Abutting Hyde Park and just west of central London, South Kensington is one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods, teeming with world-class museums (the Victoria & Albert, the Natural History Museum), restaurants, and pretty streets lined with trees and stately residences. Staying at The Kensington will make you feel like a local: The hotel, which consists of a collection of 19th-century Victorian townhouses, exudes elegance in every sense. But it’s never stuffy: As part of the family-owned, Ireland-based Doyle Collection of hotels, guests can expect warm, friendly service that will make them feel like a member of the family.
The Look of The Kensington
The entrance to The Kensington is distinguished by its façade of white stucco and marble porticos — and by the line of vintage floral-filled Pashley bikes parked right outside. The grand, natural light–flooded lobby is outfitted with striking chandeliers, original artworks (many from the Doyle family’s private collection), lavish seating, and a roaring fireplace. The Drawing Room, with its colorful art, open fireplaces, and cheery pops of yellow, serves as a gathering spot for afternoon tea, while K Bar has a discreet, clubby ambiance — oak paneling, velvet seating, and polished brass accents.
The Kensington’s array of room categories meets the needs of many different travelers. Family Rooms can be configured with a variety of bed types — plus teepees if the little ones want to camp out — while “Cosy” rooms are perfect for solo travelers. All accommodations feature a warm color palette, plush linens, oversized velvet chairs, and chic antique-style furnishings. The fifth-floor luxury suites, adorned with chinoiserie wallpaper, four-poster beds, and magnificent marble bathrooms, are worth the splurge.
The Vibe at The Kensington
With its homey, welcoming ambience, coupled with its elegant interiors, a stay here feels as if you’re staying at the pad of a chic (and wealthy) friend. The staff will greet you upon arrival and are very much on hand to cater to your every need.
Who Will Love The Kensington
Couples, solo travelers, and even families with an affinity for art and design will appreciate a stay here. Anyone craving a luxury escape that’s anything but cookie-cutter and (somewhat) removed from central London — though an easy tube ride away — can and should post up here.
Who Might Not Love The Kensington
Travelers who wish to be closer to the attractions of central London (Westminster; Soho; and Covent Garden; Mayfair) should seek alternate accommodations.
Best Amenity at The Kensington
The oak-paneled, dimly lit K Bar lures in lots of locals for its swanky ambiance and impressive selection of whiskeys and bourbons. (Translation: the people-watching is top-notch.) Also on the menu are classic cocktails (French 75’s) and unique offerings like the Queen Elizabeth with lime zest, vermouth, saffron, and Benedictine. Pair your drink(s) with light bites like oysters, chicken satay skewers, parmesan fries, or shrimp tempura.
What’s Included at The Kensington
Your stay includes wifi, use of the 24-hour fitness center, and access to the on-site drinking and dining venues. Click here for a full list of hotel amenities.
Fees & Extra Costs You Should Know About at The Kensington
Typical taxes and fees should be expected. Luxury car service and spa treatments cost extra, as do laundry and dry cleaning.
How to Get a Deal at The Kensington
Doyle DISCOVERY members can save up to 10% on room rates. The property also offers seasonal promotions and packages throughout the year.
The Sweet Season
There really is no “bad” time to visit London; that said, if you’re willing to put up with a bit of chill, the off-season (January-April and September-November) brings lower rates on lodging. There are also fewer crowds, a bonus for travelers hoping to experience the city like a local.
In the Neighborhood of The Kensington
In the heart of South Kensington, the hotel is within a short walk of the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum. Hyde Park is about half a mile away, and the iconic Harrods department store about a mile.
Nearest Airport to The Kensington
Heathrow Airport is less than 12 miles away (approx. 30 minutes by car).
Nearest Public Transportation to The Kensington
The South Kensington tube station is a five-minute walk from the hotel; several bus stops are also within easy walking distance.
For a posh place to rest your head following a fun-filled day exploring London, look no further than The Kensington.