***Note this is no longer a Thistle hotel and hasn't been for a number of years, it is a Guoman hotel now***
I booked the Tower Hotel in London via www.lastminute.com at a price of £150 for one night room only. This was a discounted price; they normally charge around £100 - £120 for a night standard room, but prices have been increased due to the Olympics which is why £150 was a discount price.
but bearing in mind the location of right next to tower bridge and it was the Olympics I felt it was fair. I have to admit thought I have never paid this much for a room before my usual limit is about £80 so I was expecting it to be excellent and considering it was a four start hotel - again something I have never stayed at before.
GETTING TO THE TOWER HOTEL
The Tower Hotel is right next to the Tower Bridge in St Katherine's way and so if you get off the underground at Tower Gate it is literally a couple of minutes walk around the side of the Tower of London and over the road. It is also very close to the skipper boat rides up and down the Thames.
The hotel is fairly noticeable from the road as the name is written on the side and it has quite distinctive oblong windows. The actual outside is not hugely attractive but then there is not much that can be done about that in built up London. What is nice is the dolphin fountain out the front and the view of Tower Bridge, especially as it has the Olympic rings at the moment.
ARRIVAL AND CHECKING IN
An electronic door with a concierge to greet you and show you to the desk, this is a nice touch although not really needed as the desk is right in front of you, you can't miss it, but the personal greeting is pleasant.
Checking in took me about five minutes by a lovely lady called Auroa who managed to find us a double room as I had booked a twin/double without realising. My details were quickly obtained and I just had to sign a form and was given a credit card type room key and was offered two if I wished which would be nice if you were a family staying. Directions were given to our room and off we went.
We were on the first floor and so went up in the lift and found our room relatively easily but it is quite compact and nicely decorated in deep blue but this does make it fairly dark in the corridors. After a couple of stops to look at room number indicators we found ours right in the corner of the of a small corridor, which turned out to be an actual cover of the main building.
Easy access with the card as you go in there is a few light switches for all/bathroom/bedroom etc and a nice idea which is a switch to let staff know whether you wish to be disturbed or not. You press the switch and it lights up do not disturb or please clean on a screen outside the room. No more accidental awakenings when someone has moved your door tag or its fallen off!
To the right as you go in is the bathroom. Lovely black and white marble sink unit with a small bin underneath and a large mirror plus a shaving/makeup mirror to the side. Bath is a standard bath with a shower above and a curtain. Plenty of white towels provided which are neatly placed on a shelf above the toilet area. My only issue with the bathroom is there id a telephone by the toilet rolls! I have no idea why you would want a phone there exactly especially as there is one next to the bed and if they feel it is needed, they should ensure it is cleaned properly. Lots of dust on cables and top of it, which I am not a neat freak but this is right in you eye view if you are on the loo!!
Moving on.... cabinet space to the left where there is a wardrobe, trouser press, iron and a safe for your personal possessions should you wish to use it.
Carrying on along the left is a large desk with a mirror which has numerous drawers where you will also find the tea/coffee a couple of biscuits and the kettle. The room service folder and information leaflets are also located here.
Television is an LCD one with freesat which is great but we only really used for the news whilst getting ready to go out.
The bed - white pillows and duvet - fantastic best night sleep in ages! firm mattress and oh so soft duvets pillows bouncy what more can I say! Bedside lamps and cabinets.
A table and chairs is situated by the window so you can sit and look out and the tower bridge and a large lamp if you wish to sit and read etc.
The decoration is older English in style the units wood which does in places look like it has seen better days with a few knocks and scrapes, but I guess when units are fitted this is difficult to rectify and it is terrible by any means.
The windows are small and oblong about waist to head height, only one was able to open which was only a few inches which I assume is a safety feature as one window was directly above the water way.
I personally found the room a little smaller than I was expecting but was pleasantly decorated and furnished in a way that I don't think would offend anyone. The room was absolutely fine for the two of us for one night and would be ok for a weekend but any longer than that and I think I might start to feel a little clostraphobic.
I did however have a fantastic nights sleep and heard no noise what so ever from neighbouring rooms or outside traffic.
THE REST OF THE HOTEL
On entering the hotel I was excited it is light bright and full of cream and black marble
We did visit the bar on returning to the hotel late in the evening and it is nicely presented with a mixture of size tables with chairs around so you can sit in groups or couples or stand at the bar. Views over the Thames are nice to sit and relax having a drink or you can watch a large LCD tv in the opposite corner. The prices are as you would expect and higher than your average bar
We never used the restaurant but we were offered to add on our breakfast which would be of the reduced rate of £12 instead of £20 as neither of us are big breakfast eaters we declined but for the price I would want a very nice big breakfast!
