Great breakfast buffet in the ground-floor restaurant, Park Terrace
Afternoon tea service is considered by many to be second to none
Fitness center and spa on-site
Room service available
Space is tight in the basic room category
Modern decor strikes some guests as borderline corporate and bland
Car park entrance is quite narrow; can be a challenge for larger vehicles
No free Wi-Fi
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.
Modern luxury hotel in a central Kensington location
Owned by the daughter of a late Singaporean businessman, the busy, vibrant Royal Garden Hotel was gifted to its owner by her father for her 21st birthday. While the hotel has a reputation for business-oriented and well-heeled clientele, it also has a 1960s rock-star heritage: Former guests include Sonny and Cher. The lobby is minimalist and sleek in style, with super-polished black granite floors, cherry-wood paneled walls, and metal-frame chandeliers. Bertie's Bar, on a separate mezzanine level, houses a blue-lit bar and lounging chairs, and can be hired out for meetings and events. Royal Garden Hotel's modern, corporate look is a big departure from the traditional English decor and period charm of many Kensington hotels.
In a busy shopping area of Kensington, five minutes from a tube station
The Royal Garden Hotel is situated comfortably between one of Kensington's busiest shopping districts and one of London's most beautiful parks. Some rooms have excellent views over sprawling Hyde Park. The hotel is only a five-minute walk from the Kensington High Street tube station. Close proximity to this tube stop means that any destination in central London is easy to reach via public transport.
Three-minute walk to High Street Kensington shopping district
Three-minute walk to Hyde Park
Six-minute walk to Kensington Palace
30-minute walk to Portobello Market
15-minute walk to Notting Hill Gate
15-minute walk to Royal Albert Hall
25-minute walk to Knightsbridge shopping district (including Harrods)
22-minute tube ride to Piccadilly Circus and the theater district
25- to 30-minute tube ride to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, London Eye, and scenic walks along the Thames
Contemporary and sophisticated (though uninspired, to some)
The Royal Garden Hotel has four room categories and two suite types. The Queen Room is the most basic room type and is tight on space; it's intended for single occupancy. Even so, it features a work desk and cushioned window seat. The King Room has considerably more space; the Garden Room is the same size as the King, but has beautiful views over Hyde Park, plus a separate shower and tub. The Executive Room is billed as an ideal family room or executive business room. Upgrading to a suite means a considerable price jump, but guests will get even more room, beautiful views over Hyde Park, and a separate lounge and dining room.
Decor across room categories is contemporary and minimalist; some feel that the rooms lack a strong or imaginative design concept, while others find them understated and sophisticated. All rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, minibars, and coffee/tea facilities. Upscale bathrooms have heated towel racks, rainfall showerheads, and toiletries from English heritage brand Penhaligon's.
Two upscale restaurants, a spa, and a fitness studio
There are two appealing restaurant options at the Royal Garden Hotel. Min Jiang serves traditional Chinese cuisine for lunch and dinner. Located on the 10th floor, Min Jiang has floor-to-ceiling windows that panoramic views of London. Booking ahead is wise. Park Terrace, on the ground floor, is committed to serving sustainable and seasonal fare, in addition to a good breakfast buffet and afternoon tea. The hotel's spa offers a long list of treatments, from manicures to massages, and the fitness center features a good assortment LifeFitness cardio equipment. Meeting rooms and board rooms with a wide range of capacities are also available.
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