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“Not as bad as some say”

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Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street
Ranked #607 of 1,069 Hotels in London
Sudbury, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Not as bad as some say”
Reviewed 9 December 2013

Good points:
Lovely smiling doorman.
Spotless room and shower room.
Polite staff.
Good location, close to tube.

Bad Points:
Really hot despite turning the heating to low and opening windows!
No ventilation in shower room.
Breakfast was nothing special and certainly not worth the price. I've had better at Premier Inn.
A bit tatty in the corridors.

Would we stay here again? Yes, it's okay but we'd go for breakfast elsewhere and bring a fan.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RaisinOfReason
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, General Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review and thank you especially for your kind comments about my staff – they will delighted to read them.

As to your other remarks, I accept the points you make except that I can only conclude that the air-conditioning unit in your room wasn’t working as it should. If you didn’t mention this to my staff during your stay I would be grateful if you could email me via: duty.manager@kensingtonclosehotel.com and let me know which room you stayed in so I can get it fixed.

Kind Regards,

Laszlo Nyari
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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UK
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2013

Unfortunately we had a bad experience from start to finish at this hotel.

On arrival at 2pm, we were told our room was not ready, and had to wait a further 30 mins after check in time to get our key. We got upstairs to find we'd been allocated a room in the middle of a building site, every other room we could see around us was having renovations, and to get to our room we had to wheel our cases over plastic sheeting. Not wanting to waste anymore time as reception was busy, we went out for the rest of the day, when we returned we requested we be moved as we did not want to be located in a building site on our holiday. Unfortunately they stated no other double rooms were available so we had no choice but to sleep there. The room was very small, with a carpet that was threadbare in places, the kettle was located on a shelf/compartment extremely low down and you had to bend very awkwardly around the bed to even get it out. The bathroom was clean & new, but very small. This room was on the 7th floor.

First thing in the morning (About 8.30) we were woken to the sound of banging, whistling and shouting coming from the builders right outside our door. We got ready and went to reception. We had to walk along the corridor which had the sheeting, dust, rubbish like bits of food & plaster, wires etc, and full of builders covered in dust/paint etc. Reception stated again that there was nothing we could do but we managed to convince them to change our room. She asked if we would like help moving our bags, and I stated yes, but then no-body came to help up. On return to the room, a builder said hello to me, which i replied, then when i walked past him he made crude 'kissing' noises at me and then they started laughing and speaking in Polish, which was very uncomfortable.

We moved to the other room, and on walking in we realised it was a twin bedroom. I went back downstairs to explain I wanted a double room as i was on holiday with my spouse, but they shook their heads and said nothing was available. (Having read recent reviews on here I see that people who appeared to stay at the same time as us and were upgraded to a double exec room so I don't see why we weren't). We felt we had no choice but to stay there as we couldn't face going back to the other awfully located room. At least the room was a bit nicer than the other one! They should not be putting guests in the middle of renovation corridors -surely a health and safety issue at the minimum?

In the evening, we realised that the heating was pumping out cold air. We rang reception, to be told that they would look at the problem and we could go to sleep. An hour later, at almost midnight, a man knocked on the door, and wheeled in an oil-filled radiator. We were thankful of this as we were very cold in the morning as it was and found it hard to sleep. However, the radiator had at least two broken wheels and therefore moving it around was difficult and dangerous.

We stayed in the room a third night which I hardly slept, the combination of staying in a single bed alone & the room being freezing cold was very uncomfortable.

I complained to reception on checking out and asked to speak with the manager. I was offered a tiny discount - just for one night, at first, but I refused - (We'd had a bad experience all three nights) and asked to speak with someone higher up. They then offered even less of a discount per night, but off the whole stay, which I opted for as he said there was nothing else they could do. This hotel is supposedly a four star rating, but it DOES NOT correspond to a 4* experience. Please see my other reviews for Premier Inns, which have been a much better standard of accommodation & service. The hotel have been in touch to offer a 'free upgrade and breakfast next time we stay there', however from reading other reviews the exec rooms are of poor quality anyway, so what's the point?

