Take a look at the best luxury hotels in Kensington.
The 56-room Milestone is perhaps the most famous boutique hotel in London, and certainly lives up to its expectations, with exquisite traditional English decor, truly exceptional service, and an excellent location near Kensington Palace, Royal Albert Hall, and London’s most exclusive shopping. The attentive, above-and-beyond service is where the hotel really shines, as each member of staff is superbly trained, ensuring that each guest gets the first-rate luxury experience for which The Milestone is known. With ample boutique perks on top of that, it’s difficult to find something wrong with this hotel -- just expect to pay a high price for all these luxuries. Travelers looking for a more contemporary boutique vibe on Hyde Park could try Baglioni Hotel London.
Baglioni Hotel London is a four-and-a-half-pearl boutique property overlooking Kensington Gardens and featuring luxurious Italian decor in black and gold. The 67 individually decorated rooms feature black parquet floors, black marble bathrooms with golden sinks, plus high-end amenities like Illy espresso-makers. The chic Italian restaurant and bar, Brunello, is a destination in itself, and the hotel also has a spa and fitness center, plus kid-friendly amenities, though there's no pool. The hotel isn't super close to the tube, but guests are offered free chauffeur service in a Maserati, within a short radius. The Milestone Hotel is a comparable luxury boutique property nearby, offering similar amenities but more traditional English decor.
Located in the heart of Kensington, the Royal Garden Hotel is a busy and sleek luxury hotel that attracts diplomats and other high-profile guests. The 396 sophisticated and contemporary rooms are spacious, and have big flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and minibars. Some rooms have beautiful views overlooking Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, while all have upscale bathrooms with rainfall showerheads and Penhaligon's bath products. Hotel features include a 24-hour fitness center, a spa with a range of treatments, and two superb restaurants -- the ground-floor Park Terrace restaurant and the 10th-floor gourmet Chinese restaurant, Min Jiang, which has sweeping London views. There is also a great hotel bar, Bertie's Bar. For a Kensington hotel with period charm (and free breakfast), the Park International Hotel is a good alternative.
The K+K Hotel George, a sophisticated, upscale hotel tucked inside a classic townhouse, offers smart, tasteful interior design and close proximity to the Earl's Court tube station. The 154-room property feels intimate, and offers a charming private garden with plenty of roaming space, a location on a quiet side street in Kensington, and bright, homey rooms. It may be worth comparing rates with the nearby Hotel Indigo, however, which is arguably a bit more stylish.
The 162-room Crowne Plaza London Kensington has a lot of local competition, but it's gone to great lengths to stand out from the crowd. The attention-grabbing lobby impresses, while a sleek cocktail bar, Pan-Asian restaurant, and lovely rear garden distinguish the hotel. Rooms are cozy with good technology, though some show signs of wear (renovations are slated for the end of 2014). Location is good for central London, and the Gloucester Road Tube Station is one block away, though the hotel is set on a busy thoroughfare. Rates are average for this caliber of London hotel, however you might save a bit at the nearby Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt.
As the leading flagship of sorts amongst the Hotel Indigos of London, this Kensington/Earl’s Court branch seems to have more of a cohesive personality driving its brand. It’s a sassy, rococo-themed luxury hotel with a coquettish manor house theme and playful design quirks. With plenty of modernized baroque furniture in bright hues of pink, lime and teal, this Hotel Indigo stands out boldly above its sisters and is an overall delight -- just beware the occasional maintenance faults. The location on the west edge of Kensington isn't within walking distance of many sights, but the Earl's Court tube station is right nearby.
The four-pearl, 212-room Bailey's Hotel offers plenty of historic character, and is packed with grand Victorian architecture. It's popular with both tourists and business travelers, with its enviable central Kensington location, just opposite Gloucester Road Station. Soundproofed rooms are traditionally decorated, with modern amenities such as air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, Nespresso coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi. The elegant restaurant offers fine Italian cuisine, while the chic bar has an extensive wine and cocktail menu. A generous English breakfast is served daily for a fee, and afternoon tea is also available. There are several meeting rooms, and 24-hour access to the Millennium Conference Center, which is in the same building. For an on-site fitness center and sauna, travelers may want to consider the Crowne Plaza instead, which is just one block away.
