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“5 Star Prices, Great Service but Disappointing Rooms”
Review of The Kensington

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The Kensington
Ranked #34 of 1,063 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
132 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“5 Star Prices, Great Service but Disappointing Rooms”
Reviewed 14 May 2012

This is a charming looking hotel built within a series of townhouses in South Kensington close to Hyde Park. The public areas are sumptious and the staff are all extremely welcoming and helpful. That said the rooms are disappointing in that they don't deliver the level of convenience you might expect in a property of this level. We booked a superior room and the first room we were given was nicely decorated but had an odd triangular configuration that resulted in one side of the large bed being difficult to access. The reception staff were very helpful and allowed us to check out three further rooms - all had issues and we settled on 429 on the 4th floor as it met most of our needs. It had a large bathroom with heated floors a window and a tub shower as well as a hand held shower. All sides of the queen side bed were easily accessible and the two windows could be opened and it was quiet and private. Quibbles: there was only one chair (there was plenty of room for more) only one luggage rack, no clock (why is that?), a blow dryer but nowhere to plug it in near a mirror. I had to unplug a bedside lamp. We did get body lotion provided on asking - there was none in any of the four rooms we checked. At 20 pounds the breakfast is way overpriced for what you get.

Room Tip: While the 4th floor is designated as a smoking floor it had the best room for our needs and didn'...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bollucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheKensingtonHotel, General Manager at The Kensington, responded to this review, 16 May 2012
Dear bollucks,
Thank you for thinking of us at The Kensington Hotel for your visit to London. I was delighted to read that our team treated you so well and you enjoyed our public areas. We were, however, disappointed that you weren’t completely satisfied with your room. As I am sure you saw whilst viewing different rooms they can differ in layout and design. We appreciate your comments regarding room 429, it is only through our guest’s feedback that we can continue to grow, our management team and I will take them under advisement. Should you be returning to London please do not hesitate to contact us here at the hotel to discuss your room needs.

Kind Regards,

General Manager
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (367)
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Celle, Germany
Level Contributor
67 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2012

The Kensington Hotel is a lovely boutique hotel, just 5 minutes from the South Kensington Tube Station (Picadilly, Central & Distict Line), although if you have time it's more fun to take the 14 bus along Old Brompton Road,Hyde Park,Picadilly Circus to Oxford St. The surrounding area is beautiful and fun to explore-as well as the V&A & Natural History Museum, you can take a short stroll to the famous shopping street King's Road in Chelsea and pass St. Luke's Church on the way, where Dickens was married. The lounge areas and bar are beautifully and tastefully decorated and it is a pleasure to take afternoon tea there or read the papers in the morning. My only quibble was the size of the room, which wasn't big enough to unpack 2 cases, although well equipped with marble in the bathroom and a very comfortable bed. Next time, I would book a Deluxe for 2 people. Altogether, a very pleasant experience and we look forward to our next visit.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gurke13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheKensingtonHotel, Owner at The Kensington, responded to this review, 16 May 2012
Dear Gurke13,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review and share your experience. Your willingness to take the time is greatly appreciated. We were thrilled to read that you so enjoyed the hotel, it’s décor and it’s convenient location. We were disappointed that you weren’t completely satisfied with your room. The Kensington Hotel is converted Townhouse and while that adds to the charm of the hotel it means our rooms differ. Should you be returning to London please do not hesitate to contact us here at the hotel to discuss your room needs.

Thank you for thinking of us at The Kensington Hotel

Kind Regards,

General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
83 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2012

We stayed in this hotel for 5 nights and had a terrible experience with payment and promises. To cut the story short we had an email confirmation for 185 pounds inclusive of breakfast but was told during check in that breakfast was not included. I wonder what inclusive meant. And was told that breakfast Can be purchased at 20 per head.

After flying for 20 hrs we didn't want to argue and went o the room. The room was frightfully tiny and the shower had so little save I knocked my elbow twice. I am 48 kg and only 158cm. We are not tall and I shudder to think how anyone taller or bigger can manage.

On the night before we checked out I found the email confirmation and called the front desk to share. The assistant manager Gillian was hostile and unfriendly and called me back to say she was confused. Well so am I. No efforts were made to show the hotels mistake and the blame was seemed to be put on us instead. She said the morning manager will take care. I asked her What that meant. I can even feel her rolling her eyes at me on the phone. I told her I did not want to explain the situation twice and before we caught our flight to Berlin.

