Hans D. Baumeister

Hans D. Baumeister

Thistle Kensington Gardens, London, UK **

As I came in from the city, I walked from Bayswater station to the hotel (which is only about 5 min.). I spotted the hotel sign right away, but all I saw was a construction site and a gas station wedged under a building… the entrance to the hotel is actually around the corner (not sure why the address is Bayswater Road, then) and you need to go up on the 1st floor for reception.

The girl at reception apparently had a long night, she seemed to fall asleep twice while getting me checked in. Very odd. The room was on the 5th floor and faced Kensington Gardens, which sounds nice but actually just means you get a lot of noise from Bayswater Road, as the trees across the street are so high you can't see anything of the park. There was a sliding window on the inside of the room and a regular window on the outside, but that didn't help much to keep road noise at bay. My guess is that the windows are both quite old, as it wasn't possible to sit comfortably at the desk due to cold air coming off the closed windows - I had to pull the drapes closed to stop the cold air.

The AC isn't the newest either - it was quite loud for being set on low fan, it didn't heat the room all that well and it smelled funny - probably needs a cleaning. Also, I turned it off at night because the noise was bothering me, but it just kept running. It actually shut down at some point, though that was at least 15 min. later.

The shower is also a bathtub, which will make getting in and out for some people a challenge. Also the narrow end of the bathtub is where the shower water hits, so you're forced to stand with your feet quite close together while getting wet. For me, that was uncomfortable, for anyone that has issues with balance, it isn't going to work well.

Other than that, the room - even though it was supposedly a "luxury" room was borderline too small. It was clean enough, and the bed was quite comfortable. There is a biggish TV (didn't use it) and free Wifi (with reasonable speed for emails, likely you won't be happy streaming video).

Breakfast was ok though there were no rolls or bread available. The only baked goods were toast, croissants and some type of cake. Full English breakfast was the main stay. Coffee is ok and get-it-yourself from a machine.

I've no idea what the average hotel runs for in London these days, but for the amount I paid for the night, I could have gotten a 5-Star top-of-the-line hotel in Berlin with a huge room and a fitness center. Had the rate been lower, I would have given three stars.
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