Looking for pros and cons of staying in Kensington vs Covent Garden. Thanks all
Quieter, more expensive, a bit less touristy.
All the things Claudia said. Kensington will be less crowded as it is generally out of the madness. Your experience in Kensington will likely be a bit more refined. But as Claudia rightly points out - it will be more expensive.
Do you mean Kensington itself, South Kensington or one of the surrounding areas with hotels calling itself Kensington?
Hotel costs vary in both areas depending on the hotel. The big difference is that the Kensington area will usually be quieter and calmer than Covent Garden as it is more residential.
We always stay in the South Kensington area by the Gloucester tube stop. Hyde park is about a 20 minutes walk away and Portobello Rd. a little further. Where Covent Garden might be better is when there is a strike on the tube and busses move at a snail’s pace due to the increased traffic, as happened earlier this month when we were there.
We stayed in Covent Garden and loved it. It was lively and noisy at night, but so many restaurants within a few minutes walk. That was useful to not have to go far after an 8-10 hour march every day to see the sites.
My first trip to London I stayed at Baileys Hotel in Kensington, right across the street from the Gloucester Rd tube station--I loved the neighborhood, short walk to the V&A and Harrod's (their food hall is sublime) and plenty of other good restaurants nearby. Trips 2 & 3 I decided to try the Bayswater area, close to Paddington Stn, Hyde park and Portobello Road and it was a much quieter residential area that I really liked, but trip 4 in April I decided I wanted to stay at Baileys again as this area seems more convenient to me.
I too stayed in Kensington once and found it quite refined. If I had an option between the two I would stay in Covent Garden.
The Kensington region, with its various names, is more residential (posh) with plenty of shopping and restaurants that cater to the locals. Several important museums, the Royal Albert Hall, and Hyde Park are all within easy reach. It is certainly not the cheapest place to stay but does offer variety and decent mass transit connections.
We prefer staying in Kensington or Chelsea.
I lived in South Kensington, a few minutes from Gloucester Rd Station, and took the tube every day to Covent Garden Station for work. I always had to brace myself when I got off at Covent Garden for the crowds and chaos. I loved having lunch there, but it was nice, at the end of each day, to go back to the quieter residential area. Of course, I wasn't a tourist.
South Kensington has been my favorite area since long before Rick found it. Nice to walk down to the river (bit of a walk), or Fulham Road, and dine in places that feel like neighborhood spots. When the Piccadilly line reopens at South Kensington Station, it will be as convenient as ever.