location is also very good. It's about a 5 min walk to Queensway tube station and about 10 min from Bayswater tube station. Local restaurants, grocery stores and internet cafe's litter the area. I am a firm believer of the saying "you get what you pay for." In this case, paying 55 pounds (including breakfast) a night not only saved me a few bucks, but let me enjoy a few more of my favorite British Beers.P.S. Have a chat with Domingo the Bartender. Great Guy!
After reading the positive reviews we (my husband and I and our 4 year old) booked a 6 night stay here in early November. The exterior is rather "blah" and you enter the lobby through the basement. We had an executive double room which was the size of an American single room - - - rather cramped. The young manager tried to find us another room but unfortunatley it was a hectic week-end and no bigger rooms were available. He did offer to find us another room in one of the other Thistle hotels which was rather nice of him (we decided to put up with the room). The rooms and bathroom were modern and clean, but lacked that something (the second floor Ladie's restroom was much nicer than our bathroom). The staff on the whole seemed rather young (or I am getting old). Continental breakfast (quite substantial) was provided with our room and was in a bright room which was the hotel's restaurant in the evening. There was a perpetual smell of stale food on the second floor landing. The fire door to the hallway to our rooms was closed so the smell did not reach our rooms. The location is 5*. Across from Kensington Gardens . . . great walks and we even found a park for our 4 year old. The bus stop to everywhere is right outside the hotel, and transportation is no problem. There is also the Whitely's shopping center about a 10 minutes walk from the hotel with some nice restuarants in the food court. There is also a Boots, Starbucks and Marks and Spencer. The basement of the hotel has a petrol station with a 24 hour 7-11 type store which was useful. Will I stay here again?
I'll look for something better first. Even though we spent a lot of time sight-seeing and came to the room to sleep, it would have been nice to come to a charming place where we could have hung out in the lobby and just relaxed a bit.
It is a comfortable hotel. The staff is friendly and helpful. A bit away from the sights. However, the tube stations are within walking distance.
Very good hotel indeed, but...
from A TripAdvisor Member
As I stated in the title, my stay at the Kensington Gardens Hotel (19-26 October, 2003) was quite satisfactory, but something left me puzzled to say the least. Let's start from the good points: very good location and transport connections (even though Queensway tube station was closed for renovation, but it was not the hotel's fault), very comfortable room and bathroom (though the latter a bit on the small side, but then I was on my own), plentiful breakfast (I would've liked more fresh fruit, but all in all I was quite happy with it). I had no complaints with the service at all, nor with cleanliness or noise level. It was a really enjoyable stay... until I checked out. In fact, I had booked through the hotel's own Internet site, and I had been shown a rate of £384 for the whole of my stay. When I was shown the receipt for payment on checking out, it showed a total sum of £609! I paid without complaining as I was in a hurry to catch my plane, but when I got back home I wrote to the hotel management to try and get an explanation. Well, I was told that the sum included VAT - which was true, but it didn't add up to £609. I was very disappointed by such behaviour, so I think I will never stay at a Thistle hotel again.
Down and Out Room 904, avoid
We stayed at this hotel in late October, as I said Room 904 had dirty pealing wall paper, a chair with large holes in it, and you could see the foam coming through in large areas, and the long table with the TV/dressing area had black ugly spots. The sheets were torn and one had a brown stain, and the bathroom door had some disgusting stains on it.
The staff were not helpful, and the doorman kept wanting to sell us a limo to the airport everytime we inquired about the train, but when we asked for a taxi he told us to go to the main street and get one.
Breakfast was ok, but I would not stay at this hotel again, I had a better experience at a one star hotel near Victoria station than this one.
Top Local Tips for London
You can skip the London Eye
We got on the London Eye because it is the "newest" attraction. We spend 39 pound for a family of 4. However, I find it a bit expensive and not worth th price. The wait wasn't bad, but it is a very short ride (30 minutes). When the sun came in, it was very warm with "capsule" filled with other tourist, i.e. not easy to move around. The glare (around 3pm) prevents me from taking a good picture of the Big Ben. If you insist to get on, you can get tickets at Visitor Center (we got it from Liverpool Station) to avoid the wait. I personally find it a little bit hype than the value, but you can claim you have been to the tallest wheel in the world.
Get an Oyster card, it saves you ££££
Use Queensway rather than Lancaster gate tube, as it's slightly nearer