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Kensington Gardens Hotel

In another thread, I promised a review of the inexpensive hotel we chose for before and after our RS London tour. We selected the Kensington Gardens Hotel, 9 Kensington Gardens Square, in Bayswater. The guidebook describes it as "pleasant and slightly scuffed," and that may be a fair assessment. The room was fine - bigger than the one in our much more expensive tour hotel (myHotel Chelsea), with en suite bathroom. The room and public areas were spotlessly clean, and the room had big windows that open onto Kensington Gardens Square (NOT Kensington Gardens), a small neighborhood park. The area is very quiet, day and night. A good breakfast is served in the Phoenix Hotel, next door to the KG. Both hotels have friendly, hardworking staff (mostly young Polish girls, it seems.) The rate we paid was 89 GBP per night - a bargain. The downside - which may be a deal-breaker for some: no lift. We were on the fourth floor, (what we would call the fifth floor,) and we were certainly glad we packed light :-) Rooms are available on lower floors, if you request them.

The neighborhood is a major plus. We were only about a block away from Queensway Rd, bustling with shops and restaurants in all price ranges. There is also a nice multi-story mall just at the corner of Queensway, a block from the hotel. Plenty of ATMs as well. Everything you might want or need is available. (I even found a Catholic Church on Queensway.) The Bayswater tube station is about 5-7 minutes walk from the hotel, and it's a short walk south to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.

In short, we loved the hotel, the location, the breakfast, and the price. We would definitely stay there again, and can recommend the hotel whole-heartedly, as long as you can handle the stairs.

Posted by
3580 posts

In the same general area and across the street from Kensington Gardens and the Serpentine is a hotel with lift: Number 63, at 63 Bayswater Road. It's run by Soroptimists Imternational and charges reasonable rates. I walk there from Paddington Station.

Posted by
7721 posts

Jane -- I wanted to thank you for this review, as based on it, I booked 3 nights at the hotel last week. I agree with your assessment and thought it was excellent value, if a little "tired" (as you said, scuffed), but clean. I was all ready for the stairs, and then they put me on the ground floor!!

When I checked out, the owner (I think) told me that they are refurbishing, starting with the top floors, so prices will go up. In fact, some of the new beds were filling up the front salon the 3 days I was there!!

Anyway, I just wanted to second your recommendation, and I also really liked the neighborhood and transit links. Thanks for taking the time to post about it, I definitely benefited from your sharing!!

Posted by
5160 posts

You're welcome, Kim. I'm glad you enjoyed the area as much as we did. I hope the prices don't go up too much; we're hoping for a return trip in the next year or two.

Posted by
14 posts

Plus one for KGH. We stayed three nights in one of the refurbished rooms earlier this month and have zero complaints. Our room was not spacious, but it wasn't scuffed or tired either. Quiet, even with the window open. Rowshanak was a very gracious hostess and breakfast next door was perfectly fine. Great location close to two tube stations and plenty of nearby restaurants and other businesses. Highly recommend.

Posted by
5160 posts

Cubancoffee, do you mind telling what you paid for the room? One of the earlier posters suggested the prices would be going up. We're returning to London in the spring, and will probably stay at KG again. I haven't emailed them yet; last year they couldn't take reservations until later in the year.

Posted by
5160 posts

I'll answer my own question, since I have emailed the hotel: an en-suite double with breakfast is now 120 GBP. Last February (2015) we paid 89 GBP. Rowshanak did tell me about some specials: you can get an en-suite double for 90 GBP if you forgo breakfast, and an additional 10% off if you lock in your dates - no changes! We can't do that, because we haven't reserved our plane tickets yet, but we may consider the no breakfast option. And I'll continue to look at other hotels. We really would like to keep it down to about 100 GBP or less, with breakfast.

Posted by
504 posts

Thanks for updating this thread!

This really does sound like a great place, and the price is right!

Posted by
5160 posts

I do like having a breakfast available, but for me when travelling it's generally bread, cheese, fruit, maybe some yogurt or a hard boiled egg. DH makes a sandwich out of whatever meats and cheeses there are. We both appreciate juice. So a hot breakfast isn't an inducement, but a nice buffet is. And the only time I drink coffee is when we're travelling; at home we drink tea!

Posted by
5160 posts

I have an update on the prices. If you go to the website, www.kensingtongardenshotel.co.uk, there are cheaper rates available. An en-suite double without breakfast is about 90 GBP a night; that rate allows changes up to 24 hours before the reservation date. If you lock in your dates, no changes or cancellations allowed, it's about 10% cheaper.

I emailed Rowshanak (info@kensingtongardenshotel.co.uk), and she told me breakfast can be purchased by the day at 6 GBP for the buffet or 7.5 for the full English breakfast. This brings the rate to just a bit over 100 pounds per day, if we both get breakfast. We enjoyed the generous buffet when we stayed there last February. Rowshanak also assured me that with the cheaper rate we would get the same quality room as if we paid the 120 GBP rate.