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“Great location, nice hotel”

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Crowne Plaza London Kensington
Ranked #121 of 1,069 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
288 reviews
152 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 625 helpful votes
“Great location, nice hotel”
Reviewed 13 February 2012

The hotel is in a great spot literally seconds from Gloucester Road tube stop - the Piccadilly line is great for tourists as you can get to most major sights and Heathrow without switching lines. If you like to walk, it is easy to reach Harrods, Hyde Park, V&A museum in a short stroll. There are also numerous bus lines around, which is a nice alternative to the tube as you can actually see things while you travel! The area immediately around the hotel has a few restaurants, pubs and grocery/pharmacy shops which should meet most needs. But on to the hotel...
Check-in was efficient, maybe even rushed, but there was no Priority Club member recognition. I stayed in a club room, which had a nice remodeled bathroom and a huge king-size bed. The room was a bit small, but it's London and I was travelling with only hand luggage, so I was not that bothered about it. The room was nice enough, but I would say not as nice as other Crowne Plaza/IHG Club level rooms I have stayed in (room was clean but not spotless, scuffed up furniture, hole in the duvet cover, pay minibar rather than complimentary). The lounge was comfortable and had good snacks/drinks, including a decent free breakfast (toast, pastries, cereal, fruit, meats, one hot dish). There was plenty of seating, free papers and two workstations with a printer. I didn't get his name, but the man working in the lounge was very polite and helpful!
My room was on Cromwell Road but I didn't hear any bothersome noise. Overall, I had a very nice experience at the hotel despite a bit of disappointment at the Club Room standard. I had a pretty good deal on the price, and given the great location, I would consider staying here again when in London if I got another discounted rate.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank inkwave17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GenManager_CPKen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza London Kensington, responded to this review, 7 March 2012
Dear inkwave 17
Thank you for your feedback on our hotel. I am glad you liked the hotel overall and I have discussed your observations with our team so that we can take action to continually improve our service.
Our club lounge is currently being upgraded with new furniture and additional staff ( I'm pleased that you found the staff you met in there were so helpful).
Now that our new reception has opened (2 March) we are looking at ways we can improve the welcome to our guests. We do also now have a separate check in desk for our Priority Club members so that we can give these loyal guests the recognition they deserve.
We look forward to welcoming you bacjk again soon.
Best regards
Lawder Smith
General Manager
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Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
179 reviews
179 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2012

I've stayed here several times over the past few years in a variety of rooms. The smallest rooms are fine for one, but would be rather tight for two. The rooms with two double beds are ideal for two, whilst the two-level suites are extremely spacious. Reception staff tend to be efficient rather than welcoming. Breakfast is usually fine - although it's a small dining room, I've not ever seen a queue or found them to have run out of food. The only slight weakness is that the hot drink service (everything else is a buffet) can be a little hit and miss. On one occasion I upgraded to a club room, wich gave club lounge access. The offering is less generous than some other Crowne Plaza club lounges, especially at breakfast, but is still adequate. The location is excellent, in a pleasant part of town with hardly any traffic noise audible in the rooms at the front of the hotel. The only significant problem has been a reluctance to add points to my Prioirty Club account, although this has always been resolved eventually.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Hampshire-resident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GenManager_CPKen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza London Kensington, responded to this review, 7 March 2012
Dear Hampshire-resident
Thank you for your constructive feedback following your stay with us.
I will address the points you raise in order to ensure our guest's experience here continues to move forwards and to exceed expectations. Our Reception Manager will discuss with her team how we can be more welcoming without losing any of the efficiency and our restaurant manager and his team will look at how we can improve the tea and coffee service at breakfast.
We are currently upgrading our club lounge with a redecoration, new furniture , additional staff and an improved breakfast and evening snack offering.
I do hope you will return again soon to give us your thoughts on these improvements.
Best regards
Lawder Smith
General Manager
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Blackpool, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2012

The hotel looks nice enough inside, but seems a little smaller than most crowne plazas. This is the same for the rooms (club) aswell, but thats London for you. It had everything we needed though and the staff were happy to help with anything.

This hotel is in a great location, right by a host of restaurants, the tube station and the Natural History Museum. Main shopping locations, the main theatres and earsl Court are all a short journey away. On location alone this was perfect and I would stay here again, whether buisness or pleasure.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank johnmurphy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GenManager_CPKen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza London Kensington, responded to this review, 7 March 2012
Dear JohnMurphy
Thank you for the feedback report and I am delighted that you felt able to give us a 5/5/ rating. During February we were completing the last phase of our ground floor rennovation and so a large part of our front hall was in fact cordoned off behind a temporary wall. This wall was decorated to match the surrounding walls so that guests would not be aware of the work going on, however our ground floor would have appeared as very small. This work is now completed and we have a much larger, fresher and brighter entrance foyer and reception. I hope you will return again to see this.
Best regards
Lawder Smith
General Manager
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York, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2012

The Crowne Plaza Kensington has something of an identity crisis. It seems to be unsure whether it is a luxury or budget hotel. Certainly the rack rate implies luxury but a number of other things suggest otherwise.