We cannot comment on the food as I decided after the first night I would not give this hotel any more of my money so decided to eat elsewhere.

The ONLY good things about this hotel are it's location, just a couple of minutes from Kensington High Street. The lobby also looks nice & very festive this time of year, but the public areas are a total contrast to the service & rooms.

Room Tip: Make sure you're not in the middle of the building site!!!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank yorks121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, General Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Dear Guest,

I was dismayed to read how poorly you rated your stay with us. I can’t however disagree with your rating, given what you have said were your experiences. What I can say though is that the service we provided you was quite simply not good enough.

We unfortunately had very few rooms available during your stay and I do hope you take us up on our offers to make amends.

I am absolutely furious to read about your encounter with our people who were renovating some of the rooms on your floor. I have previously made it clear to all that it is unfair to talk amongst themselves in front of guests in a language which is not shared by the guests. This is to avoid exactly the sort of uncomfortable situation you found yourself in where perfectly innocent conversations can be misunderstood – I am sure the conversation you overheard was not related to you at all. But I share your discomfort: how would you know? I am very sorry for that and will reinforce my previous message.

I do hope we will have the chance of seeing you again and having an opportunity to make proper amends.

Kind Regards,

Laszlo Nyari
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Limassol
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2013

I stayed on a business trip to London for three nights. The room was surprisingly spacious compared to the boxes so many other hotels offer, a very comfortable bed and an extremely quiet night. The hotel is located no more than 200 meters from West Kensington Tube station so ideally placed. Breakfast was great, a good choice, freshly cooked and good, efficient and friendly service from the staff. Check in was smooth and again very friendly. Hotels are never cheap in this area, but with that constraint, I thought the hotel provided reasonable value and would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ukfamlivingincyprus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, General Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Dear Guest,

I am very grateful to you indeed for taking the trouble to post your review and confirming our own opinion that for this part of central London we provide reasonable value for guests. We look forward to seeing you again.

Kind Regards,

Laszlo Nyari
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 December 2013

Not a good start when the hotel couldnt find my booking despite having the reference number. When they did find it, they tried to charge me for the room even though it was paid in advance and tell me that breakfast wasnt included when it was. After waiting for the man to 'check with the manager' they then sent me to a room with someone already in it.

The actual room was small but functional and the bed was very (very) comfortable. Would I go back, if it wasnt for the inept reception staff, probably.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Duncan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, General Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Dear Duncan,

I am embarrassed to read what happened on check-in. I am very sorry about that – my reception staff are invariably much more efficient than that and we should have been able to trace your booking without difficulty. I am glad you liked the bed and delighted to see that you would come and stay with us again, when I am sure your experience at reception will be much better.

Kind Regards,

Laszlo Nyari
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2013

Great place to stay with a good location. Rooms are a bit boring and old. Feels like staying in a university accommodation. Service is great, so are the hotels extras like spa, swimming pool and restaurants

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank naimem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, General Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your high ratings for value and location and for your kind comments about our service and facilities – they are much appreciated – though I was a little disappointed to see you still give us only 2 stars overall. Hope to see you again soon…

Kind Regards,

Laszlo Nyari
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tbilisi, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2013

I read the reviews and I knew many of the negatives, so I was ready. This was a business trip - I needed a covenient room in which to take a shower, and to sleep. And I like cheap. Kensington Close fit the bill. I prepaid the room for 3 nights and breakfast each morning. I was still saving more than 100 pounds per night over the hotels near Westminster where our conference was held. I had prepaid and the room was ready at 1030 when I wandered in! I expected to drop my bag and come back at 1400. The desk staff was excellent, and gave me directions to the right elevator / staircase.

The bed was comfortable. The room was clean. The size of the room was in line with any other London hotel I have stayed in. (Meaning - not very big!) Shower worked, TV worked. Thanks to TripAdvisor I knew about the fire alarm on Monday at 1100, so I was not shocked when it went off - It is very loud, and went off multiple times over 5 minutes. (I went into bathroom and closed the door. The noise was tolerable.)

