Hotel Check: Residence Inn Kensington, London, United Kingdom
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Kensington is a laidback section of London where life is a bit slower, and this residential neighborhood provides the perfect spot for a long-stay guest to get in the groove of things. With two options for Tube stops within walking distance, no section of London seems far away. Free breakfast and the option for multi-bedroom suites make this a convenient option for business travelers in town for a few weeks or even just a few days.
PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $180
CONTACT Residence Inn London Kensington, 181-183 Warwick Road, London, UK W14 8PU, Phone +44-20-3146-7980,https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/lonrk-residence-inn-london-kensington/
WHERE IS IT In the heart of Kensington, one of the best features of the neighborhood is its convenience to London’s Heathrow Airport, which can take just as few as 20 minutes to reach by car. Even better is the fact that you can walk to numerous locales like Holland Park or the Natural History Museum. Everything else is a convenient public transport ride away.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Walls of windows welcome guests to the bright lobby where travelers find individual check-in desks. Even more interesting are the low-slung rocking chairs and oversized lounge seats where guests can chill while using the free wireless Internet or perusing the clever cultural books about the United Kingdom.
ROOM FACILITIES As is typical with Residence Inn properties, rooms (well, suites) all feature separate living and sleeping areas with kitchen spaces that have three core dining amenities including full-sized refrigerators, stove-top ovens, and cupboards stocked with crockery, silverware, and corkscrews. Rooms range between ensuite bedrooms with living spaces to dual-bedroom suites that are more like apartments with additional living rooms. I loved that the windows open for fresh air although the air conditioning was already especially strong. Dining tables in the living room double as desks and are within easy reach of power outlets. All rooms come with hot water kettles, Nespresso machines, and ample storage space. The duvet-covered beds have easy-access power and USB outlets, which were perfect. There is also an ample amount of storage space in large closets, shelves, and even bathrooms with more shelves plus tiled floors (these reminded me of chic Brazilian or Portuguese sidewalks). Residence Inn is moving away from individual toiletry bottles to larger pump toiletries from Essential Elements that are designed to reduce plastic waste.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Most Residence Inn properties do not have dining facilities although between Monday and Wednesday nights, many North American properties offer wine and beer happy hours with light bites for guests to enjoy on a complimentary basis. At this property, there is a full-service bar that offers made-to-order cocktails plus local beer and tasty wines. Free breakfast is served each day with rotating selections offered to keep frequent guests interested. Later in the day, guests can order snacks along with their cleverly made drinks, which are the perfect start to an entertaining night out in London.
LEISURE FACILITIES There is no pool, but the all-hours fitness center has the latest in equipment, and guests can sign up for the Under Armour app-sponsored runs that take guests on interesting sightseeing tours of the area while getting a good workout. This is one of Residence Inn’s brand partnerships that is especially popular with solo business travelers and those with little time to otherwise explore the neighborhood.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Free wireless Internet is available throughout the hotel, and people can print boarding passes from the computers in the lobby.
VERDICT If you want to live the suite life near city-center activity, this is the hotel for you. It is one of the closest city hotels to Heathrow (without being an airport hotel), and it comes with the prospect of free breakfast and extra living space to boot.
(Pictures by Residence Inn Kensington)
By Ramsey Qubein
Ramsey is a regular contributor to Business Traveler across all print, digital, web and social channels. He travels more than 400,000 miles a year criss-crossing the globe to report on hotels, airlines, loyalty programs, and all things travel.
You can find more from Ramsey at http://www.ramseyq.com/, on Twitter – @dailytraveltips and Instagram – @dailytraveltips