Crowne Plaza London - Kensington
Why We Love This Hotel
- Victorian townhouse in Kensington, with an acre of private gardens
- Great location, 10 minutes' walk from three museums & Hyde Park
- Public transport links are excellent
- It's home to Umami, the highly regarded pan-Asian restaurant
Set in an upscale corner of West London, the Crowne Plaza London Kensington is a well-equipped townhouse hotel with a boutique feel. Behind its Victorian façade hides a sleek sports bar, a gym with a sauna and -- unusual for a city property -- a leafy acre of private gardens.
The well-reviewed restaurant, Umami, is open daily for dinner and weekday lunches. Dishes are available in two sizes -- small and sharing -- and the London Evening Standard describes the menu as "a brilliant gathering of the best of the pan-Asian table".
The location is excellent for sightseeing and shopping. Ten minutes' walk away is Kensington Palace, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Science Museum, with Harrods and the shops on Kensington High Street a further 10 minutes on foot. Gloucester Road Tube station is just around the corner, bringing you to the heart of the West End in 10 minutes. Business travellers will be a 10-minute taxi journey from Olympia exhibition centre and the City is 30 minutes away by Tube.
Those looking for exercise in the great outdoors can explore Henry VIII's old hunting grounds in neighbouring Hyde Park, a short stroll away. It's ideal for jogging or walking, but there's also a boating lake and open-air swimming at the Serpentine Lido.
Modern rooms are city slick, with pinstripe carpets, rolling desk chairs and double-glazed windows overlooking the garden. Families can be accommodated in Deluxe rooms with two double beds, and connecting rooms are available on request. Upgrade to a split-level suite for longer stays -- they feel more like an apartment. Guests staying in Club rooms also get access to the Club Lounge, where breakfast, beverages and snacks are complimentary. The hotel also has a Quiet Zone, away from ice machines and lifts to ensure a good night's sleep.