Breakfast is what it is - eggs scrambled or sunnyside up - or ask the cook to prepare differently. Bacon and sausage - UK style. I skipped the sausage and cut the fat off the bacon. Made a tasty sandwich. Hash brown potatoe triangles. Beans. Lots of fruit. Bread, croissant, fruit tarts. 5 different juices. Coffee and tea served to your table. Very pleasant waitstaff. Breakfast opens at 0630. (Muffin Man does not open until 0800. Inside High Street Kensington Station are other coffee/tea/simple breakfast choices which open early.)

The hotel seems to cater to airline flight crews - I saw at least 20 different crews in 3 days. And to some large tour groups - I saw 6 or 7 large groups. To avoid during check-in or check-out I think 1400 is right for arrival, and 1100 is after the groups leave for checking out.

Beyond the convenient breakfast I do not see that the hotel is the right place for meeting for drinks, having a meal, etc. There are too many excellent choices within moments walk. Or hop the Circle line and head to the center - 15 minutes ride. No need to change trains.

Knowing that the hotel will acknowledge this review (Laszlo?), I would say that the Internet cost may be in line with other London hotels but it would be a far better business practice to be different and better than those other hotels. May I suggest 1) Free! (Or at least free in the lobby.) 2) Prepaid at 5 pounds per day or 9.95 per day as it is now at arrival. In today's world this is a critical necessity for the business traveler. I knew ahead of time and I did pay. - BUT, for the same price you can get the Internet and all PAY MOVIES. Ask about this at check-in. It is not really advertised. It came up as special offer when I turned on the TV.

Does 8 pounds stop me from using the "spa". Absolutely. The pool is all I would use. A relaxation after a day of meetings. I can wait the few days and go swimming near home for 3 euro in a much larger pool. So thanks but again an a la carte item that is unnecessary for this traveler.

Finally - signage. It is not easy to find your way around, nor to know when events (breakfast) are available. In my room the only information was the Room Service menu, and the price list for laundry. The TV menu did not offer hotel information beyond my name and room number. On the back of the little key envelope is some information about hours of operation of the restaurant - I did not find this until I was checking out - silly me. Appropriate signs in the hallways, near the entrance of the restaurant, at the concierge desk, etc would be very helpful.

The Kensington Close Hotel served me very well, and I will happily return. Perhaps some little changes that help the business traveler will magically appear in the time until I visit again!

Room Tip: Rooms at the back - looking down at employees smoking area, and the trash containers - are very quie...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tiflis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, General Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Dear Guest,

You are right – I will be acknowledging your review! I find it to be very thorough, very useful for future guests who have not stayed before and very fair.

Your suggestions are very welcome indeed and gratefully received. Whilst I cannot promise to have all of them in place for your next trip to London (and hopefully therefore to our hotel), I will give them my full consideration. Some have been made before, of course. One tiny point on the wifi - in the Lounge area there are computers allotted for guest use where the wifi is free, though I accept this may not be as convenient as using your own device.

Thanks again.

Kind Regards,

Laszlo Nyari
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2013

We had an executive double room that was extremely small and did not have a bath so we actually down graded to a standard room with a bath that was surprisingly bigger. However our room smelt of damp and the tv did not work despite asking reception twice to sort the problem, after 2 days the tv was finally fixed. The breakfast was nice but very expensive for the small choice, we also had lunch in the lounge bar which was less than average the lemon chicken sandwich tasted dry and nothing of lemon; the chef said it shouldn't taste of lemon despite it being called lemon chicken on the menu! Overall service was pretty poor and we actually god fed up of having to complain, will not return.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Charlotte221991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laszlo N, General Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this review, 9 December 2013
Dear Charlotte,

I am sorry if your recent experience at our hotel was less than you – or I should expect. Clearly we let you down on service, we took much too long to fix the tv and didn’t explain properly about the lemon chicken sandwich (it shouldn’t taste overtly of lemon but be infused sufficiently to add flavour). My apologies on all fronts.

Kind Regards,

Laszlo Nyari
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

Property: 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:
#72 Spa Hotel in London
#352 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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