Search for cheapest prices: YHA Holland Park Hostel
Cash-strapped tourists might believe that the very monied Kensington district of London, home to royals and celebrities alike, where properties change hands for millions of pounds may be out of their budget, but this would be a gross inaccuracy. The YHA Holland Park Road isn't just situated in one of London's most desirable locales; it is also housed in a former Jacobean mansion, dating back to 1607. The building was once the location of an exclusive salon attended by luminaries such as Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott, Wordsworth and Dickens. So you can rest easy knowing that you are under the same roof as Britain's literati set once gathered.
As a youth hostel, the establishment’s rooms are a mix of single accommodation and dormitories to sleep from one to ten plus people. They are clean and spacious, with serviceable fittings and fixtures of a high standard for low-cost rates. The YHA includes Wi-Fi Internet access, a classroom, common room, library, a TV lounge and relaxation lounge, luggage storage, a cafe and a pleasant garden, which is the perfect place to sit and read on a sunny day. Some of these facilities won't even be found in some of the four- and five-star hotels of the area! So you will be well catered for during your stay.
Whilst some may balk at the thought of staying in anything less than a two-star establishment, this hostel's location means that you won't be spending much time in the room anyway. Holland Park is a peaceful area just a few minutes walk away from Kensington High Street, where there is a great selection of designer and high street shops and an excellent Whole Foods Supermarket, where you can pick up some goodies for much less than a meal at a restaurant. There are also a range of affordable cafes such as Giraffe and Gourmet Burger Kitchen so you can eat out amongst Kensington's elite residents. Kensington Palace and Gardens are just a seven minute walk away, where you can visit the former home of Princess Diana and treat yourself to an afternoon tea in The Orangery Restaurant, and beyond that lies Hyde Park, The Royal Albert Hall and the Victoria & Albert, Natural History and Science Museums, the best of which you can experience for free; not to mention The Serpentine Gallery's modern art collection. The hostel is also very handy for those visiting trade shows and exhibitions at Earl's Court and Olympia exhibition centres.
On top of all this, the hostel 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 hostel, 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.
If you are visiting Kensington on a romantic break or for a special occasion, this will not be for you, but for visitors who want a spotlessly clean place to sleep with very helpful staff and a friendly atmosphere, this hostel can match a lot of budget hotels. The situation offers a taste of history and traditional style and the cosmopolitan offerings of Kensington are all just a short walk away, so if you are just looking for somewhere to rest your head and not break the bank, this is an excellent choice.