Upon arriving at the hotel, I was given a form to complete with details of my address, nationality – the usual sort of thing. For some reason, the form had been partly completed but instead of the details I provided upon booking, it included somebody else’s personal information! The name was the same but everything else, including the nationality, email address and passport number was completely different. The man behind reception encouraged me to ignore this but it left me feeling distinctly uneasy. It seemed unlikely that there would be another person with my name staying at the same hotel on exactly the same dates, so whose details were these?

I was then asked to provide my actual address. When I began to relay it in the usual way – starting with the street and house number – he barked at me that he needed my postcode first! Well if that was the case, why didn’t he ask for that? He also seemed to struggle with my request for a “double room”. Apparently that means something different at this hotel and so I ended up having to state that I wanted “one big bed” in order to make it clear. This unpleasant, uneasy start to my visit was the first thing to make me question the luxury status of the Crowne Plaza Kensington.

We were eventually allocated a room on the fourth floor overlooking Cromwell Road. We hadn’t been in the room very long when we heard a rather loud conversation in German. At first we presumed it to be someone outside our door but then we realised it was coming from the adjoining room. The rooms had (locked) interconnecting doors which must have been paper-thin as we could hear every word of their conversation (and presumably they could hear ours too). We didn’t like the idea of this so, before we had settled in, we went back to reception to ask for another room. We were immediately told it would not be possible to change rooms as the hotel was completely full. This seemed unlikely at the end of January in a hotel with 6 floors of rooms so we pushed harder.

We were told that a large party would be checking in later that evening and that if we tried again later (presumably when this member of staff had gone off duty) they would have a better idea of what rooms were available. This suggested that they weren’t completely full and that there were actually rooms available and so we pushed harder still! We were then told that the only other room available was the one next to ours (on the opposite side) which still had interconnecting doors. It was clear that the man behind reception had only told us of this room in the hope that we wouldn’t be bothered to move. We were even accused of having a problem with foreign people! To his clear disappointment, but on the off-chance that the neighbours would be quieter, we asked to move rooms. Again, this unfriendly, begrudging treatment is not what I expect from a luxury hotel.

To our delight, the room we were actually given wasn’t next door but on the other side of the hotel! So it seemed that there were plenty of rooms available after all. Overlooking the (much quieter) garden at the back and with no interconnecting door, the room was a vast improvement. Many aspects of the room felt luxurious – the heated bathroom floor, the large comfortable bed and the aromatherapy oils designed to help you get a good night’s sleep. However, other aspects of the room felt decidedly budget – the minibar that charged you if you so much as lifted an item from its weighted shelves and the cheap, nasty toilet paper reminiscent of a public toilet. Once again, the Crowne Plaza Kensington seems to be unsure whether it is a luxury or budget hotel.

Of course, the most important requirement of staying at a hotel is getting a good night’s sleep and I’m disappointed to say that the Crowne Plaza Kensington failed us on this too. Though our immediate neighbours were silent, the entire hotel echoed to the sound of slamming doors throughout the night. This was topped off by the sound of empty bottles being tipped into the bins at 9am on a Sunday morning. So much for a lie-in! In addition to the noise from the hotel, our room door was rather loose in its frame causing it to let in light and rattle every time somebody went past. We ended up jamming our suitcase against it in order to get a bit of respite. Staying at the Crowne Plaza Kensington was not a relaxing experience – no wonder they supply you with aromatherapy products to try and help you sleep!

The Crowne Plaza Kensington is in a great location – opposite Gloucester Road tube station and near plenty of shops and restaurants. It has some very luxurious features – extremely comfortable rooms and plenty of finishing touches. However, it also has numerous unpleasant aspects – noisy rooms and rude, unhelpful staff. Whether you see it as an expensive budget hotel or a luxury hotel that is severely lacking, it is clear that the Crowne Plaza Kensington has something of an identity crisis.

Room Tip: Ask for a room without an interconnecting door unless you want to hear your neighbours' conversa...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank davidofyork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GenManager_CPKen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza London Kensington, responded to this review, 7 March 2012
Dear Swa110w
Thank you for the constructive feedback about your stay with us. I was very sorry to hear that your experience here gave you mixed messages about the hotel and offer my sincere apologies for any inconvenience and disappointment you were caused.
I have asked our Reception Manager to share your comments about the check-in experience, with all her team so that they can discuss how to improve it and avoid similar shortcomings in the future.
Although I am not sure which room you were in during your stay, I have asked our maintenance team to check all doors to ensure they are tight fitting and that insulation strips are in place. We are also investigating ways of improving the soundproofing of the intyerconnecting doors on those few rooms that have them.
I do hope you will return again on your next visit to London and allow us an opportunity to restore your confidence in this hotel.
Best regards
Lawder Smith
General Manager
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53402
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2012

We like this hotel for it's location and a bit larger rooms. Larger than the Holiday inn just 1-1/2 block away though the Crown Plaza may be a bit more pricy.

