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“Good location, good price, just don't expect luxury”

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Holiday Inn London - Kensington
Ranked #616 of 1,089 Hotels in London
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
163 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Good location, good price, just don't expect luxury”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2013

Let's start by saying I'll probably stay here again when I need to be in Kensington next year. It's a good enough place to stay, but not a destination in its own right. We booked here based on the recommendation of a friend. After reading a few negative reviews on Tripadvisor, I found myself asking "just what do people expect at this price in Kensington?" But somehow I still expected more and after 2 nights I was asking myself the same question. There are some genuine disabled access issues which I'll detail at the end, but otherwise this is a workaday 4 star hotel. Service was usually good, and there was very little to complain about, but very little to get excited about either. It's a hotel, not a resort.

Our first impression was not good.

Whilst I was paying the taxi driver, despite requests from both of us to take the bags and leave me with the wheelchair, the doorman whisked my wife away like a supermarket trolley full of groceries. We frequently meet this overenthusiastic help at hotel entrances, not just at KCH. Staff training needed?

There was a short queue at reception. No problem in itself, but why were there so many staff behind reception apparently busy with other tasks? If you're not available to help guests don't hang around behind reception. We find it annoying - don't you have an office?

As we were early ,1400, we were asked to wait just 20 mins while the room was prepared. Bonus point for service there. We had a coffee in the lobby cafe while we waited - paper cups - points lost.

Our bags magically arrived in the room before we did. Another bonus point.

We had an executive room - nothing smaller would be wheelchair accessible. I see that other people have complained about small rooms. Well this is Kensington. Look in the estate agents windows, and you'll get an idea of how much every square meter needs to return before before you start to pay the hotel running costs. You need to have realistic expectations - check the website.

The website says that the hotel has been renovated. I believe this, but the style, both in the room and public areas, is uninspiring and reminiscent of the 1980's - maybe that's just my personal taste.

Ditto, the renovated pool and spa area. Good enough, but far from luxurious. I won't dispute the website claim for the largest pool in Kensington, but it's not enormous. I know a bigger one nearby, but technically that may be just across the border in Westminster.

There was no hotel guide or restaurant menu in the room, and the TV info system wasn't working. I thought I'd try the hotel website for information, but found KCH is one of the few that still charge for wifi. As a result we didn't even consider eating in the restaurant - I'm not even sure there is one.

The room walls must be rather thin. We clearly heard conversation from the next room, and there was a lot of noise from other parts of the hotel during the night. The bed was very comfortable however, and the aircon works.

Throughout our stay we found the staff were not just polite, but genuinely keen to help, so top marks there.

As I said at the start I'm coming back to Kensington next year. I could pay more to get the facilities and room I want in the Kensington area. Or I could get more for the same money in another part of London and commute by taxi. But probably I'll come back to Kensington Close.

Now for the wheelchair users comments:-

The overenthusiastic help at the door has already been mentioned.

Wheelchair access via a fire exit at the side seems a bit of an afterthought, but is better than many hotels.

The wheelchair lift down to the main public area is convenient and safe with "press and hold" buttons. This is modern best available equipment.

The en-suite wet room (room 432) was well equipped and laid out, but seemed to lack adequate ventilation, remaining damp, and dare I say a bit smelly.

Another common problem with "Accesible Rooms" - the mirrors were all too high for my wife to use the hairdryer or do make-up whilst sat in the wheelchair.

The main lifts were all a bit tight for wheelchair plus one person, and we've never previously encountered a lift as small as the one down to the pool. We had to remove the footplates from the wheelchair to get the lift doors closed.

There is no unisex changing room at the pool, or unisex disabled toilet in the public area, so it is not possible for a person of the opposite sex to assist the disabled person.

From a wheelchair users perspective, KCH is below par, but workable.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nottoogrumpy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington, responded to this review, 3 November 2013
Dear Nottoogrumpy,

Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay at our hotel. We value all feedback whether it is positive or constructive. It is through such communication that we are given an opportunity to evaluate our performance, and focus on the areas that need to be addressed, ensuring we deliver the standard of service that our guests have come to expect from us.


Kind regards,

Laszlo Nyari
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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North East
Level Contributor
53 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for one night on business, I was allocated a room with a single bed but asked at check in if I could have a double bed- no luck. The single rooms are really small but comfortable but the bathrooms are a joke, you have to walk sideways in them! I was in 1015 and was woken up repeatedly through the night by doors constantly opening and closing either immediately above it below me- clearly some sort of staff thoroughfare. Consequently I only managed around 3-4 hours sleep!

The breakfast was very good with quality ingredients, good service and plenty of choice. The public areas of this hotel are very nice and well designed, the location is great with High St Kensington tube about a 5 min walk away. Service at check in and out was swift, although a "how was your stay?" would have been nice. Bedrooms...disappointingly small but as work paid I wasn't too bothered but doubt I'd pay to stay here on a weekend break.

Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank northlad78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington, responded to this review, 3 November 2013
Dear Northlad78,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't have a good night's sleep due to people banging doors outside your room. I was glad at least to heat that you were satisfied with the quality of food and service at our Restaurant.


Kind regards,

Laszlo Nyari
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cologne, Germany
Level Contributor
37 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2013

The reception and guest areas are modern and comfortable but the rooms leave much to be desired. Hotel rooms are small and the bathrooms even smaller - only room for slender people. Bring your own mattress with because the one I had to sleep on was worn through, so were the pillows which were very soft and worn!
Coffee maker, flat screen TV of medium size, Safe large enough for a Laptop, garment Press and small desk are included in the room fixtures and fittings. However the TV only offers the local programs free and a Movie Channel for a fee. The Wifi speed is okay but you have to pay extra per 24 hours to access the service.Rooms have air conditioning but the bathroom is only served bu an Airflow system so after every shower, the bathroom mirror is fogged up and everything is damp. Reception Staff are friendly but the checking in process time consuming. All other staff were very friendly but some had difficulty understanding English ?

