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I spend 30-50 nights/year in hotels, and can confidently say that The Ampersand is one of the best hotels I've ever experienced.
I used to live in Kensington (lucky me) and was looking to stay in the area on a recent business trip to London. Ampersand was within my budget (about $250 over the weekend) and stylish. I like the staff's vest (or waistcoat as the Brits call them), tie and jeans look so much that I may adopt it as my own personal style.
Only complaint would be the lack of clothing storage space, but I had a small (ie: cheap) room and I'm guessing the bigger rooms might have more space. This issue is also fairly commonplace in London.
Location is perfect for exploring the museums, Hyde Park, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington and Chelsea, as well as being reasonably close to Westminster and Notting Hill as well.
London's best Spanish restaurant, Casa Brindisa, is right around the corner. Make reservations. There are unfortunately no truly good pubs in the immediate area (the Hoop & Toy is garbage), but the Anglesea Arms is a 10 minute walk away and is as Kensington as it gets. For another nice walk try to seek out Kynance Mews, which might be the most charming little street in London.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With some of the most stylish hotel rooms in Kensington, The Ampersand is a privately-owned luxury London hotel that combines contemporary excellence in design, service, food and technology in an 1888 building at the capital's heart. We have been inspired by those great Victorian values of discovery and wonder - and given them a modern, whimsical twist. The result: a cosmopolitan, 111-room luxury boutique hotel, bar, restaurant and drawing rooms, delivering 21st-century warmth, humour and total comfort.The Ampersand Hotel is situated just a minute's walk from South Kensington tube station, and is well connected to Heathrow airport. ... more less
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