Residence Inn London Kensington
THE HOTEL: This 319-suite aparthotel became Marriott's largest Residence Inn in Europe – and third largest worldwide – when it opened in May last year. It is a short walk from Earl's Court and West Kensington Underground stations and a ten-minute stroll from the Olympia exhibition centre.
THE CHECK-IN I arrived at around 5pm and wasn't surprised to see a short queue for check-in in the light and airy lobby. It wasn't long before I was heading for my room albeit after another short wait, this time for the elevators.
THE ROOM: There are seven room – or suite – categories and I was staying in a top-floor premium suite, the main perks of which were more space (it's a 30m2 suite) and a roof terrace with fine views across London. A lounge and kitchenette area gave way to a small bedroom (with wardrobe and TV) and bathroom (with shower but no bath – hot water took an age to come through), all decked out in dark wood flooring plus various shades of green for rugs, curtains, a sofabed and feature wall. A number of London-themed photos and artworks adorned the walls. The lounge area also had a coffee table, wall-mounted TV, dining table and chairs and access to the roof terrace, while the kitchenette was equipped with a small fridge, compact dishwasher, basin, oven, kettle, toaster, dual hob and all necessary utensils and crockery. Further amenities included a coffee machine, iron and ironing board, hairdryer and safe.
THE FACILITIES: Complimentary breakfast (featuring a good continental and cooked offering) was served in the ground floor bar area. There's also a 'grab & go' pantry, a lounge space with the likes of table football and games consoles, a small gym and a laundry. Wifi access is free throughout the hotel. Guests opting to cook in their suite will appreciate the Tesco superstore right next door to the hotel.
THE VERDICT:This is a well-run, smart and attractive aparthotel with a good range of suites – and the roof terrace was a nice bonus. My suite was certainly well suited to longer stays although my patience with the small number of elevators might be tested at busy times!
THE DETAILS: Residence Inn London Kensington, 181-183 Warwick Road, London W14 8PU. Rates start from £99 per night (+VAT) including breakfast. Tel: 020 3146 7980. See: marriott.co.uk.
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2019)