Search for cheapest prices: Holiday Inn Kensington Forum
When London is filled with so many unique hotels, a Holiday Inn may seem to be a rather bland and corporate choice. However, what the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum lacks in character it more than makes up for in comfort, service and location.
Situated two minutes' walk from Gloucester Road tube station, transport links to major transport hubs and other areas of central London are facilitated by the District, Central and Piccadilly tube lines.
There are direct connections to Heathrow Airport; Paddington Station; King's Cross St Pancras Station (if travelling by Eurostar); and Victoria Station (if transferring from Gatwick Airport).
The hotel is on the A4 from the M4 and M25, and has a large car park, so it is easy to drive to; although it should be noted that the hotel is in the congestion zone.
The Kensington Forum's is also well placed for local tourist attractions. London's museum district is a 5 - 10 minute walk away, so you can take in the curiosities in the Victoria & Albert Museum, have an exciting learning experience in the Science Museum's Launchpad Gallery or learn about creatures great and small in the Natural History Museum.
Kensington Palace and gardens is also nearby so you can learn about the famous and infamous royal residents, who have resided there since the 17th century, or sit in a deck chair and watch the world go by. Hyde Park is also close by and contains a number of attractions, including the Serpentine Gallery and a solar powered shuttle boat.
For those who wish to indulge in some retail therapy a wide range of high street and designer shops are nearby, as well as renowned department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
The hotel itself may not have the cutting edge style of other hotel options nearby, but the Standard, Executive and Suite bedrooms are calm and contemporary with amenities such as pay-per-view films, LCD TVs, internet access, 24-hour room service and a range of family amenities.
There is also a pillow menu to ensure that you get a good night's sleep.
A concierge service is available to help you navigate the many entertainment options in London; guests can use the fitness room or dine at the Consortia restaurant, which offers a contemporary European menu.
Breakfast is also available, but it is very expensive and on Sundays you will need to queue to be seated, but a good alternative choice is to visit one of the many cafes just three minutes walk away.
Kensington has a wide variety of culinary offerings if you don't wish to eat in the hotel, including the Bombay Brasserie and Cambio Di Tercio.
The hotel does offer occasional theme nights with Bollywood dancing and Caribbean cuisine, so it is worth looking out for these when you stay. The hotel also has a traditional Engish pub, although it has been said that the pub is crowded and noisy, especially when used to watch football matches, so for something a bit more elegant you may wish to go elsewhere.
The Holiday Inn Kensington Forum maybe a characterless hotel but it does have some very good qualities.
Foremost it's location which is right in the heart of Kensington allowing you to walk to the museums and also the shopping area around Knightsbridge (including Harrods).
Gloucester Road tube station is just 300metres walk away and has direct connections to the City of London, the West End and also Heathrow Airport.
The hotel is a high rise which means that you get peaceful nights sleep away from the seriously busy Cromwell Road below.
It is surrounded by some good restaurants and there is a 24 hour Sainsbury Store just 5 minutes walk away.
The public area is very big and good for having that basins meeting on comfortable couches whilst the bar, although not brilliant, offers a place to unwind before bed.
For those driving, it has a by large underground car park but its not cheap and remember that you are inside the Congestion Zone so you will have to pay the tariff.
Bedrooms are standard Holiday Inn design, very boring but with all the usual facilities although the wifi connection is slow.
For this prime area, the prices are actually quite acceptable and sometimes, even a bargain.
It's worth joining the neighbouring casino under the Millennium Gloucester Hotel to get cheap drinks and food late at night.
The bedrooms on the lower floors at the front of the hotel overlook the busy A4, so our booking tip is to request a high room or one at the rear if you are a light sleeper. Some minor bill disputes have also been reported, but in general the hotel staff are friendly and helpful.
This may be a chain hotel, but it is placed in a very convenient location and with their events programme and traditional pub, this particular hotel manages to distinguish itself within a very affluent area.