“Well-priced, well-placed hotel with smart décor and a quiet courtyard garden, set in the heart of popular Kensington”
Each of the 40 rooms is decorated differently but in a similar style, with neutral colours offset by colourful textiles or feature wallpaper (we loved the red and white fennel design by Osborne & Little). This lends a focal point to a space which might otherwise seem bland - it’s simple but very effective. Bathrooms are clad in beige tiling, with small but powerful showers (no tubs), fluffy bathrobes and White Company toiletries.
There are 6 categories, ranging from the bright but not terribly roomy Standard Singles and Doubles to the larger Deluxes. Our favourites were the 2 Garden Rooms: they’re set in the basement, but the payoff is a private terrace with a table, chairs and leafy pot plants. The top-of-the-range Mezzanine Suites are spacious split-level rooms, but bear in mind that the upstairs - containing either the sleeping area or a somewhat underused sofa and TV - has limited headroom and can get stuffy.
Rooms at the front overlook a main road but are surprisingly quiet; aided by blackout blinds and a very comfy bed, we slept like logs. That said, if you’re particularly sensitive to noise it’s worth requesting a room at the back.
Drinks and food are available via room service or in the open-plan dining room and bar - a bright, breezy space with cushioned banquettes and funky palm-print wallpaper. If the weather’s good, you can head out to the courtyard and eat in the shade of silvery olive trees.
The menu focuses on English classics with a twist, and everything we sampled was top-notch: scallops with crab and a lemon-caper dressing, a smooth liver paté with a refreshing apple chutney, and fresh salmon grilled to perfection and served with a white-wine sauce. We finished by splitting a mixed-berry cheesecake (creamy and decadent) and a bill which was comparatively inexpensive for central London.
Breakfast is equally good. The continental buffet is more imaginative than most, with smoked salmon, organic yoghurts and home-made granola in addition to the usual pastries, fruit and cheeses. As for the English, 'Full' is the word: we were almost bursting after working our way through eggs, sausages, bacon, beans, black pudding, fried bread, mushrooms and some excellent coffee.
There are numerous restaurants within walking distance if you’d prefer to eat out; staff are happy to book tables.
Children are welcome, and there are lots of child-friendly things to do in the area.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
The Mezzanine Suites have a double sofabed and so can sleep up to 4. Baby cots can be provided for free.