Room Tip: I had a standard room so maybe the next category may be bigger and better.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JohannesDavid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington, responded to this review, 3 November 2013
Dear JohannesDavid,

Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay at our hotel. We value all feedback whether it is positive or constructive. It is through such communication that we are given an opportunity to evaluate our performance, and focus on the areas that need to be addressed, ensuring we deliver the standard of service that our guests have come to expect from us. Regarding the size of your room, we do offer a variety of room types with different sizes and styles to accommodate the tastes and budgets of different guests. If space is so important to you, may I suggest in the future that you book one of our Executive Club Rooms or Suites where you may feel a lot more comfortable.


Kind regards,

Laszlo Nyari
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2013

Really nice hotel, staff are really friendly and helpful, services are also fantastic. Its a little out of the way from central London, about half an hour away. You have to get 2 tubes to get to Piccadilly. But as long as you're not on a strict time schedule its great.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SarahhBrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington, responded to this review, 3 November 2013
Dear SarahhBrett,

Thank you very much for your positive feedback regarding your recent stay with us. I sincerely hope that following your positive first impressions, we shall have the opportunity of welcoming you back with us in the near future.


Kind regards,

Laszlo Nyari
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2013 via mobile

Stay well away - dreadful hotel. Rooms tiny, horrible pillows, staff that are really really rude. Breakfast just about passable.

No need to reply Lazslo with your standardised reply to money paying customers - we value our space and hence we won't be returning to use a suite which you feel we would be more comfortable in.

A couple of blocks down are much better value hotels

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank shivers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington, responded to this review, 3 November 2013
Dear Shivers,

Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay at our hotel. We value all feedback whether it is positive or constructive. It is through such communication that we are given an opportunity to evaluate our performance, and focus on the areas that need to be addressed, ensuring we deliver the standard of service that our guests have come to expect from us.


Kind regards,

Laszlo Nyari
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these London hotels

2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2013 via mobile

I visited kensington close only for one night and every time I dealt with a member of staff I was talked too in a rude manner. Although I would ordinarily not care, I have been a back packer sleeping in hostels for four months paying a fifth of what I paid here and haven't been treated so rudely. As far as value for money goes there was none; wifi is an additional fee and I get more benefits staying in hostel accommodation. Due to my young age I wasn't even greeted when entering the hotel although all the other older guests around me got a warm and friendly greeting. I would not stay here again.

Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Clara O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington, responded to this review, 3 November 2013
Dear Clara O,

Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay at our hotel. We value all feedback whether it is positive or constructive. It is through such communication that we are given an opportunity to evaluate our performance, and focus on the areas that need to be addressed, ensuring we deliver the standard of service that our guests have come to expect from us.


Kind regards,

Laszlo Nyari
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2013

Absolutely shocking. The location is great and the lobby is new and shiny. That's as good as it gets. The room was tiny (2 people can't move around it at the same time, the bathroom door hits the bed when opening, your case won't fit when wheeling it to the case stand), tired and dated - there was mould in the bathroom, the metal soap holder was broken, dripping tap, inconsistent water temps. Stains on corridor carpets. Then they have the absolute nerve to ask for £8pp to use the pool. London has lots of real 4 and 5* hotels which don't embarrass their guests by charging to use spa and pool facilities and internet. It worries me that visitors to London think this awful place represents UK 4* hotels.

Room Tip: go elsewhere
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank clos-e-my-p-rofile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington, responded to this review, 3 November 2013
Dear Travelhound01,

Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay at our hotel. Regarding the size of your room, we do offer a variety of room types with different sizes and styles to accommodate the tastes and budgets of different guests. If space is so important to you, may I suggest in the future that you book one of our Executive Club Rooms or Suites where you may feel a lot more comfortable. It is clearly stated on our website that the WiFi and access to the Spa are chargeable so potential customers can make an informed decision before booking with us.


Kind regards,

Laszlo Nyari
Hotel 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 Holiday Inn London - Kensington

Property: Holiday Inn London - Kensington
Address: Wrights Lane | Kensington, London W8 5SP, England (Formerly Kensington Close Hotel)
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > South Kensington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#69 Spa Hotel in London
#359 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn London - Kensington 4*
Number of rooms: 708
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Holiday Inn London - Kensington is a beautiful 4-star hotel centrally located near Kensington High Street tube station and a short walk from Kensington Palace & Gardens, Royal Albert Hall, Earls Court and the West End. The Hotel has 708 well-equipped non-smoking bedrooms including Executive bedrooms and Suites. Enjoy fresh seasonal dishes in the brasserie or a drink in the sunny private garden. Business traveller's appreciate the powerful WiFi service, wide ranging room service menu and an executive lounge for VIPs too. State of the art meeting facilities for up to 250 delegates are ideal for meetings, dinners and weddings. Shopping at Westfield and Oxford Street is a short distance away. Imagine Health Club and Spa includes a fantastic new gym and an 18 metre swimming pool with sauna, steam rooms and jacuzzi. The Spa offers an enticing selection of massage, facial and beauty treatments with our expert therapists. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kensington Close London
Hotel Kensington Close
Kensington Close Hotel London

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