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“Still a great choice in Kensington...”

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Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street
Ranked #593 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Reviewed 3 November 2013

We've stayed at the Kensington Close several times over the past twenty-five years, and when the opportunity arose recently to return to London and explore our favorite haunts, it was a natural first choice. We really enjoyed our week there, and would give the place serious consideration for our next visit too. It's a busy tourist hotel, in a good sense, with everyone in the world passing through sooner or later and, like much of London these days, boasting an interesting international staff. Public spaces have been remodeled nicely, and the restaurant (which we visited only for its very good full English breakfasts), was well-patronized in the evenings as well.

Our room was quite comfortable, and we slept well; our area of the fourth floor was quiet and our climate control was efficient. The decor was rather tired, it must be said, and some redecoration was in order in that room at least, but then the bath/shower had been completely redone not long before and was spotless. Housekeeping staff were friendly, attentive, and routinely did the little extra things to keep us comfy.

Check-in was a little difficult for us, since we arrived early at around 8:30 in the morning. We expected our room might not be ready, and it wasn't, but despite frequent inquiries at the desk they were not able to accommodate us until 2PM, which made for a long and bleary morning/early afternoon killing time in the lobby area. Once we were taken in, however, everything was fine.

The hotel is down Wright's Lane, about 200 yards or so to the south off Kensington High Street. That area has been one of my favorites in London during many visits, off and on, over 40+ years, and its restaurant scene is better than ever. Taxis are readily available at the front door and the High Street Kensington tube station (Circle and District) is a 6-7 minute walk from the hotel. We certainly hope to be back --

Room Tip: We punted for one of the middle-category rooms (Executive Rooms, I think they are called?), rather t...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Itinerant_scholar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Dear Itinerant_scholar,

Thank you very much for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. I was pleased to hear how happy you were with your room and the overall style of the hotel following our refurbishment project that was completed last year. I sincerely hope that following your first impressions, we shall have the opportunity of welcoming you back with us in the near future.


Kind regards,

Laszlo Nyari
Hotel Manager

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2,658 - 2,664 of 4,327 reviews

Reviewed 3 November 2013

I stayed in this hotel with a large group of people who were on a 4 day visit to London. The check in was relatively painless and that was where the efficiency ended.
The group had been booked in for months in advance, so they knew we were coming and yet the bar ran out of beer the first night and this was not rectified the second evening either. The bar staff were slow, 2 people including the bar manager who is obviously in that position as he should be able to work quickly and efficiently. Not so. the staff were only interested in printing lots of pieces of paper from the tills. They complained when the noise level went up slightly, not easy when the bar is filled to capacity.
When the bar closed, they were unhelpful and even rude. Quoting hotel policy and rules which obviously showed they had no people skills at all and did not understand sometimes basic English.
The keys to the room worked once and then had to be re-programmed when returning to your room, i was there for 3 nights / 4 days and had to have both keys reprogrammed every day. Not ideal when my room was several floors up. This was a very common theme with the rest of my group as well.
The rooms were clean but very small and very basic. I would have rather they spent money on basic amenities than spending it on 32" tv's which took up half the room and looked so out of place.
The food was acceptable, but nothing to remember.
In short, the hotel need to employ staff that understand basic English and are customer focused.
The only recommendations i could give was find a better hotel.

Room Tip: The only recommendation to choose a good room would be to go to another hotel
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Martin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Dear Martin S,

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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013 via mobile

Rooms were so small could hardly both get in at the same time. Bathrooms dated. Staff were courteous. Location is ideal right next to Kensington high street tube station. V expensive for the standard of room received. Next time we will return to the copthorne Tara next door which is much more modern and far better value for money

  • Stayed: October 2013
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Thank DevonUKWestcountry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Dear DevonUKWestcountry,

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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

London is such a big, busy bustling so for me getting the right hotel was really important. We hit on this hotel through Tripadvisor and I have to say it made our break in London all the more enjoyable. As you leave Kensington High Street tube station exit left and take the immediate left and facing you about four hundred yards down the road is the Kensington Close Hotel. It is a very big hotel and as you enter through the revolving doors you are greeted by three reception desks and a prompt service. I think there are eight floors and three very slow and very small elevators. The rooms on the sixth floor are tiny! Probably the smallest hotel room I have ever stayed in. A tv on the wall two single beds and a small table make up the room. The bathroom is even smaller with no where to put your toliiteries. The toilet is situated in a very tight corner where you almost have to come out of in order to turn around! So why am I giving it a four? Well it is a lovely hotel in a fabulous location and we really didn't spend much time in the room so it did not take away from our stay. We did not eat at the hotel as breakfast for one adult and one child was £32 (nearly €40!) so we went across the road to a tea shop called The Muffin Man which is really, really nice and had English muffins and scrambled eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice, apple juice, toast and real tea for £15 for the two of us. As I said a really nice place and with lovely fresh food and half the price of the hotels breakfast. This hotel is an ideal four star base to see the fabulous city of London. Don't let he size of the rooms put you off because the Kensington (is) Close to everything!

Room Tip: Some rooms have a small double bed with only half a headboard so don't be afraid to bring this t...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Dublin_Family2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Dear Dublin_Family2010,

Thank you very much for your positive feedback regarding your recent stay with us. I was pleased to hear how happy you were with your room and the service provided by our staff. 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

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Reviewed 2 November 2013

Booked a one night stay here on a business/leisure trip. Our room was tiny, dirty, the heating didn't work, smelt of stale smoke and desperately needed a refurb! We were moved to another room due to the heating issue - this was equally tiny and was more desperate for a refurb than the first room!
But we only needed to sleep so we did not let it spoil our stay
We will not be recommending or returning here - a shame as the location is fab!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank LouLou73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this reviewResponded 3 November 2013

Dear LouLou73,

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
Reviewed 1 November 2013

Had booked a room for one night as some friends were staying from North America..On arrival tried to contact my friends but reception staff said they were unable to find out who they were. This was partly due to a not perfect command of English and partly because they could not comprehend that it was a husband and wife I was looking for. Anyway for 2 hours I kept contacting Reception to discover if my friends had returned, language was a problem and on one occasion I was put through to a man's room who was Middle Eastern and had to apologise for disturbing him.
Eventually I received a call from my friends who it appeared had left a message for me at Reception saying they would be late. No message and no apology. Not particularly competent.

Then for breakfast I was sent the incorrect items ordered one of which I was allergic to. Fortunately I realised there was something wrong before sampling the breakfast. I did eventually manage to speak to the Duty Manager who apologised and said nothing should be substituted without the guest's knowledge and in fact really they should not run out of items offered on the menu as standard. He did deduct the breakfast from my bill and apologise. I just hope they are more careful regarding food requests.

Overall the room was clean and ok for one night but in general not overly impressed for the star rating. Lifts atrocious for the amount of service they see, waiting times not acceptable. Also, if using international staff because of clientele it would help if they spoke and understood English better since it's based in London UK. In this day and age I do not expect purely British staff but I do expect the staff to be able to speak English as well as any other language.

Room Tip: Lower floors if able to walk as lifts slow to disastrous. Not a good example of star rating.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank MorganLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this reviewResponded 3 November 2013

Dear MorganLondon,

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
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
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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 High Street, responded to this reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street

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:
#75 Spa Hotel in London
#351 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range: £96 - £211 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street 4*
Number of rooms: 708
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street 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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