A luxury boutique property in the heart of South Kensington, The Ampersand Hotel is well geared towards families and business travellers alike. Its plush and quirky rooms, featuring bright accents like oversized headboards and splashes of purple and turquoise, are surprisingly spacious. There are lots of little touches to make young guests feel welcome and comfortable, such as child-sized amenities and an activity kit (available on request). There's also and a modest Games Room with a selection of board games, a PlayStation 3 and table tennis. They offer three different rooms available to be booked for meetings and there is a small but adequate business centre area with two computers and printing facilities.
Schlepping kids across London is the opposite of a holiday. At the Ampersand you are within walking distance of family favourites such as the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Hyde Park. The hotel is also literally steps from the Tube station, giving you quick and easy access to attractions such as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.
Soft headboards, comfortable seating areas and plush amenities such as fluffy robes can be found in each of the 111 rooms, with striking wallpapers and artworks. The bathrooms feature generous soaking tubs and showers (some have one or the other, some have both). Children up to the age of 12 can stay free on a foldaway bed and the property also offers interconnecting rooms and larger Deluxe Suites with kitchenettes.
Food and drink
The in-house Apero Restaurant & Bar (above) is a cozy, cellar-like relaxed venue with exposed brick walls and a Mediterranean-influenced menu of hearty plates such as beetroot risotto and smoked aubergine. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily, while speciality brunch is offered on weekends. There’s an ambitious cocktail menu, too, with drinks such as The Snowy Peak, featuring vodka, strawberry purée, lychee juice, lemon juice and a cotton candy garnish. This, along with many other cocktails, can also be made non-alcoholic. For children, there’s a reasonably priced menu both at Apero and for in-room dining with things they will actually eat – goujons, pastas and mini burgers.
For business travellers
There are a couple of computers and printing facilities in the open business centre in the basement area. The Games Room (up to 32 seated) and The Library (up to 14 seated) can both be booked for boardroom-style meetings and The Wine Room offers a private dining space for up to 10 people.
For wellness travellers
There’s a modest fitness centre with cardio machines and free weights. The hotel can also organise personal trainers on request. Those who prefer a run in the park can head over to Hyde Park, which is an easy walk away.
The fab factor
The icing on the cake is the super-unique Science Afternoon Tea that features the likes of dinosaur fossil and planet-shaped biscuits and other goodies served up in mini beakers and petri dishes.
Best for: Families
Number of rooms: 111
Rates from: $402 per night
Parking: Valet available for a fee
Address: 10 Harrington Rd, Kensington, London SW7 3ER
Telephone: +44 20 7589 5895
SEE ALSO: 10 Free Things to Do in London