Search for cheapest prices: Mercure London Kensington Hotel
The Mercure London Kensington Hotel (was the Quality Crown Kensington) may be a modern chain hotel, but placed in the heart of an affluent district Kensington, which is notorious for its astronomical prices, and charging reasonable rates for rooms means that it should not be overlooked for its lack of a Victorian facade. Situated on Cromwell Road, which is named after Britain's anti monarchist political leader who resided in Kensington in the 17th century, it is a lively and inexpensive accommodation option, very well placed for shops, restaurants and attractions.
Hotel rooms range from Standard to Executive and have amenities such as Wi-fi access and LCD TVs. Decor in the rooms is stylish and tasteful, but any guests who want to stay somewhere a bit more sumptuous or unique, or those on a romantic getaway may wish to stay somewhere with a bit more character. Rooms can be on the small side, with some guests complaining that the double rooms should have been advertised as single rooms, and if you are a light sleeper, traffic can be noisy at the front of the hotel, so request a room near the back. There is a restaurant in the hotel where you can grab a...., so it is advised to go to one of South Kensington's many restaurants nearby, such as l'Etranger for contemporary French cuisine or the sophisticated 1880 at the Bentley Hotel.
The hotel caters for disabled guests and has a tourist information desk and concierge to help you make the most of your stay, but if you require meeting or conference rooms these are not available. There have also been a few reports of staff being rude to guests and a long wait to check in or have bags delivered to rooms, so a patient approach is needed if you wish to take advantage of the reasonable rates.
The hotel has a superb location; very near to Gloucester Road and South Kensington tube stations, which both offer excellent transport links. Servicing the District, Piccadilly and Circle lines, there are direct transport links to Victoria Station (where you can transfer from Gatwick Airport); Paddington Station (where the Heathrow Express terminates); and King's Cross St Pancras Station (where the Eurostar terminates), so you can be assured of an easy journey to the hotel, no matter how you travel. You can also travel to many other locations and attractions in London from these stations; however, there are many local points of interest just a short walk away. The Natural History, Victoria & Albert and Science Museums are all nearby, and Kensington Palace and gardens is also close, so you can experience many of London's cultural offerings without purchasing a travel card. If you wish to watch music, the Royal Albert Hall has showcased an impressive array of concerts since Queen Victoria opened it in 1871. If you are more of a clothes horse than a culture vulture, famous department stores Harvey Nichols and Harrods, as well as a slew of high street and designer shops, will satiate any retail therapy cravings; so whatever you are interested in, the hotel's location will provide something informative or entertaining.
A guest who stated ‘It’s not awful, but there’s nothing special about it’ may best sum up the hotel. If you are planning to spend a lot of time in your room or a special event, this is not the hotel for you, but it is a good hub to explore this wonderful part of London.