Lifts were lovely and clean with mirrors which give them a bigger perspective. We did use the stairs once as they seemed to be taking a while when we came in once. We were only up one floor so I think it was four flights, the stairs were ok but reminded me of multi storey car park ones, they could have been better with a lick of paint. Saying that there are several large lifts so unless you don't like lifts it's not an issue.
On the ground floor there is a extra wide stair case which takes you to the first floor where the bar and eating areas are, which is lovely and gives a grand appeal to the entrance.
Lovely little brassiere to the left of the entrance which enables you to sit outside also so you can have a lovely evening drink with the view of the tower bridge. Meals are served here and the prices are around £15 - £20 per main meal. The menus and prices can be found on the website and you can per book a table via the internet also which I feel is a nice touch in this modern age.
The hotel caters for business - having a vast amount of suites available in a variety of dimensions and set outs.
Weddings are catered for.
For more details please see website www.guoman.com
This is a nice hotel with a great location on the river thames and perfect for both drivers and non drivers due to the locality of the undergrounds.
This review maybe posted on other review sites.
Have recently returned from a 3 night stay at the rebranded Guoman Tower Hotel in London. We booked through Guoman's own website getting a 3 nights for the price of 2 deal which was able to undercut all of the last minute website prices (less than £90 a night).
The whole hotel is undergoing extensive rennovations and modernisation meaning that the classes of rooms available currently seem fairly muddled.
We paid for a standard room yet were placed on a club suite floor which gave a larger, albeit non-modernised room. Other Guests paying for standard rooms had been placed on lower floors (although these seemed to be guests who had booked through a third-party website) and small upgrade fees of between £20 and £30 per room per night gave room options including penthouses and junior suites.
The floors can seem like a maze at first but the layout is such that all rooms offer views of either Tower Bridge, St Katherine's Dock or Butler's Wharf.
Our room was large, massive by London standards, and well equipped with a modern television, ample drawer and wardrobe space and a powerful shower. The decoration was a little tired and the bathroom smaller than others I have used but everywhere was spotless and a turndown service was offered daily.
Front-desk staff were friendly and very competent, handling our check-in efficiently and providing all relevant information regarding dining times and room options.
Breakfast was well managed with a large, hot, selection of goods, no queues and well-spaced seating, although we did breakfast early, normally prior to 7:00.
The concierge service was also well run with the staff able to book tickets for a variety of shows as well as the aforementioned Open Top Bus Tours.
We did not make use of the restaurants or bars wihtin the hotel as there was ample selection nearby but prices seemed reasonable and there was good variety to the menu.
The hotel is literally next door to Tower Bridge and by walking under the bridge itself you reach the Tower of London, by the Thames.
We were initially concerned that the hotel is located at the very edge of central London but, as a result of being placed within 60 seconds of a World Heritage site, the transport links into London as well as local bars and restaurants are excellent.
Within a 5 minute walk is Tower station with links via both tube and DLR and, even closer, are stops for both modern and traditional routemaster heritage buses as well as the famous London Open Top Bus Tours with many routes running past midnight. Also availble are a number of clipper services running to Greenwich and the Houses of Parliament throughout the day.
St Katherine's dock is a 2 minute walk away and has a number of bars and retaurants as does the area ppposite the Tower of London and Butler's Wharf a short walk away on the other side of the Thames.
It is also possible to take a stroll into London via the Thames Pathway which is well lit right into the evening and provides opportunities to break off and have a look at many of the well signposted landmarks.
This review is also published on Tripadvisor.com
This isn't a Thistle hotel any more, it's now known as the Guoman Tower.
I've stayed a couple of times at this hotel, both times on business, prior to an exhibition in the hotel the following day. I paid under a hundred pounds for the most basic room offered, so you can imagine i had definite qualms about what I'd get...in my previous experience, paying less than a hundred quid for a london hotel room is a recipe for cockroaches and dubious stain central.
The hotel is very well located with St Katharine's Dock on one side (lovely place to spend an evening, and a good selection of reasonably priced restaurants), and Tower Hill on the other. 5 minutes walk to Tower Hill tube. They also have secure underground parking for a reasonable rate (i paid £20) and if you're coming in from the East, the hotel is outside the congestion charge zone - just - the border is on Tower bridge itself. From the outside, it's a monstrosity, no doubt about it - a huge, 60s style thing that dominates the surrounding area. Best place to be is on the inside!
First, checkin staff were delightful - i asked about a quiet room and was offered either a bridge or marina view room - went with the latter as they advised that there are fewer people passing under the window etc. I was offered an upgrade to a deluxe room for £40, this would've included complimentary car parking which i was paying £20 for anyway, so i think a very good deal. Our expenses policy wouldn't agree, so i had to decline!
