Venetia van Kuffeler discovers a luxurious home away
from home at The Kensington hotel, a property ideally
placed for London’s diplomatic community
Located in the heart of South Kensington, one of London's most charming neighbourhoods, the stylish Kensington hotel sits only moments from many of London’s embassies and iconic cultural landmarks. With open fires, high ceilings, and heritage decor, the hotel’s elegant drawing rooms evoke a sense of Victorian grandeur and provide the ideal setting for meetings, evening drinks or a home away from home for those visiting London.
Situated in the heart of South Kensington, where Queen’s Gate meets the Old Brompton Road, the property comprises four traditional white Victorian townhouses, 126 rooms and 24 suites, each of which have been individually designed to complement the hotel’s elegant period architecture. As part of The Doyle Collection, a family-owned Irish luxury hotel group with a 60-year heritage, The Kensington reopened in 2021 with a new suite offering.
I stayed in room 112, one of their signature suites found at the end of the corridor, which revealed a large sitting room with bespoke bar, grand chandelier and vast flat screen tv. Down a short hallway, the bedroom housed a huge velvet sofa, and a marble fireplace with gas fire, lit at the touch of a remote control. Offering a contemporary take on classic design, vibrant colours and fabrics were used throughout the room, along with oil paintings, prints and plenty of elaborate lamps and light fittings. For me, the masterpiece was the elaborate bathroom, decked out in striking Calcutta marble, with large mirrors, brass fittings, jacuzzi bath and separate shower. The underfloor heating was certainly welcome during my January stay with outside temperatures of -3. With no less than four televisions in the suite, technology was a highlight. One was hidden in an ornate mirror above a marble fireplace, and another fitted into the wall at the foot of the bath. The vast and beautifully comfortable bed ensured an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Even the guests at the next-door table at breakfast were praising their cosy and restful overnight stay. Staying in room 112 felt like a real treat.
Downstairs in the Drawing Room, guests can enjoy a light bite to eat, afternoon tea or just relax and catch up on some work in front of the fire. The hotel’s sophisticated oak-panelled K Bar is a discrete venue for both business and pleasure, where guests can enjoy a creative cocktail mixed by the immaculate staff, a glass of wine from the bespoke wine fridge or an artisan gin or fine whiskey from the extensive selection of spirits.
The hotel’s restaurant Town House offers a modern British mix of creative, seasonal, locally-sourced dishes throughout the day, served with a natural, unshowy flair. Dinner included sea bass tartare with yuzu, honey and crispy lotus root, followed by perfectly grilled Dover sole served off the bone, with fries and buttered spinach. Completely delightful. The dining room is a haven of calm, with walls lined with books and soft jazz playing in the background.
The hotel also has a fully equipped gym or for those that prefer the outdoors there is the 242 acres of Hyde Park nearby. Even better, the Kensington also has its own Kensington blue Pashley vintage bikes, which guests can use to explore the locality, with the option of a picnic prepared by the culinary team.
The Kensington really has a unique sense of style and a real sense of place in the local community making it a delightful hotel in which to stay. Much of this unique atmosphere is due to the incredible team of staff on hand to cater for to the guests’ every need. Nothing was too much trouble. In the sea of corporate hotels in London, this is quite unique.
Better still, The Kensington is ideally placed to work with London’s diplomatic community. Exclusively for embassies and high commissions, guests can receive 15% off bedrooms and suites until 31 December 2023.
To pursue this offer, please quote DIPLOMAT when contacting
(Subject to availability, exclusion dates apply.)
109-133 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5LP
T: +44 20 7589 6300 E: Kensington_hotel@doyelcollection.com