In the morning the operations manager Andrea kept on asking me these questions/ comments:
- did you not have time for breakfast?
- did you knw what time breakfast was?
- if you wanted breakfast so much we can provide at a charge

I am not sure what the confusion was since I had the confirmation in black and white. At one stage she even said this is strange and we can't honor that. Obviously reservations and front desk don't communicate!! Since it was suggested that bf was at 20 per pax I asked for a decent refund. I was again met with confused looks and hostility. Now she changed tact to say oh it costs 10 per pax, not 20 ( so that the refund is less).

In short they don't honor email confirmations so beware. Even when shown evidence they say they can't honor that nor be held liable. Throughout it all, I was made to feel their hostility and no mention was made of the fact that I wasa customer and I stayed 5 nights and even had dinner at Aubrey. When asked about the size of the room she said oh European hotels are small. We have travelled all over Europe so don't give me that attitude or statement.

All in all it left a supremely bad taste in our mouths and I will bring my 5 nights money somewhere else definitely. We travel to EU at least 3 times a year and have never been told email confirmations are not honored!!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Michloh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheKensingtonHotel, General Manager at The Kensington, responded to this review, 22 May 2012
Dear Michloh,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review, I appreciate these things take time and wanted to extend my gratitude, your feedback as is both valued and useful.

I was disappointed to read that you encountered problems with your reservation and you were dissatisfied with the level of service. Please be assured that our management team and I take these comments very seriously and I would like to thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. It is only with our guest’s feedback that we can continue to improve. I can guarantee that these issues which you have highlighted will be investigated fully. I am almost certainly you are aware that this is not the level of service we strive to achieve. I apologise for the disappointment on this occasion.

I would very much like the opportunity to redeem ourselves and should you be travelling to London again I would be delighted for you to contact the hotel directly so we can be of some assistance with any future bookings.

I look forward to welcoming you back to The Kensington Hotel again very soon.

Kind Regards

General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
127 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2012

This was out first visit to The Kensington Hotel and we really enjoyed our visit. Rooms are bigger than usual and well appointed.

The hotel has a bit of an "old world" feel but dont let that put you off. Great staff, particularly the guys at the bar who consistantly remembered what drinks we had ordered the previous evening.

Breakfast service was a bit slow but we were on holidays to no big deal.

Great location and we will come back

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PeterR931
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheKensingtonHotel, General Manager at The Kensington, responded to this review, 8 May 2012
Dear PeterR931,

We were delighted to read your kind words regarding your recent stay at The Kensington Hotel. I have passed along your comments to our team here and your willingness to share your experience is both valued and appreciated. We work hard to do everything we can to enhance your time in London so it is a pleasure to read you enjoyed your visit.

We hope that you think of us on your next visit to London, we would be so pleased to welcome you back.

Kind Regards,

General Manager
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Liverpool
Level Contributor
69 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2012

My daughter and I booked afternoon tea at this hotel during a recent trip to London. Tea was served in the lounge where there were plenty of comfortable chairs and sofas with a real fire burning brightly in the fireplace. Tea consisted of an excellent selection of sandwiches, warm scones with delicious preserves and clotted cream, and seven cakes for us to share. The gin and tonic sorbet was also a nice touch. The only thing which let it down was the decaf coffee which we requested instead of tea - very weak and tasteless.

We spent a lovely relaxing few hours there. The staff were helpful and friendly ensuring we had a nice time.

When we left we strolled back to South Kensington tube station via Old Brompton Road - spotting The Hummingbird Bakery on the way. Of course, that resulted in a repeat trip to South Kensington another day for coffee and cake there too!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lindie_h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheKensingtonHotel, General Manager at The Kensington, responded to this review, 8 May 2012
Dear lindie_h,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of Aubrey Restaurant at The Kensington Hotel. Our entire afternoon tea menu has recently been reviewed and everything is hand made with care and attention so we were delighted you so enjoyed our chef’s efforts. In regards to the coffee we appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention. We have highlighted it with our restaurant team and it has been taken under advisement.

We hope to welcome you back to Aubrey Restaurant or perhaps even The Kensington Hotel for a stay soon

Kind Regards,

General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2012

Located very close to South Kensington Tube station,this hotel is really very nice.The lobby and the restaurant ( where the breakfast is served) are chic and cozy.The staff is friendly and efficient;we asked for an early check in ( 10 AM ) and they arranged that without any problem.
The only little " minus" is the room, quite small.
We'll definitely come back!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank davide c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheKensingtonHotel, General Manager at The Kensington, responded to this review, 8 May 2012
Dear davide c,

We would like to thank you for choosing The Kensington Hotel for your visit to London. Our team work very hard to ensure your time with us is as perfect as possible so we are delighted to read that you so enjoyed our lobby area, Aubrey Restaurant and the Hotel’s location and that our team treated you so well. Your kind words have already been passed on and are greatly appreciated. Lastly thank you for taking the time to write a review and share your experience of us.

