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While the sub-£100 online deals continue, this is the best bargain in London.
Thistle Tower Hotel (London)
Member Name: k4ssie
Thistle Tower Hotel (London)
Advantages: Comfortable, quiet, well located, lovely staff
Disadvantages: Rack rate is out of my league if the special offers stop!
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...
Summary: If you can get a deal on this, don't hesitate
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