Feb222017

My Square Foot–Holiday Inn London Kensington unkingly quiet

My Square Foot is a title I reserve for reviews of the smallest hotel rooms I stay in my travels. London comes up frequently in this category of hotel stays.

Holiday Inn London Kensington is a hotel I enjoyed for its hotel location and the quiet room location within the hotel. This is a large hotel with 706 rooms on 8 floors.

Holiday Inn London Kensington is a recent rebrand of the hotel formerly known as Kensington Close Hotel. There is still remodeling work happening as the stairway was closed off at Floor 6 for walking downstairs to Floor 5.

Holiday Inn London Kensington is a different hotel from the more popular web search result for Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum, a 906 room, 27-floor hotel in the tallest building in the area and located a couple blocks away on Cromwell Road. Crowne Plaza Kensington is also on Cromwell Road across the street from the Forum hotel. Typing in Holiday Inn London Kensington Wrights Lane gives better search results.

Transportation to Holiday Inn London Kensington

By Tube
To get to Holiday Inn Kensington Hotel on the tube travel on the Circle or District lines and get off at High Street Kensington.

On Foot
Exit High Street Kensington Tube Station onto Kensington High Street and turn to your left. Start walking and turn left again onto Wrights Lane. You will see Holiday Inn Kensington Hotel at the end of the street. The hotel is about three minutes walk.

HI Kensington

Holiday Inn London Kensington, Wright’s Lane

The hotel has eight guest floors, an expansive lobby, basement spa, gym and swimming pool (10 GBP guest pool fee), Starbucks in the lobby.

Our room was 6080 in the far right rear corner of the hotel, a good quiet location facing a private gated community and park. The room size was a bit too compact for two persons sharing an #altfact King Bed with inadequate space for two suitcases.

153 square feet of bijou room

HI KEN 6080-a

London is the city where i most frequently encounter unexpectedly small room sizes.

The hotel website claims all Guest Rooms have a work desk with lamp. Is there any space in my room photos you would consider a work desk space?

HI Ken-b

The ledge below the TV is the only fixture in the room that could be described as a work space, however there were no chairs in the room to work at that space.

HI Ken-c

46 inches (137 cm) Wide Bed is Unkingly Fit by any Measure.

The annoying part of my hotel stay was being told the 54-inch wide bed was in fact the King Size Bed room I had booked. Looking at the website, the photo of the King Bed room looks similar to our room design.

By any measure, even the smaller standards in the UK compared to the USA, Europe, Australia definitions for a Standard King Bed, 54 inches (137 cm) is the width of a Standard Double Bed in the UK and 6 inches short of a UK Standard King Bed at 60 inches (150 cm) width. For comparison, 60 inches width is considered a US Queen size bed and US Standard King Bed size is 72 to 76 inches wide.

I went back down the elevator to reception after seeing the bed and actually pulling out my tape measure to measure the bed frame at 46 inches wide, a Standard Double by UK and US standard bed measures.

The hotel receptionist looked at her computer monitor and told me my room did in fact have a King Bed.

HI Ken d

The narrow space of the bathroom meant only one person at a time could be in there, unless another person in the shower.

HI Ken e

The sink was too small to fit the hot water kettle under the faucet. Another strange aspect of the bathroom was no soap. There were small bath size shampoo and body wash bottles, but no bar of soap of soap dispenser in room. Uncapping the body wash bottle each time we wanted to wash our hands was unusual. And of course no wash cloth, which is sort of a European thing. I pack my own washcloth for trips to Europe.

HI Ken TV

The TV offered a good selection of stations, however, it was a slow process for the TV to power up, program and then required a couple of screen selections to even reach TV channels.

Despite the small space and inadequate design, I loved the view and quiet location of room 6080

HI Ken view

Our room looked over a green space of a gated residential area. This part of Kensington is a maze of residential cul de sac roads that can be challenging to navigate as a pedestrian. I walked to Sainsbury’s Cromwell Road in about 10 or 12 minutes and decided to walk back by a different route and spent more than 30 minutes trying to get my way back across blocked road neighborhoods when I knew I needed to get over one more street to get back to the hotel. The maze of residential roads in the vicinity of the Holiday Inn London Kensington Hotel between High Street Kensington and Cromwell Road means there is not much street traffic on the back side of the property. Street traffic is one of the biggest disrupters of a good morning sleep in many London hotels, which is why I tend to prefer interior courtyard rooms. This room offered both a view and quiet location. Hotel rooms on the front side of the building likely have more street noise, but still not like being on a major thoroughfare like High Street Kensington, Gloucester Road or Cromwell Road, where many other chain brand hotels are located.

