The Kensington Hotel
Hotel in London
4-Star Boutique Hotel
If you are looking for a home away from home in a residential neighbourhood of London close to the West End, then look no further than The Kensington Hotel.
The hotel is made up of seven townhouses put together to form this one large beautiful 19th Century Regency-style Townhouse and is one of three Doyle Collection hotels in London, the other two being The Marylebone Hotel just off Marylebone High Street and The Bloomsbury Hotel in the heart of the West End’s Theatreland just off Tottenham Court Road.
You are assured of a warm greeting as soon as you step through the front door, and the friendliness of the staff was carried right the way through for my entire stay.
I would have happily moved into my cavernous Brompton Suite which was filled with artwork hand-picked by the hotel owners. The wooden floored hallway leads you to a separate living room on the right hand side which is home to an ample sized sofa and comfortable chairs in which to relax in front of the large flat screen television. There is a Nespresso machine and fridge filled with chilled bottled water. I do like the principal of the honesty minibar, which in this instance comes in the form of a decanter bar. The spacious bedroom is home to a very comfortable king sized bed, a big antique writing desk, iPad/iPhone docking station by the bed and another large flat screen television and DVD player sitting on top of a chest of draws. Wi-Fi is complimentary as you would expect and I was certainly not short of closet space. At the far end of the bedroom you will find a set of double doors, climb the two steps swing them open and you are greeted by quite the most beautiful wooden floored bathroom equipped with a free standing roll top Victorian bath tub, that takes centre stage by the sash window, which lets lots of natural light stream into the bathroom enhancing its beauty. There is a double vanity at the far end, separate walk in shower and large sized Aromatherapy Associates amenities.
This suite is also ideal for families, as you can connect up to three bedrooms. The hotel also had five designated family rooms.
Apart from the gorgeous and very individually decorated bedrooms, my favourite place to hang out is not in fact the cosy bar, but the Town House restaurant which opened earlier this year, where I have enjoyed two fabulous dinners. The Town House itself is made up of three interconnecting period-style rooms with bay windows, roaring fireplaces, parquet flooring and beautiful works of art dotted around as well as well-stocked bookshelves that add to the homely feel.
Executive Chef Steve Gibbs’s pedigree is top-notch, having worked at Hix and Caprice Holding’s The Ivy where he worked under Des McDonald. He has also worked with Jason Atherton in Dubai as well as The Soho House in New York. The unfussy menu very much focuses on fresh seasonal produce that pairs well with the restaurant’s excellent wine list, offering something to suit pretty much every palate.
Town House is also where I enjoyed a leisurely Saturday breakfast with copious cups of espresso (I exaggerate a little) and the Saturday papers. You can choose from a range of cereals, yoghurts, fresh breads and pastries from the buffet or order something hot from the kitchen such as an excellent Eggs Royale, my Saturday treat. One of the interconnecting rooms or cosy drawing rooms is where you can also experience their wonderful new Oh So French! Afternoon Tea influenced by the many French living in South Kensington, not to mention The Lycée Français, Insitut Français and numerous cafés and French bookshops dotted around the area.
The bar received a facelift this August and is now in keeping with the décor of Town House. It has a modern and brighter feel to it making it a place you will want to spend more time in and I do like the comfortable new seating and cosy ambience.
The Kensington also has a small Spa Treatment Room and offers bespoke VIVA Therapies treatments either in the comfort of your own room or in the spa’s treatment room. Whilst I did not try the Spa, I did have a workout in the large by hotel standards Fitness Room, equipped with LifeFitness cardio machines and free weights, open 24 hours a day for guests.
And for those of you who like to get around London under your own pedal power and not worry about getting a parking ticket or trying to work out how to pay for a Boris Bike, well the hotel just invested in its own little fleet of bicycles you can borrow, equipped with a handy little basket so you can put your shopping in.
Don’t be surprised if you bump into the odd familiar-looking person from time to time, but that’s one of the things I particularly like about The Kensington, guests just go about their day discreetly, as it should be of course.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground
Photographs courtesy if The Kensington Hotel
|Reviewer's Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Related Activity||Relaxation, Culture / Sightseeing, Shopping, Great local restaurants|
|Services||Free High Speed Internet, Restaurant, Room Service, Fitness Center, Health Spa, Family Friendly, Conference Rooms, Wedding / Personal Event|
|Dress Code||Smart Casual|
|Ambience||Quiet, Hidden Gem, Elegant, Romantic, Cosy|
|Number of Rooms||126 rooms and 24 suites|
Superior Rooms with either a Double, Queen or King sized bed. Deluxe Rooms (20 m²) with either a Queen or King sized bed (26 m²); Family Rooms (29 m²); Studio and Luxury Suites with Four Poster Beds (29-24 m²); The Brompton Suite (70 m²); The Knightsbridge Suite (102 m²); 3 Bedroom Kensington Suite (180 m²).
A Regency-styled Townhouse restored to its original authenticity offering spacious elegance and a genuine home away from home ambience.
You will receive a £10 restaurant and bar credit to spend during your stay when you book directly on the hotel’s website. Continental breakfast costs from £15 per person.
Last updated on 02-10-2015