Search for cheapest prices: Baglioni Hotel
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of staying in Kensington is how green this part of the city is. From landscaped garden squares to Kensington Gardens, which inspired JM Barrie's Peter Pan, to Hyde Park, the largest royal park in the city, you can sometimes forget you are in the midst of a sprawling metropolis. So when you stay in Kensington, although there are many ornate and elegant buildings to view, the only thing you really want to gaze out on from your hotel window is lush greenery, which is why Baglioni Hotel is such a great place to stay, as the park is right on the doorstep and affords breath-taking views from the upper floors.
Of course, this is not the only reason why the Baglioni is a great accommodation option in this affluent area. The hotel's Superior, Deluxe and Executive rooms are all superbly appointed with designer furnishings in a cool contemporary style. Rooms mix dark wood with cosy fabrics and are outfitted in a cream, grey and scarlet colour scheme, which is relaxing but warm. Some rooms sport floor to ceiling windows which make them appear bright and spacious and in-room amenities are luxurious, encompassing flat-screen satellite televisions, double wardrobes and even Illy espresso machines (perhaps a sly nod to the brand's Italian heritage!).
The hotel also contains The Baglioni Spa, offering a wide range of treatments, including manicures and massages and a gym, installed with the latest Techno Gym equipment. The hotel also has a knowledgeable concierge service. Although Kensington is brimming with exquisite eateries, you would be remiss not to try the Brunello Restaurant in the hotel, which is furnished in gold velvet armchairs and murano glass chandeliers for a sense of European opulence, in which you can dine on creative Mediterranean food and try to choose from a selection of over 500 wines. If you fancy a little after dinner entertainment, a casino is located just a minute away from the hotel.
Being located this close to Hyde Park means that many other main attractions are within walking distance of the hotel. Hyde Park itself also has a fantastic range of activities, with tennis courts, open air concerts in the summer, horse rides, historic sites such as Speaker's Corner and The Serpentine Gallery, with a Pavilion, which is commissioned form a leading international artist each year, with previous incarnations such as silver teepees and a spinning top. Kensington Palace and Gardens, to the west of Hyde Park is the former residence of Queen Victoria and Princess Diana. The Christopher Wren designed building now holds a permanent exhibition of her dresses and a memorial to the Princess is situated in the gardens. The Royal Albert Hall and the museum district where you will find the Victoria & Albert, Science and Natural History museums are all just a seven-minute walk away and the elite shops of Knightsbridge and Harrods and Harvey Nichols department stores are also walkable.
The hotel is also very well placed for transport, with good bus and tube links just a few minutes' walk from the hotel. High Street Kensington tube station is situated nearby, where you can catch the District and Circle lines. From here you have direct links to Paddington Station (where the Heathrow Express terminates); Victoria Station (where the Gatwick Express terminates); King's Cross, St Pancras Station (where the Eurostar terminus is located); and many more areas of London. If you are driving to the hotel, it can be accessed from the main A4 road, via the M4 and M25; however, guests should note that the hotel is in the congestion charge zone. A reasonable car park choice is the NCP just a few minutes walk away in Warwick Road.
This five star hotel has proved to be a very popular choice amongst previous guests, with patrons singing the praises of the Concierge's prowess and describing the rooms as 'enchanting'. Admittedly this hotel is one of the pricier hotels in the area, but for the convenience of most local sights just a ten-minute walk away, stunning views of Kensington Gardens and a stylish atmosphere, it may be worth blowing the budget. Obviously, a room with a view is definitely worth requesting at check in, but also ask if it's possible to get an upgrade, as the staff have been known to offer these.