Discover classic English elegance at The Kensington, a boutique hotel in west London’s South Kensington. It begins with the facade – columns and balconies of a Victorian terrace adorned with roses, bay trees and wisteria. That’s where you’ll often find guests sitting on zebra-striped banquettes, sipping British sparkling Rathfinny wine and watching the world go by. It sets the scene for a stay that’s polished but never pompous. Read on for the full review.

The hotel’s common spaces are wonderfully inviting; next to the lobby is the spacious Drawing Room, where guests can lounge on soft sofas and take afternoon tea. Beyond that, a staircase decorated with old oil paintings and antiques, including a huge mirror dating back at least 200 years, sweeps up to the sumptuous rooms and suites. It’s all part of the relaxed charm of this little London gem.

Where is The Kensington Hotel?

The Kensington Hotel, London

On Queen’s Gate in one of the quieter parts of South Kensington, near the border with Chelsea. It’s a 40-minute Tube ride from Heathrow Airport (or a half-hour cab ride) to Gloucester Road or South Kensington station (Piccadilly Line) then a five-minute cab ride from either.

What’s near The Kensington Hotel?

It’s a 10-minute stroll to the Natural History Museum, a few minutes more to the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, and about 20 minutes to Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall. Next to the V&A, in Exhibition Road, are two Santander Cycle hire stations, perfect for cruising around Hyde Park. South Kensington and Gloucester Road Tube stations are both about a 10-minute walk away, offering access to central London.

Room types

The Kensington Hotel, London

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Even the Classic Rooms feel plush, with velvet armchairs, duck-down duvets, Nespresso coffee machines and Malin + Goetz bathroom amenities. Family Rooms can sleep four and come with great kids’ treats such as a milk-and-cookies turndown service and age-appropriate DVDs. Then there are the suites, which range from a four-poster-bed studio suite to the super-luxe Kensington Suite which covers a whopping 180sqm, including three bedrooms and two grand fireplaces.

Restaurants and bars

The Kensington Hotel, London

The Town House serves daily breakfast, weekend brunches and a la carte dishes including Scottish salmon with Jersey Royals and miso-glazed cod. The Drawing Room is perfect for afternoon tea, including delightful cumin- and apple-marinated cucumber sandwiches. The seductively lit K Bar has velvet seats and crystal chandeliers, and serves light bites, including fabulous Carlingford Lough oysters, and a brilliantly named cocktail: the Corpse Reviver No.2. It tastes pretty lively, too.


The hotel is committed to recycling paper, choosing local food producers, using low-light emissions in meeting rooms, offering tap water instead of bottled water and recycling glass bottles if used.

Travel for work

The Kensington Hotel, London

The main dining area works for small, informal meetings but there’s also The Town House, which doubles as a meeting or event space. The White Room and Study can host multiple groups. There are also business facilities, secretarial services and a luxury car service.

Spa and gym

The hotel has a good 24-hour basement gym with machines, while runners have the jogging paradise of Hyde Park just up the road. There’s no on-site spa but therapists from treatment-on-demand specialists London Serenity will pamper guests in the privacy of their own room.

What you need to know

K Bar is one of the most stylish cocktail bars in London, bucking the boring hotel bar trend. Settle into a velvet chair and dive into the extensive cocktail menu.

Best for: Couples and families
Design: Classic English elegance
Ambience: Refined and luxurious
Number of rooms: 150 rooms and suites
Rates: From £428.00
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Parking: On the street in front of the hotel
Address: 109–113 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5LP, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7589 6300

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The Kensington Hotel, London

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SEE ALSO: The Best Hotels in and Near Kensington, London

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