Hotel Lobby

There are some business conference rooms between the elevator and the lobby and the space was busy every day of our stay. The dining room is in the rear of the hotel. We never ate there since breakfast was 15 GBP per person. There are food places two minutes up Wrights Lane and on High Kensington Street with 5 GBP breakfast meals and a couple of supermarkets with Whole Foods or Sainsbury’s 10 to 15 minutes walk.

Holiday Inn Kensington lobby bar

HI Ken lobby1

Two drink coupons at the bar in this London hotel was a good value IHG Platinum amenity choice, unlike my stay at Holiday Inn Krakow last month where I took a free beer at the bar instead of 500 points. In Krakow I averaged $1.50 to buy one beer at a pub. In London two pub beers is a 10 GBP ($12.50) value. Two free beers at the Holiday Inn Kensington was worth far more to me than 500 IHG Rewards Club points.

HI Ken lobby2

HI Ken beers

Holiday Inn Kensington Spa and Gym

My impression is the gym has local members since there was a charge for the use of the indoor swimming pool. The fitness room was relatively large with a separate room for floor exercise.

HI Ken gym 1

HI Ken gym 2

HI Ken gym3

There was a receptionist at the spa and pool entrance with a different door and stairway down to the free guest access gym area. Guest use of the good size swimming pool is 10 GBP. I only viewed the pool through a glass door.

HI Ken lobby3

Holiday Inn London Kensington

IHG Rewards Club = 40,000 points per night.

I booked a King Bed Room on an advance purchase prepaid 81.70 GBP / $101.70 USD per night rate, which is substantially lower than the average rate for this hotel. This hotel stay qualified as my second Holiday Inn stay to complete my IHG Rewards Club Accelerate winter 2017 offer.

My 1-night stay last month at Holiday Inn Krakow completed 4 of 5 Accelerate tasks to earn 20,100 bonus points. This hotel stay completed my 5th task for 2 Holiday Inn stays for 5,600 bonus points and earned an additional Achievement 13,000 bonus points. 18,600 total bonus points earned for my 2-night stay with IHG Rewards Club Accelerate promotion, in addition to the 2,500 or so points for hotel spend.

HI Ken-f

All in all, a small room at a good price for a London hotel stay with a big loyalty points bonus to smooth over the un-kingly sized bed. Holiday Inn London Kensington bijou room is an addition to the Loyalty Traveler ‘My Square Foot’ files.

TripAdvisor Holiday Inn London Kensington.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. Couple of observations:
    40k points is too high for such a hotel room.
    Most tiny inside cabin cruise ship cabins are bigger than that room.
    The TV seems to be in an odd location.
    Why do more and more IHG hotels in the UK and Europe in general seem to be getting really cheap on stuff like bar soap, ice, etc. Its weird.

  2. The problem with staying at the Holiday Inn is that you’re staying at a Holiday Inn. Charging £10 to use the pool? Christ, not even Motel 6 charges for that, and they leave the light on for you!

  3. Clearly not all your readers are exactly budget travelers, but I’ve seen hotel prices for London and this hotel in particular and thought it was a decent deal, now even mores with your review. I’m not surprised at the pool charge but am somewhat surprised they actually have one. I’ve seen-and stayed-in smaller London hotel rooms. The city is too fantastic to stay long in a hotel room.

    Are you sure the lack of soap wasn’t just an oversight by housekeeping?

  4. @Jason Brandt Lewis – I have been to hotels in London where the spa/fitness center is more of a service for local residents than hotel guests. I don’t know if the spa/pool is a separate business?

    @A – soap might have been a housekeeping issue. I expect small rooms in London.

    I don’t expect to be told a bed is a King Size bed when it clearly is not.

    I would return to HI Kensington for the same price in the future. I liked the location and it seems like I end up earning a great number of points and free nights from my paid London hotel stays.

  5. @Ric — I have not experienced this in London, so I’ll take your word for it. However, I have experienced it elsewhere — where clearly the gym (never the pool) is a separate business from the hotel. However, in every case, hotel guests have only had to show their room key to be admitted free of charge. (e.g.: The Charles Hotel, Cambridge, Mass.)

Comments are closed.