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Thistle Euston (London)

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      25.05.2011 10:41
      Very helpful
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      Definitely better than my expectations!

      A group of 7 of us were booked into the Thistle Euston on a sunny weekend in May for a close friend's hen weekend. We had booked 3 rooms between us - 2 twins and a triple room.


      CHECKING IN

      Arriving shortly after 2pm, I was the first of our group to check in. I had a few minutes wait whilst others ahead of me checked in and found it slightly worrying when I overhead several of the people saying the rooms weren't what they had booked. On approaching the desk I asked for one of the twin rooms and provided the name that the booking was under. I was advised by the very cheerful and helpful receptionist that all the rooms that had been allocated to us were family rooms so we could pick and choose between ourselves how many we had in each room. I wasn't advised what time breakfast was or where it was and to be honest, I didn't think to ask there and then but I was cheerfully told to have a nice stay. I think the fabulous service level received when checking in set the level of expectation for the rest of the weekend for me and I'm happy to say I was extremely satisfied with all of the Thistle staff I had any dealings with.

      I took one of the two lifts near reception to the 4th floor and as I walked to my room as I noted how dated the carpets in the corridor looked. Housekeeping was obviously in the process of cleaning the rooms as there were quite a few sacks of linen and towels scattered on the floor outside rooms which was slightly annoying as I pulled my case along on wheels, several times the sacks were in the way enough that I had to lift my case over them!


      THE ROOM/BATHROOM

      I was pleased as I got to the room to find that the swipe card key for the room worked the first time. The light flashed green and I was able to open the door and enter the room easily enough. My first impression was that the room was bright and clean, there were 3 single beds in the room with 2 of them pushed right together - one right next to the window and the other alongside it. On checking out the rather small bathroom, I noted that it was clean but rather small and the shower head looked quite ancient. There were a couple of small bottles shampoo/conditioners in one and a couple of body washes and a small bar of soap. There were enough towels provided for two people and a paper non-slip mat in the bathtub. The shower was not very powerful but not the worst shower I've ever used in a hotel by far.

      On looking at the carpet by the room door it seemed as if it hadn't been vacuumed properly or it could have been that the carpet was somewhat stained with age. I really didn't feel like going back downstairs to ask for another room, I would just have to make sure I didn't walk around barefoot.

      The beds looked comfortable and on sleeping on them over the 2 nights I was very pleased to say that they were as comfortable as they looked which is quite an important factor for a hotel bed. Sadly the room temperature was hard to moderate as the heating/cooling control wasn't worked. We left the window open on the first night but this was a bit of an issue as I was kept away from the early hours of the morning by bottles being thrown into the recycling bins down below. On the Saturday afternoon the room got very hot and it was uncomfortably so as we got ready to go out in the evening. On the one hand we appreciated the fact that there was good lighting in the room due to the large windows but we did slightly regret having the rest of our group meet up in our room for a few bottles of champagne before we went out as everyone just found it too warm even with the window open as far as it would go.

      The room had a flat screen TV with a selection of TV and radio channels. There was a hairdryer available in a drawer and tea/coffee items too. We were lucky enough to have a mini fridge in our room which came in very handy to chill some champagne.

      I would also mention here that the rooms seem to have excellent sound proofing. With the door and window shut there was barely any noise evident from outside which was a definite plus for me.

      The rooms also have safes in the wardrobes and our room also had a trouser press next to the bathroom. I felt the wardrobes were quite small considering these were family rooms with just 6 or 7 clothes hangers available although there was ample space in the dressing table drawers and separate chest of drawers to keep any other clothes.

      I would add that during the weekend the key cards to our various rooms seem to reset themselves several times and had to be reset at reception which was a bit of a pain as they only had 3 of our names down (one for each room). Any time someone asked for the key card to be reset they had to go through almost every name of our group. We had actually provided all of the names of the group when making the booking so this shouldn't have been an issue!

      Room service is also available with prices such as sandwiches for £7.00, speciality sandwiches from £10.00, breakfast baps for £6.50, Beef burger and chips/French fries for £13.50, etc.