Room Tip: Rooms on the Cromwell road side may be a bit noisier but, in generally all rooms should be good.
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank charlesdeutschland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GenManager_CPKen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza London Kensington, responded to this review, 7 February 2012
Dear CharlesDeutschland
Thank you for your review of our hotel. The Crowne Plaza is slightly more expensive than the nearby Holiday Inn as you would expect, but both hotels offer equally good value for money. Crowne Plaza does have larger rooms and added luxuries in the rooms as well as the benefit of a club lounge, boutique style decor and a more personal service.
Our rooms at the front of the hotel have triple glazing so guestsare not disturbed by traffic from the Cromwell road.
Best regards
Lawder Smith
General Manager
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Level 6 Contributor
153 reviews
132 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 227 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2012

Got this hotel at an incredible rate, yet were still upgraded on check-out. The staff were absolutely fantastic throughout our entire stay. Such a credit to the hotel! The location was great, and very convenient to the Royal Albert Hall. We enjoyed breakfast on two different mornings and were very impressed both times. It almost didn't make sense that the rate was so low. Will definitely be back!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank icyoubaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GenManager_CPKen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza London Kensington, responded to this review, 6 February 2012
Dear icubaby
I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us so much and that you felt it was such good value. For the very best value, our lowest rates are always available on our own website.
I hope you will be back again very soon.
Best regards
Lawder Smith
General Manager
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Gloucestershire
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2012

We stayed for 2 nights, over a weekend, in order to see a show at the Royal Albert Hall. Travelling with 2 kids, we had booked a room with 2 double beds.

Check-in process was quick and smooth, although information was minimal. We had to return to reception later to enquire about breakfast times, as nothing at all (not just about breakfast, nothing at all) was mentioned when checking in other than the location of our room. Oh, and we had to re-return to reception when our keycard refused to let us into the room. Irritating, but not a major issue.

The room was reasonable - pretty much your normal family room in a chain hotel such as this. Have stayed in better, and have stayed in much, much worse. Beds were comfortable, and bathroom was clean and well decorated. Airconditioning unit failed to work though. Even though we stayed in January, we needed some cool air at night (it was a warm weekend!), and the airconditioning unit did nothing but belt out hot air, even on the coldest setting. Disappointing.

Breakfast was reasonable. Not as comprehensive as you'd get in a Radisson, but better than we've had in Hiltons. It was disappointing to find the 'a la carte' breakfast menu came at extra charge, whereas we had gotten used to similar hotels where you could order anything within the price of the breakfast. Not the case here. Having said that, there was enough to eat in the buffet.

The reviews suggesting this is the "best hotel in west London" are rather off the mark. No, its not. There are better. This wasn't bad, and we'd be happy enough to return again. Mind you, we'd certainly look elsewhere to see if we could find somewhere else for the same price before returning here.

If you're looking for a good dinner, try the Wildwood on Gloucester Road, a few minutes walk past the Tube station. Reasonable prices, good quantities of food and excellent quality. A little gem.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank igar75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GenManager_CPKen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza London Kensington, responded to this review, 6 February 2012
Dear igar75
Thank you for leaving feedback on our hotel. I am sorry that you felt your stay with us was only average, as I know that we can do much better than that. I have asked ourreception manager to share your comments with her team, to ensure we are giving a warm welcome to every arriving guest and giving the right information to guests at check-in.
I am not aware of a problem with the air conditioning, but have asked our engineer to check the system as it should be delivering both cold and warm air to al rooms so that guests can control the temperature ( ours is a 4 pipe system, unlike some hotels that only have a 2 pipe system that means all rooms have to either have heating or cooling at the same time).
I hope you will be back again soon to give us another try.
Best regards
Lawder Smith
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 Crowne Plaza London Kensington

Property: Crowne Plaza London Kensington
Address: 100 Cromwell Road | Kensington, London SW7 4ER, 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#105 Luxury Hotel in London
#122 Business Hotel in London
#135 Family Hotel in London
#166 Romantic Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Crowne Plaza London Kensington 4*
Number of rooms: 162
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Crowne Plaza London Kensington is a contemporary designed boutique hotel just a stone's throw away from Gloucester Road tube station with direct connectivity from Heathrow Airport (via the Piccadilly line) and from Victoria train station (via the District or Circle line). Harrods, Hyde Park, Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall and Science Museum, Earls Court and Olympia Exhibition Centres are few of London's top tourist attractions that are in close proximity to the hotel. Crowne Plaza London Kensington is a perfect hub for shopaholics as Knightsbridge, Sloane Square and the West End are all easily accessible. Retreat and recharge in one of the 162 spacious bedrooms featuring new beds, linen and other facilities such as highspeed broadband internet access and 32 inch flat screen televisions to meet the requirements of a savvy traveller. Of all of Kensington's bars, The Bar seems to be a favourite hang out for locals that end up dining at the Umami restaurant. Crowne Plaza London Kensington boasts over 250 square metres of event spaces that all have natural daylight. The boardroom and garden room overlook the hotels private landscaped garden; a rare sight in a central London hotel. The hotel also has a state of the art fitness suite with the most up to date training equipment. ... more   less 
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