The Kensington Hotel, London
THE HOTEL: The Kensington Hotel is part of the eight-strong, luxury Doyle Collection. The 19th century building is located on the corner of London’s Queen’s Gate and Old Brompton Road, housing 150 rooms and suites.
THE CHECK-IN: I was the sole guest present in the small, stylish lobby. I was welcomed with a smile and was swiftly checked-in, handed my keycard and directed to the lift.
THE ROOM: I was fortunate to have been assigned one of the hotel’s impressive suites. The 70m2, wedge-shaped Brompton Suite comprised a lounge space and large bedroom – each with a sparkling chandelier – and bathroom with rolltop Victorian bath tub, dual basins and walk-in shower. Bathroom amenities were by Aromatherapy Associates. Classic style has been given a modern interpretation (as throughout the hotel), with the lounge space featuring a sofa, colourful easy chairs, quirky coffee table and dresser. The latter incorporates a minibar, nespresso coffee machine, bowl of chocolates, flatscreen TV and shelves of books on art, style and photography. The large bedroom area comprised a double bed, desk, wall-mounted TV and a large wardrobe with safe. Double doors and a couple of steps lead to the spacious bathroom.
THE BUSINESS: Free wifi is available through guestrooms and common areas of the hotel. The Kensington’s boardroom can host up to 50 people theatre-style or 30 around the antique table. A couple of computers are available for use in a quiet recess off the lobby.
THE FACILITIES: The ground floor is a series of drawing rooms – including the Town House restaurant and bar – and provides plenty of stylish and atmospheric spaces in which to wine and dine. The ambience throughout is relaxed. There's also a fitness suite and spa treatment room.
THE VERDICT:The Brompton Suite is certainly something special, but I’d have liked this hotel regardless of my room for the night. The staff were charming and the ground floor space, style and atmosphere is just right – not too brash, nor too reserved, and suitably relaxed.
THE DETAILS: The Kensington Hotel, 109-113 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5LR. Rooms start from £246 per night and suites are from £373, including VAT. Tel 0207 589 6300;; www.doylecollection.com
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2015)