We hope to welcome you back to The Kensington Hotel on your next trip to London

Kind Regards,

General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NY, NY
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2012

I'm typing this review as I am sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for my room to be made up. This is my second time staying at this hotel (in town for business purposes) and I have to admit, I am not impressed. For what is billed as a 5 star, luxury type hotel, the customer service and the quality of the room I was given (on my initial visit) are very poor. As you can see from the pictures I've posted, the initial room I was given had a huge water leak in the ceiling, directly above the bed. When I called reception to inform them of this and to switch rooms, instead of sending up the porter, they send a maintenance man. What? While I was then awaiting for the porter to arrive, I began looking around the room and it was very sub-par. Many black scrapes on the walls, I found an empty water bottle between the wall and the night table next to the bed. Just not what I am expecting of a hotel this caliber. I was then shown another room directly facing the street in which I could hear all street noise, cars, honking, etc., Not what I was looking for after a flight from New York. They also had to put my suitcase basically in front of the door to the room because there was no where else to put it. The television was also placed directly in front of the mirror in the room. What is the point of that? How do you use the mirror? I am now here a second time and while I am patiently waiting in the lobby, minding my own business and working on my laptop, a hotel staff worker walked right up to me and basically yelled at me because I had a pastry and a latte from outside the hotel on the table next to me. She had an incredibly accusatory tone and a bad attitude. Not to mention, I'd been sitting here for nearly an hour already so I don't understand what the issue is. I'm a guest of the hotel, not a random person off the street who's waiting to be seated for their brunch. I'm not allowed to have a latte and a pastry after flying a red eye from New York while I am waiting for my room? I really did not appreciate that. She essentially took the bag with the pastry and the latte and threw them away. She did bring me a complimentary latte then but the manner in which she approached me about the situation was totally unprofessional and I do not appreciate the accusatory tone. This has now been 2 not so good experiences in a row at this hotel for me (and I haven't even gotten into my room this trip yet). Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. We have a corporate rate at this hotel but I will not be back. Nor would I ever be able to recommend this hotel any longer to my clients when they are in town as well. There are equally nice places, for equal price, with better rooms and more courteous staff.

Room Tip: Request a back facing or side facing room so you don't get the street noise. Ask for a 5th floo...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Glaxtitute
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheKensingtonHotel, General Manager at The Kensington, responded to this review, 4 May 2012
Dear Glaxtitute,
Firstly thank you for writing a review and sharing your experience. It is only with our guest’s feedback that we can continue to improve. I was very disappointed to read your experience with us was not to the standard we strive to achieve. Please be assured that our management team and I take these comments very seriously and I would like to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I can guarantee that these issues which you have highlighted are currently being investigated fully so as not to have them reoccur. This is not the level of service we strive to achieve. I sincerely apologise for the disappointment on this occasion. I would very much like the opportunity to redeem ourselves and should you be travelling to London again I would be delighted for you to contact me directly so I can be of some assistance with any future bookings.

Kind Regards,

General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Kensington

Property: The Kensington
Address: 109 - 113 Queen's Gate, London SW7 5LP, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > South Kensington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#20 Business Hotel in London
#33 Family Hotel in London
#34 Luxury Hotel in London
#50 Romantic Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Kensington 5*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly located in leafy South Kensington and just moments from Knightsbridge, Hyde Park and Sloane Square, The Kensington offers 150 unique and stylish guestrooms and suites. London's largest townhouse suite (approx 2,000 sq ft), roll top baths and four-poster beds are truly befitting of this Regency quarter. The Town House bar & restaurant and a magnificent lounge area comprised of period drawing rooms offer a traditional but contemporary setting for afternoon tea, lunch or evening dinners. Our guestrooms are individually decorated in an elegant townhouse style, using sumptuous fabrics, deep upholstery and an eclectic mix of contemporary art and furnishings. The atmosphere is relaxed throughout, with the engaging and innovative service creating the ambiance of a smart private members club. All rooms include flat screen TVs, air conditioning, luxurious Aromatherapy Associates bathroom products, Nespresso coffee machines and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kensington Hotel London

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