I was on the first floor, and was told that all the rooms at my rate were. The corridor looked way more promising than expected when i got out of the lift, very recently decorated and good quality finishing. The room itself was absolutely perfect for a business stay; understated decor, comfortable bed with nice white linens, clean and well fitted bathroom with a decent shower. There was a large widescreen plasma TV on the desk area opposite the bed, plus a minibar (not stocked but could be on request) and tea/coffee making facilities - i didn't check these out but my work colleague noted that there was a cafetiere and filter coffee, not the usual sachet of nescafe. Ice machines available on alternate floors, and an ice bucket provided.
My only tiny gripe was that it was officially a nonsmoking room and corridor, but there was a definite "old smoke" smell in the room. They'd probably have moved me if i'd asked, but for me it wasn't worth the bother - not bad enough to make my clothes smell or anything.
I had a pretty view over the marina and a totally peaceful night's sleep.
Breakfast next morning was also excellent, no queues seen at any time, options of fruit/yoghurt/cereal/ cold meat & cheese / wide range of cooked stuff, done buffet style.
Overall, i have NEVER stayed in a london hotel under £200 where the experience has been tolerable, let alone enjoyable. This place is the mutt's nuts, IF i can keep finding special offers on the web. i think the going "rack rate" for basic rooms is about £200, and it doesn't look such great value at that level.
Oh, and did i mention the fabulous views over Tower Bridge from the bar? Spectacular at night, and thrown in for free...
We did the proud parents thing recently and went to an awards ceremony in London.Neither of us are familiar with the city itself,we have been to shows and taken the day odd sightseeing but we both knew that an A-Z would be needed.
We knew we were going to have to have an overnight stay,we wanted to be able to celebrate the day without worrying about having to drive home.Plus we both wanted to revisit Chinatown,on a previous trip we had really enjoyed an excellent evening meal there.
We left the hotel booking to our son,he knew The Thistle Tower Hotel on the north bank of the River Thames was just a stones throw away from the Tate Modern,a gallery we very much wanted to visit and a ten minute taxi drive away from the ceremony in the West end.
The hotel is very little to look at from the outside,a fairly drab 70s exterior and just ten minutes walk from the Tower Hill tube station,overlooking the unique St Katherine's dock on one side.
The saving grace was the close proximity to the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London and when night fell and the bridge was lit up it was a sight to behold!
The hotel has 24 hour access and when you enter the reception area you instantly forget about the dreary 70s style building!
Reception is elegant,stylish and clean.
We had no problem at all checking in,polite and friendly staff many who were from other countries.We had a room on the fifth floor which managed to give us a spectacular view of Tower bridge.
Like most hotels The Tower is just a maze of narrow dimly lit corridors,lifts and stairs.We only had the one night stay at the cost of £120 for the double room, so the only concern we had was to find our room and the way back down to the bar!
The Thistle Tower has just over 800 rooms,all with integrated entertainment systems,plasma screens and one of the must haves for many people wireless Internet access.(Internet access is charged for)The hotel has its own fitness centre.
The restaurants include The Brasserie where its possible to enjoy a mix of European food.
Light snacks and coffee are available in The Gallery and The Carvery serves our personal all time favourites,roast meals,salads and light lunches,with an extensive dessert menu.
The XI Bar is very contemporary yet comfortable,it looks out over the water and at night when the water is lit up it is beautiful.Of course the bar serves a very wide range of drinks,and they are more than happy to mix you any cocktail you should wish for.
Our air conditioned room was reasonably spacious all things considered,the large bed was dressed fashionably with cushions,the bed linen was fresh and well pressed.The flat screen television was lined up perfectly for bedtime viewing.But oddly enough neither of the lamps could be accessed from the bed.A comfortable occasional chair was sat beside a small set of drawers.
We had little in the way of luggage with us,but the robes were perfectly adequate for a short term stay. A trouser press sat in the corner next to the mini bar.I hadn't taken my hairdryer but luckily there was one in the room.
An outside telephone line was available,though we had no need to use it.Tea and coffee making facilities were in the room and had been well stocked up.Room service was available at all times but again we had no real need to use it.
A classic and modern bathroom,clean lines and shiny tiles,with a large luxurious heated towel rail,soft white towels and plenty of complimentary shower gels,soaps .The bathroom had two thick white bathrobes which was a nice touch.The shower water was hot and the facilities were spotless.It was obvious that the Hotel Housekeeper had very high standards!
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal in Chinatown,followed by a few drinks in the XI Bar much later.
We slept well even if the bed was a touch firmer than our own at home!
When we went downstairs for breakfast the queue was a little off putting,so we plumped for coffee and croissants in The Gallery.
Again the staff were smiling and friendly when we checked out,and it was a pleasant end to a very special occasion.
When we return to London again we would be more than happy to have another stay at The Thistle Tower Hotel.
Other facilities include:
In room movies.
Wake up services.
Check in is 14.00-Check out is 12.00
Parking is available but will be charged for per day.