This week I am playing tourist and staying at The Kensington Hotel, which is just around the corner from our flat in South Kensington. Because I live in London, it is not often that I get the chance to experience hotels here. This week however, we have friends visiting us from Chicago so my husband and I opted to move to a hotel and give them our flat, which has given me a fun week of exploring my neighborhood as a tourist.
This is the second time I have stayed at The Kensington, and from experience, I can say it is worth the extra money to book a suite. The first time we booked a standard room, which was very cramped for two people – at least by American standards. This time we booked a suite, which looked very nice but we quickly learned being in a room near the elevator in an old hotel is going to mean creaking and lots of noise. After a terrible night’s sleep, we requested to be moved to a quieter room. The staff, who are all very polite and helpful, graciously accommodated us and found us another suite towards the back of the hotel that faces a side street and has high ceilings and more room, which proved to be much quieter.
The best part about staying at The Kensington is the amazing location on the corner of Queen’s Gate, just a short walk to Gaucester RD tube station and South Kensington station. I love this area! There are tons of great restaurants and shops on Gloucester RD, Old Brompton RD and all around South Ken. If you stroll up Queen’s Gate just a couple blocks you will be at the Natural History Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum. And if you walk a few blocks more, you will be at my favorite place in all of London, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
The Kensington Hotel offers 126 guest rooms and 24 suites that are all individually decorated with furnishings that complement the historic building’s classic Victorian townhouse architecture. Upon entering the hotel you will find two spacious lounge areas that provide the perfect relaxing atmosphere to have tea, lunch or drinks with friends, or a nice place to spend the afternoon reading or doing work on your computer. (The WI-FI at this hotel is free and very fast, which is a huge plus!) The opulently decorated bar serves delicious cocktails (though not on their drink menu, they make killer margaritas!) and the TOWN HOUSE restaurant offers seasonal, locally-sourced modern English cuisine with a focus on fresh, healthy options, including freshly made juices and gluten-free afternoon tea.
See website for latest offers and rates at The Kensington.