* Prices may differ from that shown
Based just a few minutes from Kensington High Street, this four star hotel is excellently located for a short break in London. There is parking outside, but I gather it is expensive. However, the hotel is just a few minutes from High Street Kensington tube station (Circle and District lines), so making it easy to access much of London. It is also ideal for events at Olympia or Earls Court, or a concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
The hotel has a number of restaurants, including a brassiere, a lobby bar, Asian food at the Bugis Street restaurant and a coffee shop. There was a menu for the Bugis St restaurant in the room. Prices for main courses were between £9-13, and vegetarian choices were poor. There is also room service with sandwiches starting from £9. The coffee shop doubled as an internet cafe as £1 for 20 minutes. There is wi-fi in the hotel but there is a charge for it.
The hotel has a currency exchange service in the lobby, an ATM (I think it charged you) and a gift shop.
My friend arrived before me and checked us both in at 2pm which is the earliest check in time. She said there was no queue, but there was quite a queue when I arrived at 5pm. I gather there was a little wait whilst they found an available room, but otherwise was straightforward.
Our room was on the seventh floor, and one of the five spacious and efficient lifts came quickly. We were a little walk from the lifts but the floor was well carpeted, with nice, soft carpet for when you are walking back from a night out with your heels in your hands.
Our twin room was a good size with light wood finish, and white bedding. There was a small wardrobe with those fiddly hangers that can't be removed, an iron and ironing board, and extra blankets. There were also drawers, tea and coffee facilities, a desk/ dressing table with mirror and a flat screen TV with freeview channels. Over the bed were individual lamps but the switches were together next to one if the beds, which was not convenient for the person in the other bed, who would have to get out of bed and walk around to use them. There was a hairdryer built in, and we spotted two free plug sockets but the one under the desk appeared to be unsafe (we didn't use it and reported it to reception upon checking out).
The bathroom was also a good size, with a shower over the bath that was straightforward and worked effectively. All was spotless, with clean white towels and hotel branded toiletries (supposedly ones that used green tea). I can confirm that the shower cap worked effectively, the soap lathered and the shower gel did its stuff. No complaints here.
We were staying here to attend a black tie function in the Liffey Suite on the Mezzanine level between ground and first floors. It can be accessed by the lifts (level M) or by stairs from the ground floor. The suite had a small private bar area, and plenty of space for 100 plus diners and a dance floor. There was a cloakroom just outside, and large toilets which were clean and spacious.
The staff behind the bar seemed disorganised and inexperienced, at first I thought it was just because everyone was arriving at the same time, but it happened throughout the evening. The range of drinks were limited (you could go to the main bar downstairs if you wished but who wanted to do that all the time?) so there were no beers on tap, nor dark rum. A spirit and mixer was about £6 for a single.
We were served warm bread rolls and butter, followed by a starter of Melon Fan with fruit coulis. This was beautifully presented, but a lot of melon, and many people didn't finish it as the melon was just "too much". I did enjoy the other berry fruits though.
Mains were chicken thighs, which I though a strange cut, but as a veggie what do I know? This was served with potato and a selection if vegetables, and seemed well received. I had an aubergine parcel stuffed with rice on a bed of ratatouille style vegetables. I thought this OK but the aubergine a bit tough, and not quite as the menu described it when I booked. Dessert was chocolate fudge cake with fresh cream, and was a good sized portion that was hard to finish, but was very tasty. Mostly people enjoyed the meal and service was very good.
After the meal there was dancing, although this aspect had not been organised by the hotel. The bar remained inefficient. At the end of the evening (1am) some if us retired to the hotel bar which stays open until 2am for residents. When we approached the bar we were told they were shut. I gave them my room number, but contrary to the guest services info in the room, they insisted they were shut. We returned to our friends and a staff member came over a few minutes later and offered to fetch our drinks as long as we paid cash. We were a bit confused but went with it!
We slept well in our room, only disturbed by someone in the corridor once. We were woken by the cleaners as we hadn't put the Do Not Disturb on (there is a button on the control panel by the other bed, where light switches are also controlled).
Breakfast was served in the brassiere on the ground floor, where you are greeted and seated. A waiter serves you tea or coffee. I requested hot chocolate but this was extra. If you don't have breakfast included it is £17 for full English (hot) breakfast, and £12 for Continental. The breakfast is buffet style, and I thought it quite small for a hotel of this size, many dishes needed re-filling, and it was small and cramped. Cold food included orange or apple juice, four varieties if cereal (adult cereals, no kids ones), fresh fruit (orange segments and a mixed fruit salad), ham and cheese (one variety). There was also yoghurt, pastries and bread for toasting. The hot food selection included bacon, sausages, various eggs (scrambled, fried), baked beans, tomatoes and congee. The latter is not something I see often in my breakfast options. As a vegetarian, I was disappointed not to see any hash browns, which would have made my cooked selection more interesting. Overall, I thought the breakfast buffet experience here, to be pretty poor.
After breakfast, we returned to our room to packs and check out. The checkout queue was short and swift and we used the opportunity to report the dodgy plug socket in our room. Hopefully this was dealt with promptly. We stored our overnight bags with the concierge service whilst we had a mini-shopping trip around Kensington High Street.
Despite my mini disappointment with the breakfast, I enjoyed my stay here more than a similar event I attended at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum. Therefore if the price is similar, I would choose this place over that as I thought the rooms, function facilities and location to be slightly better here.
I stayed here about a week a go and i have to say i was really impressed. The rooms were great and the breakfast was just as fantastic. I stayed in a twin room which had a tv with 12 channels an fantastic bathroom with a bath and shower there was a mini bar and tea and coffee making facilities. I really enjoyed my stay and would really recommend it to everyone i stayed as part of a college trip with a group of 58 and they treated us so well. I was really impressed by the service from all the staff and if there was any problem then they were always happy to help. Its a great location in close proximity to some attractions and only just around the corner from a tube station. I would really recommmed this to anyone i had a really enjoyable stay and would definately go back. I really enjoyed the continental breakfast and was very happy to be seated at a table and served tea and coffee to me i wasn't expecting that. Prices are quite reasonable for a 4 star hotel i seem to rember a family room is £245 a night. There are anumber of facilities available including wifi, computers, cafe, shop, guest services, gym and beauty treatments