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“A business hotel that should focus on the rooms”

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The Kensington Hotel
Ranked #5 of 35 Hotels in Ann Arbor
Reviewed 14 October 2013

The basics: I traveled with my 12 year old son and we stayed two nights (Friday & Saturday) while at the University of Michigan. I booked the room blindly through Hotwire since I got a good deal ($105 vs $139 best alternative I could find).

This hotel has a well-appointed lobby, an attached restaurant/bar, plenty of meeting rooms, and a ballroom. It does not cater to families (that's ok) and must market itself to large group sales or the daily business clientele. Does it succeed in doing this? Perhaps, as my stay during non-business days couldn't verify it, but I can tell you on Friday night, around 9:30pm when we got in, there were exactly six cars in the parking lot. If you assume the front desk person had a car, that meant we were one of five guests in a hotel of 200 rooms. Ever stay in an empty hotel? As my son said, "it's pretty spooky, dad".

Perhaps as my title says, their focus is in the wrong place. Why spend the money on the entrance when other areas are in such need?

The entrance way is under construction (seems like a big undertaking). That seems misguided when money could better be spent in the hotel rooms. How? Here's a partial list I made. The ceiling height in the bathroom was very low (around 6'6" total). The shower head was at eye level (I'm 5'10") and anyone taller than 6' would struggle to shower. The only towel rack is above the toilet and away from the shower (no hooks either?). The TP dispenser was unreachable from the toilet! The separate sink area (outside the bathroom proper) did not have any towels or racks! Upon entering the room, the light switch did not turn anything on. One pillow was dirty. The hotel also has only one set of elevators............not ideal if it were actually full.

There were some positives. The bathroom floors and walls were tile. The lobby was attractive. The front desk was attentive. The room TV's had a few premium channels. The swimming pool was very large (had a 9' deep end!), the sauna, hot tub, and workout room were all very nice. If the weather is bad, having a restaurant/bar option attached is ideal for business travelers.

I spent some time trying to think how to rate Kensington Court. I would return if traveling alone on business, if I highly valued the pool/sauna/weight room, and if I received a good price through the discount sites (Hotwire/Priceline). For a family visit or if you're paying rack rate, this shouldn't be your first choice as all the Holiday/Hilton/Sheraton chains are nearby.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lee C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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457 - 463 of 559 reviews

Reviewed 5 October 2013

Stayed here for a quick business trip, and the hotel was passable but not a great experience overall. The lobby is definitely nicer than the rooms.

Pros:
Lobby is clean, comfortable, and well appointed
Front desk staff friendly
Were allowed early check-in
Easy drive to anywhere on the Michigan campus

Cons:
My room faced the road and was fairly noisy
Had to slam my door to shut it
Bathroom was not very clean - hairs all over the shower, etc
Dead moth on the floor in my room, as well as a spider when I pulled back the covers
Strange smell (old? musty?) in the hallways and in my room
Rooms need a lot of updating

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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Thank cj_minneapolis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2013

Spent several days here attending a meeting. The hotel room was clean and quiet and the beds were comfortable. Wifi faded in and out at times. The hotel has a 1990 feel to it and needs to pay better attention to first impression details such as its dirty chandeliers, streaky front windows and dust covered music speaker in the lobby. There is an exercise room but the treadmill was not working the night we planned to use it. Location is safe and is right next to Briarwood Mall. Several dinning options are within walking distance and downtown is a couple miles north. We did not try the hotel restaurant.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Gofar19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2013

Visit Ann Arbor 3-4 times a year. The Kensington Court is a good value hotel with a very location next to the Briarwood Mall and only minutes from downtown AA and the U of Michigan campus.
Rooms are comfortable and clean. The front desk staff are friendly, courteous and helpful.

The hotel is not fancy, but if you are looking for a clean, comfortable hotel with a good location, consider the Kensington Court.

Room Tip: Be wary of booking rooms during University of Michigan home football games: room prices get jacked u...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank coa2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2013

This hotel was decent, nothing fancy, probably a good value. Our room was clean. The property seems safe. One section of the hotel near vending machine was dilapidated, and there was only hot water from around 6:30am to around late morning. Too bad if you want to shower in the afternoon or evening, as I tried. Also, no box of tissues in the room. We ate in the restaurant twice for breakfast. Food was decent. The menu listed a breakfast buffet, but they did not have it either day. Possibly our visit was during a very low period and they cut back a lot of services. Next time I will look elsewhere, mostly because of the cold showers.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank 32tza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2013

I was booked into this motel by a client and it wasn't bad. But the property is definitely older. The restaurant was just so-so and the breakfast was not complimentary, something that I have come to expect at these rate levels. The view out of my window was a rooftop with air conditioning units. Very friendly service both at the reception desk and with housekeeping. I will stay there again only as long as someone else is paying for it.

Room Tip: Insist on not having a room near the elevator.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Business_TravelerFFX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2013

We've stayed at the Kensington Court several times over the years and will continue to go back. From our experiences it's the nicest place to stay in Ann Arbor (we've stayed at the Campus Inn, Michigan League, as well as other Briarwood Mall-area hotels). Good location next to Briarwood Mall and restaurants. Easy access to U of M main and athletic campuses. Nice pool (fix that noisy fan, please!). We stay on the Executive level with access to the concierge lounge -- a real plus! A recommended hotel in Ann Arbor.

Room Tip: Executive level with access to concierge lounge
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank reynoldsBA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Kensington Hotel

Address: 3500 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48108-1632 (Formerly Kensington Court)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Michigan > Ann Arbor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 35 Hotels in Ann Arbor
Price Range: £89 - £174 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Kensington Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 198
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Kensington Hotel is the premier destination in Ann Arbor for overnight accommodations, your next meeting, wedding, family gathering or staycation. Conveniently located just of of I-94 and State Street exit near Briarwood Mall. Come enjoy our recently renovated guest rooms and Union! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kensington Court Ann Arbor
The Kensington Hotel Ann Arbor, Michigan

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