The Bentley lives up to its name -- this is a serious luxury hotel awash in opulent decor with an air of palatial extravagance. Its Kensington address is as upscale as they come, and it's a short hop to some of the capital's most exclusive shopping. The 64 rooms are spacious and elegant, though not without showing a few signs of wear in places, with flat-screen TVs that include computers with wireless keyboards, minibars, and marble bathrooms with walk-in showers and jetted tubs -- the Imperial Suite has a grand piano and a dining room that seats 12. The hotel's Kalon Spa, which includes a small gym, has a Turkish hamman and offers an array of traditional and innovative therapies, while The Bentley's snug bar is a superb spot to unwind.
Opened in 1892, the 53-room The Gore London is a historic property in the affluent South Kensington area of London. The hotel draws on its past, with rooms that are quintessentially British, and adorned with original paintings and rich tapestries. High-end amenities include large TVs, Penhaligon toiletries, and Handy phones, but notably, there are no accessible rooms. The 190 Queen’s Gate restaurant is popular with locals and residents alike and serves British dishes with locally sourced ingredients. A rock 'n' roll bar is open late and has an extensive whiskey selection, plus there are three meeting rooms and a cozy library that doubles as a lounge. Rates are steep, even for this exclusive postal code. For a more budget-friendly stay, consider DoubleTree by Hilton, Kensington.
The Parkcity hotel is a small corporation-run hotel with a sleek, contemporary lobby, restaurant, and mocktail bar/lounge. It’s relatively affordable, well located for direct trips from the airport, and a short walk to the nearest tube station (for access to area attractions). But minimal room amenities and basic facilities may leave some guests wanting more.
There's very little to criticize at this upscale hotel, which is located within walking distance of popular museums and Hyde Park. It offers a generous free breakfast, a somewhat uncommon perk in London. Rooms are airy and elegant; some incorporate lovely Laura Ashley design and have pleasant views of the Victorian-style street below. Expect to see families gathering over a lively breakfast in the hotel's Orchid Room, and more mature travelers enjoying happy hour at the hotel's Checkmate Bar. Wi-Fi is free in the lobby.
The Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt is a 215-room luxury hotel with plenty of history. Once a cluster of private apartments (one belonging to the renowned family that gives the hotel its name), it is now a modern maze of hotel rooms and public spaces. The hotel successfully blends the historic character with contemporary influences, and the appealing location in South Kensington is near the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The 90-room Queens Gate Hotel is a lovely upscale property with sleek and modern interiors in a central location on Queens Gate and close to several sights. Interiors are posh and elegant, with a black-and-white color palette accented by crimson shades and tastefully decorated with contemporary furniture. Spacious rooms are light and airy with high ceilings and large windows, and include flat-screen TVs, minibars, and tea- and coffee-making facilities, but bathrooms can feel cramped. The hotel also has a small bar that serves light bites and has a small, heated outdoor terrace, as well as a basement breakfast room (though breakfast is not included in the room rate). Prices are competitive for an upscale hotel in this neighborhood; the Rydges Kensington London is typically pricier, and The Parkcity is similarly priced but has fewer amenities and less style.
With 81 rooms and suites, the upscale Rydges Kensington feels a little more personal than some of the larger hotels of its category. However, it still has a few important amenities (namely a small fitness center, elegant bar, and artsy restaurant) that one would expect from a higher-end property. Rooms are modern and cozy, ranging from small singles to family-size suites, and come with mini-fridges and windows that open. The bathrooms feel somewhat cramped (particularly the showers), but overall this hotel is a good choice for its convenient central-London location, and well-kept rooms and common areas.
The upscale Mercure London Kensington is a chain hotel with 82 rooms spread across six floors. From the outside, the concrete building makes the property look unattractive, but the inside is bright and modern. Rooms are small, however, and many suffer from traffic noise from the busy road outside. The location is close to Earl’s Court Exhibition Center and some tourist attractions such as the Natural History Museum, and there’s a tube station five minutes away. Room rates are reasonable for this part of London, although it's worth checking out the nearby Amsterdam Hotel, which is slightly cheaper and has extra perks including a garden and free breakfast.