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Reviewed 11 July 2012

I travel with work a lot and it's not rare for me to spend 3 or 4 nights a week in hotels in London. Tonight, against my better judgement, I accepted a room in the Barbican Thistle. My last experience of the hotel (a bathroom sink blocked by vomit) was unpleasant enough for me to seek alternative accommodation.

Tonight I was expecting the double room that my company have paid for, but was put in a twin room... A small inconvenience perhaps, but at check-in I was informed that there were 5 suites available if I would pay an upgrade fee. I refused, reasoning that if I'd booked a double room one should be available - and if the hotel has a policy of overbooking the cost should not be passed on to me. Why should I pay out of my own pocket for a double bed when my company has already paid for one and not received it?

On both occasions that I have stayed in this place my key card didn't work resulting in the tiresome trudge back to reception. Tonight I was helpfully educated as to the precise speed at which one should swipe the card (thanks, but this isn't the first hotel I've stayed in).

Also the signage detailing which room is where is frankly incomprehensible - a fact born out in conversation with the two other guests staring blankly at the signs and whom I later passed going in the opposite direction down the corridor.

Had I got the room my company had booked and paid for, I probably would have overlooked this hotel's many failings. But, as it is, I'm sat in a tired room, on a single bed, feeling ripped off.

I earnestly hope never to stay here again and will do my utmost to realise that wish.

Ps. I would add photos of the appallingly scuffed wallpaper next to my bed, the hair in my as yet unused sink and the curious sticky patch on the bathroom floor, but as the wifi in my room (1229) doesn't work you'll have to picture those yourself.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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4  Thank AJPWatkis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 13 July 2012

Dear AJP Watkis

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of the Thistle City Barbican .
I was very sorry to read your comments in regards to your stay and your obvious disappointment . There is no excuse for the poor standard of cleanliness in the room and for this I do apologise .Please be assured that I will be addressing your comments with the departmental heads concerned .
I have noted your point that you do not wish to return to the hotel but I would like the opportunity of making amends for the problems experienced and if you would reconsider in the future please contact me directly so I can oversee the details of the reservation and make up in some practical way for the disappointing aspects of this visit .
Kind regards

Jane Hills
General Manager

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Reviewed 10 July 2012

I was here in June of 2012 with a group; the room size was a bit small, but for typical European standards, not tiny. It's a little run down, especially the lobby area of the second building; sure could use new carpet.

Room was adequate. Internet access is very slow, and you have to pay for it. However, I had an account with Boingo mobile, which allowed access for free (at the airport, too!).

Location isn't bad, just a little walk and you're at the Millenium Bridge. There's a pizza place and chicken place right near by that aren't bad; the convenience store across the street is small, but adequate.

Don't miss the bakery/deli around the corner!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank ROBnMO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 13 July 2012

Dear RoBnMo

Thank you for writing a review of the Thistle Barbican and for your constructive feedback.
You will be pleased to know that we have just finished laying the new lobby carpet in the front building and it looks lovely .
Kind regards
Jane and team

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Reviewed 9 July 2012

I stayed here for two nights. The hotel's in a great spot, a few minutes from Shoreditch and a short walk to the City. The rooms are a little better than a student dorm in terms of size. Since I was on business I took a single room. It was very basic. Other rooms were very close by and in the heat my window was left open, but my sleep wasn't interrupted by any noise.

It seems a lot of schools use this hotel for trips, so I'm not sure what my experience would have been like if I had kids staying on the same floor as me.

My colleague said she found her desk covered with dust.

The reception staff were helpful enough. The man on reception checking me in was being trained so someone was there to keep an eye on him and they stepped in when he was struggling.

The breakfast was prohibitively expensive, especially with better options so close by so we gave that a miss.

The hotel is set back from the main road and the walk back to the hotel in the evening does take you past a few rough looking flats, but we didn't see anything to worry about.

As a budget hotel it does the job.

Room Tip: Try to get an externally-facing room if you can.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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Thank str00m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2012

Stayed here for a confence for one night. The check in process was ok; the girl on reception was pleasant and efficient, despite the computer not playing ball and the room was clean but that is all that was good. The room decor was dated - if you're a fan of eighties beige - you won't be disappointed and there were only three sockets in the room - obviously another left over of the eighties when nobody really had much charging up to do whilst on business. Even plugging the kettle in was tricky as you had to stretch the lead down to the plug at floor level unless you were happy to turn the telly off whilst boiling it. Fortunately, you could still have the fan plugged in - yes, fan - as there was no air conditioning in the room, something I would have expected for £132 for a night's stay. The bathroom was clean but was dated and tiny - only just enough room to actually sit on the loo. Unfortunately the hotel isn't even redeemed by its location - it's nowhere near the Barbican and is a pain to get to via tube. Sorry Thistle, but I won't be returning to this hotel or probably any of your others.

Stayed: July 2012, travelled on business
1  Thank Del S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2012

Quite an average hotel. Even though the reception was not very busy, it took ages to check-in, after which it took almost 15 min to get me a card to access internet; which turned out to be expensive and slow...... To get to the rooms, I needed to go outside and cross the access road. The rooms in this section of the hotel are located in a maize of small corridors. My double room was tiny, just about adequate for one person. It turned out the hotel was being renovated and there was a very strong fresh paint odor. I was too tired to return to reception. When I mentioned it next day, I did immediately receive a discount on the room. So I guess that it was a known problem. Overall, the Thistle City Barbican did not live up to expectations.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank Dutch_Travel-R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 10 July 2012

Dear Crabzilla

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of the Thistle City Barbican

I was very disappointed to read that the hotel did not meet you expectations on this occasion and I am sorry that you experienced delays at the front desk on check in and that you found the internet service slow and expensive .
We are currently redecorating a number of the rooms at the hotel and we do try our utmost to ensure the rooms and corridors are well ventilated to alleviate strong odours , I am sorry that we failed on this occasion . In regards to the internet service we are working with our providers BT to upgrade the service , ensuring that our signal is stronger and the service is faster.
Thank you for constructive comments .
Kind regards
Jane and team

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