The Kensington Hotel London
- Style Regal and ravishing
- Setting Sumptuous South Ken
A quiet South Kensington hideaway in the midst of London's museum-land, the Kensington Hotel hides behind the façade of a refined, well-kept townhouse off of Old Brompton Road. Inside, the style is just as elegant and thought-out, from the hand-picked furniture to the singular light fixtures in the surprisingly large rooms. Amid all this glamour, the dark-wood-panelled bar, with its spectacular chandeliers, stands out as a glamorous spot for a pre- or post-dinner cocktail.
Need to know
- Rooms 149, including 22 suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $237.01 (£145), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
- More details Continental breakfast is an additional £15 a person.
- Facilities Gym, CD/DVD library, free WiFi, laundry service, valet parking. In rooms: flatscreen TVs, minibar, air-conditioning, free bottled water, CD/DVD players on request, Temple Spa toiletries, Nespresso machines in some rooms.
- Check–out Midday, though this is flexible subject to availability; earliest check-in, 2pm.
Children Kids are welcome at the hotel, and baby cots are provided free of charge. Extra beds can be put into rooms for £35 a night, babysitting is available for £10.50 an hour (plus £25 booking fee) and there’s a children’s menu in the Aubrey restaurant.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms We love Asian-inspired Studio Suite 115, mainly for its uplifting yellow, purple and blue colour scheme. It comes with gold-coloured hardwood floors, light-flooding windows and an enormous bathroom with double sinks and a TV built into the end of the bath. We also like the huge Corner Suite 123, with its green velvet chairs and access to a terrace, and high-ceilinged Standard Room 121, which comes with bold red flower-patterned curtains and matching satin pillows.
- Packing tips You’ll need to pack some serious party clothes for the downstairs nightclub – the royal-rubbing Boujis crowd around the corner regularly make this their second (or third) home.
- Also The huge brass doors in the Aubrey Bar have been taken from Dublin’s General Post Office, scene of the infamous 1916 Easter Rising. Keep an eye out for bullet holes.
Food and drink at The Kensington Hotel London
- Hotel restaurant The Aubrey Restaurant is where chef Russell Ford serves up wonderful English cuisine – peppered sirloin steak, roasted lemon-and-thyme chicken, and rhubarb and apple crumble – to a food-savvy crowd. Diners sit on green leather chairs at round wooden tables, and are free to move from the dining room into the bar whenever they feel. The atmosphere is casual.
- Dress code Comfortable, low-level glamour.
- Top table Try to secure one of the long, leather banquettes for genuine comfort eating.
- Last orders The Aubrey Restaurant stops taking orders at 10pm; the Aubrey Bar carries on serving till midnight.
- Room service Sandwiches, burgers, salads and other light dishes – and, of course, drinks – are available 24 hours a day.
- Hotel bar With its wood-panelled walls, six gorgeous glass teardrop chandeliers and enormous brass doors, the Aubrey Bar has a wonderful step-back-in-time feel. Sink back into one of the comfy dark-purple couches and send waiters scurrying to and from the mosaic-covered, semi-circular bar to bring you selections from the extensive cocktail menu. We recommend the Queen’s Gate Garden.