      THE BAR/BREAKFAST AREA

      I found every member of staff that I encountered in the bar to be extremely polite and helpful which was a refreshing change compared to other hotels I've stayed in of late. I did find though that ordering your drink at the bar made more sense as ordering drinks to be brought to your table attracted a 12.5% service charge (somewhat cheeky just to carry a tray to your table). As an example of the drinks prices, a small glass of White Zinfandel (rose wine) was £4.50 (125ml) and a 250ml glass was £6.50 with the bottle costing £17.00. A 125ml glass of Prosecco was £6.50 with the bottle costing £29.00. 330ml bottles of beer such as Stella Artois, Budweiser, Becks and Corona were £4.10 a bottle. Soft drinks were £3.10 for 330ml or £2.30 for a 330ml bottle of water. We had a few drinks over the weekend in the Westminster Bar based on the ground floor as it was more convenient but there was another bar and restaurant on the lower ground floor.

      The Westminster bar also serves light snacks during the day, the items available here seemed to be the same menu as on the room service food list.

      The breakfast was served from 7am till 11am at the weekends and inside the lift there was a handy sign which advised that 7-8am was the quietest time for breakfast and from 9am onwards it was busiest. Again we had breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday mornings in the breakfast area which I was amused to note was the Westminster Bar just transformed into a dining area. I was pleased to note that having breakfast at 7.45am and 10.15am didn't seem to make any difference as the food items were well stocked on both days. There was a selection of bacon, fried and scrambled eggs, sausages, mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns, cold meats and cheese, numerous cereals, fruits, yoghurts, a selection of fruit juices and obviously tea and coffee.

      The only thing I could complain about in the breakfast area was the antique toaster which didn't seem to want to tan my toast, I inserted the bread 3 or 4 times in the 4 slice toaster only for it to give me back my bread barely warmed. Other people said they had waited for ages for the bread to toast and had given up.


      CUSTOMER SERVICE

      I found all members of staff that I dealt with over our 2 day stay to be very helpful. I spoke with several members of staff at the reception desks with various queries and they couldn't have been more helpful. The concierge was as cheerful as the reception and bar staff and was happy to organise taxis for us (which we needed 4 times during the weekend) although he also pointed out that it would cost a few £s more to have a taxi coming to the hotel and that it was cheaper to flag down taxis in the street outside. On one occasion we asked the concierge to flag down a couple of black cabs for us as the taxi firm said they couldn't send us a 7 seater taxi for an hour or so.


      FACILITIES

      The hotel boasts 362 guest rooms and 11 meeting rooms. Car parking is available on site at a cost of £20 for 24 hours. Of the 362 bedrooms, 283 are Superior rooms and 36 are Premier Executive rooms (although I don't think we had any of those).

      There is a hotel shop which is open every day during the day. The chap who runs this shop was very friendly and helpful as I was looking to buy an SD card (having forgotten to bring mine in my camera) - he said he was sorry that he didn't stock any but advised me to walk down to the station nearby and they were sure to stock them there (good advice as it turns out)! The shop sells souvenirs of London at reasonable prices and postcards, toothpaste, razors, etc.

      Other facilities available are things such as bathrobes, bottled water, iron and ironing board and slippers which can all be requested from house-keeping.

      There are public ladies and gents toilets available near reception, which were well stocked and clean whenever we had the need to use them.

      The lifts are large enough to allow wheelchair access although I understand there are 2 bedrooms available which are suitable for wheelchair users.

      There are no leisure facilities at the hotel. Wifi is available in communal areas and BT Openzone internet service is available in the rooms at a charge.


      PRICING

      I can't really quote the exact price for the rooms as we had a weekend deal including a spa day with various treatments at another Thistle branch. I'd probably say it worked out roughly at £50 a night per person.

      There is a mailing list you can subscribe to on the website to be kept informed of deals the hotel has throughout the year.


      OVERALL RATING

      Despite the small niggles I had with the hotel that I've covered above, I'm happy to give the Thistle Euston a decent 4 out of 5 stars. The customer service I personally experienced all weekend was without fault, the bed was VERY comfortable, the sound-proofing very good.


      CONTACT DETAILS/LOCATION

      Thistle Euston
      Cardington Street
      Euston
      London
      NW1 2LP
      Phone: 0871 376 9017 / 0845 305 8317
      Fax: 0871 376 9117 / 0845 305 8356
      Url: http://www.thistle.com/en/hotels/united_kingdom/london/thistle_euston/index.html
      Email: Euston@thistle.co.uk
      From Euston station the hotel is a 200m walk if taking the Melton Street exit.

      The hotel is also walking distance from the Eurostar Terminal and Madame Tussauds or London Zoo.

      NB: I received a customer satisfaction survey a day after I checked out to complete (having provided my email details on registration when first checking in). The survey covers various aspects of the hotel and gave ample opportunity to type in freehand comments as well which I completed in full - at least they go out of their way to request feedback and ask what can be done to make things better if applicable.

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