Thistle quietly losing two-thirds of its hotels on July 30th!

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The world of PR is an odd one.  I spend my days deleting huge volumes of, effectively, complete nonsense from my inbox.  When a company has some bad news, though, they somehow forget to mention it to anyone.

Thistle Hotels is losing 19 of its 30 UK hotels on July 30th.

This is, without doubt, a major piece of news.  From 1st August, Thistle will effectively be a London-only hotel chain.  The only regional properties to survive will be Edinburgh and Poole!

Take a look at the Thistle press releases page here.  There is no mention of this very drastic piece of news at all.

Thistle Brighton

These are hotels which are leaving the chain:

Thistle Birmingham City Centre
Thistle Brands Hatch
Thistle Brighton (photo above, astonishingly ugly given its seafront location)
Thistle Bristol City Centre
Thistle Cheltenham Hotel
Thistle East Midlands Airport
Thistle Exeter City Centre
Thistle Haydock
Thistle Liverpool City Centre
Thistle Manchester City Centre
Thistle Middlesbrough
Thistle Newcastle City Centre
Thistle St Albans, The Noke

Thistle Aberdeen Airport
Thistle Aberdeen Altens
Thistle Aberdeen City Centre
Thistle Glasgow
Thistle Inverness

Thistle Cardiff City Centre

The reason appears to be that all 19 hotels were under the same ownership and the owner has made a decision to switch all of them away from Thistle.  This is not hugely surprising as the brand does not have a huge amount of value these days.

What is more surprising is that they are being taken over by The Hotel Collection, a small chain which includes the old Puma Hotels, Barcelo Hotels and Paramount Hotels.  This deal will effectively double the size of the company.  The Thistle hotels do seem a decent fit with their existing properties but that is not a positive statement!

From a loyalty perspective, this move is clearly a major gutting of the Thistle Signature scheme.  Opportunities to earn and burn are now reduced sharply.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. NickyM says:

    The Thistle Brighton is a shocker to look at as your picture clearly demonstrates, but inside its just about OK. Brighton is surprisingly badly served by hotel chains, in my opinion, and looking at The Hotel Collection this isn’t about to get any better.

  2. Eriico1875 says:

    The Hotel Collection and Barcelo Hotels are both available 3 for 1 viaTesco Club Card Boost

  3. Stayed in the Thistle Brighton, it’s quite good inside. Backs onto the lanes.

  4. James67 says:

    I rather liked the Thistle Inverness despite its location. It will be interesting to see effect on prices of these hotels; Thistle rates were way over the top unless you got a promotion. The best of those were as top secret deals, will be interesting to see what happens to those

  5. shadowfixer says:

    The Thistle Middlesbrough used to be a Stakis (30 years ago) before being re-branded as a Hilton Never used to be any good then – cant see it being much of a loss now.. (Hilton Douglas (IoM) was part of the same deal – this is now a Best Western to give you an idea of quality, it was shocking when i last stayed there)!


  6. The Thistle Manchester (the portland) was possibly one the worst hotels I stayed at last year – someone very cheap booked it thinking it was an acceptable standard, made worse by having to walk past malmaison (where I usually stay) to get to it from piccadilly.

    Nice building, but needs gutting and starting again!

    • Martin says:

      I stay at the Thistle Manchester a lot, and will be sad to see it go. As a Guoman Signature Gold member, I always get a nice upgrade on non-match days and a late check-out, and the front-desk staff are very good.

      I’ve always found the rooms here to be pretty nice. Very high water pressure, nice big towels, comfortable beds, sofa, effective a/c. I also prefer the decor that most would regard as twee and dated to the bland grey/brown modern style that is ubiquitous elsewhere, but that’s just me.

      Of course, there’s never been true “earn and burn” possibility at Thistle/Guoman/Amba/Every hotels. There is a bogof benefit on a weekend stay, and a free weekend after 20 nights, but generally, Signature offers just in-stay benefits.

      My hotel of choice in London for the past couple of years has been the Amba (former Guoman) Charing Cross. As a Gold, I’m nearly always given an upgrade to my favourite junior suite including lounge access. Amba also has complimentary mini-bar for all guests that is replenished daily.

      • Geoggy says:

        Do they do status matches in that loyalty program?

        Quite fancy the Amba.

        Does the Executive lounge serve booze and is there booze in the refillable mini bar?
        (Quite like booze)

        • Martin says:

          Not aware of any status match.

          At the Amba Charing Cross, the mini-bar content in the junior suites is two 330ml bottles of lager, a 187 ml bottle of Prosecco, a can of coke, a can of diet coke, a cart of fresh milk, a packet of crisps, a flapjack and a small bar of chocolate. I presume the other room categories have less.

          The Club Lounge stays open until 7pm and serves alcohol all day after breakfast. Breakfast is not bad as lounge buffets go, including some hot items. After that there’s just cookies, fruit, olives, nuts and savoury snacks. You’d struggle to use the lounge food in place of lunch or dinner!

          A nice touch in the rooms is that BBC iPlayer, itvPlayer, and lots of similar stuff all work well and fast through the tv. The front desk and entrance staff here are fantastic, always greeting everyone that walks through.

  7. Dee Jay says:

    Their loyalty program is a joke, I have stayed and booked through their website only for reception not to be able to find my membership number, then giving it to them and telling me its not valid despite booking through thistle and having constant emails from them, the signiture website barely works even if you can login.

  8. Lee-Anne says:

    The Edinburgh one will be getting demolished soon anyway. As whole area in which based is getting redeveloped.

  9. Can’t say I will miss them! The last one I [had to] stay at was the Exeter one across from the station. To say I was as impressed as Scotland winning in cricket is an understatement. So no loss from this callsign.

  10. I’ll be sad to see them go. I’m a regular business overnight guest in Manchester – just hit Gold and starting to enjoy the upgrade benefits.

    I live in Brighton, so have been really making the most the free / discount meal vouchers closer to home.

    I’m quite new to the points game, so I guess this is the equivalent of the breakup of my first proper relationship 🙁

    Plenty more fish in the sea 😉

  11. The Thistle Euston is being retained, I had a great stay here back in February using Amex offer. Nice hotel and helpful staff.

  12. My wife has stayed at the Brighton one a fews times on girls’ weekends away and always found it to be OK. Brighton not a mecca for decent hotels is it…

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