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London Marriott Hotel Kensington [Master Thread]

London Marriott Hotel Kensington [Master Thread]

Old Mar 25, 2003, 4:24 pm
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London Marriott Hotel Kensington [Master Thread]

Any updates on this property, opening shortly? I have a stay booked in the early summer and any details about location, etc. would be much appreciated.
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Old Mar 25, 2003, 9:52 pm
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We were in London 3/7-3/14 & stayed at the Marriott near Maidavale. I did see an ad in the paper that the Kensington Marriott was hiring. I think it said the new hotel would be opening in May.
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Old Mar 26, 2003, 5:26 am
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I stayed at a hotel just a block from the new Marriott in December. It's located about 5 minutes from a Picadilly Line tube station that serves the airport as well as the theatre district-- a real plus. There is another line that gives you direct access to Victoria Station. There are several small ethnic restaurants in the area. Not much else, though.
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Old Mar 26, 2003, 10:30 am
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If you ever get the urge, the Chancery Court is a great property! And the bar just adds to it, they flavor some of their own vodkas!
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Old Mar 26, 2003, 2:37 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by liveon777:
If you ever get the urge, the Chancery Court is a great property! And the bar just adds to it, they flavor some of their own vodkas!</font>
Chancery Court is my favorite London destination, although I try to mix an award stay with paid nights to spread the cost a bit. Our upcoming trip is on a tighter budget and the Kensington is half the price of CC.
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 1:15 am
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I'm bumping this up after finding out that this hotel is not opening until July 21, and I have a confirmed reservation for the end of June! I wasn't notified of this by Marriott, but found out by accident. I emailed Marriott and their response has left more questions than answers. Yes, I'll be accommodated elsewhere, but I have a good rate with lounge access and neither would be guaranteed at the other hotel. I'm very worried that we (family) are just going to show up at this hotel and be sent to the (insert name here) down the street with little or no say in the matter. As you know, hotels in London at that time of year are expensive and this is supposed to be a trip on a budget this time. Marriott was unable to provide contact information (manager's name, email address). I'm tempted to go Hilton where I have better status, but have always preferred Marriott properties in the UK.

This is not the first time this has happened at Marriott, but it is the first time they have not contacted me far in advance and offered options in place of the not-yet-open hotel. What should I do?

[This message has been edited by yyzflyer (edited 04-26-2003).]
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 6:27 am
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London Marriott Kensington

I just finished a stay here and don't think anyone else has posted a review of this property yet. Overall, it's a nice property, but not in the same class as the Chancery Court or County Hall. It is newly refurbished and recently opened as a Marriott brand. I think it was formerly a Swallow hotel. It has about 200 rooms with one suite.

The hotel is on Cromwell Road in Kensington. There are 3 tube stations reasonably close by: Earl's Court (about a 4-5 min walk), Gloucester Rd (6-7 min) and Kensington High Street (10 min). We used the Gloucester Rd station primarily. It's less congested, connects to the Circle Line and has better food opportunities than Earl's Court. The hotel is in a primarily residential area without any real tourist sites nearby.

I am Platinum with MR and we were there for 5 days on a very cheap L75 rate that included full breakfast. The check-in was probably the worst part of our stay. The rate was for a 'double' bed, but as Platinum am guaranteed the bedding style in my profile (king). The king request was also especially noted in the reservation as was a request for an early check-in at 11:30am. Both requests were essentially ignored. On arrival at 11:30, they initially would only give me a Queen room (not ready yet), but after checking with a supervisor agreed to a King bed. Of course, they made me wait 2 hours to check-in. At first, I was told the previous guest had just checked out and that the room would be ready in 40 minutes. On returning after 40 minutes, I was told the same thing. This routine was repeated a third time before getting into our room. I spoke with two others who had problems with the front desk staff ignoring simple room requests. One lady in particular had significant problems. She had booked a room for 3 people and requested an early check-in (9am). On arrival, the room wasn't ready and when they reached the room 2.5 hours later; there wasn't room for 3 people to sleep. In order to get the needed space, the front desk staff forced them into a higher category room and essentially charged them rack rate. So they took a 'double bump' on the room rate. Additionally, they did not get into final room until &gt;six&lt; hours after arrival. I spoke to the lady later in the evening and she was still disturbed about what had happened. I ended up giving her the name of the front desk manager and suggested calling down in the morning to set up a time to discuss the problems she encountered. I believe things were eventually resolved to her liking. The hotel has only been open 2 months and I would hope the problems are be due to inexperienced staff.

On finally arriving in our room, we were pleased to discover that we had been upgraded to a junior suite. It was a very large room with two beds and a fold-out sofa. It was obviously new and nicely furnished. The bath included a separate shower and tub. The hair dryer was in the closet of the room (had a different style plug than those in the bath so it could not be moved there). Also in the closet is a safe. The room has a mini-bar (electronic) with a small space where you could put your own items. This would have been an &gt;excellent&lt; room for a family group. It does have a higher rate, but the rate includes access to the lounge (see below) which can save a lot of cash if you have 5-6 people eating breakfast. The one downside is that the hotel suffers from 'bedding inflation.' The hotel rated the beds for the room as kings, when in reality they are queens. Likewise, another guest told me that they had a room listed as a queen, when in fact it was a double. I know this is common in Europe, but the first time I had run into this with Marriott. The bedding itself was very comfortable. The television has a selection of about 10 English language stations and 4-5 more of various other languages. Communications charges are among the most expensive I have seen. High speed internet access is L15 per day and local phone calls are L1 per minute. However, all-in-all, a very nice room with a great upgrade.

The hotel food was decent, but we didn't eat there much. The hotel has one restaurant (Italian) which doubles for the English breakfast. Generally, breakfast is a hot and cold buffet with no real menu provided. We were told that the cooks could also make to order things like omelets. The buffet selection was good with several different hot items with pastries, fruits and cereal also available. We did have a pizza from room service. Although innovative, its taste didn't live up to it's appearance. Additionally, we had Marriott burgers from room service the first night and as always they were excellent. I don't know Marriott does it. You can go anywhere in the world with them, order a room service burger and it is always good.

There are only about 5 restaurants close by the hotel (4 Italian). We didn't eat at any of them. For restaurants, they were generally grouped around the tube stations. Around the Earl's Court station are many very inexpensive places to eat. We had lunch once at the Earl's Court Tavern where it was 2 meals for L7. There are also a few restaurants in the area. The Gloucester Road station area had more midrange restaurants that were a step up from those in Earl's Court. We ate at Black & Blue one night where a 2 course meal with a decent bottle of wine was L70. A nice price for good steaks in London. Around the Kensington High Street station are an even bigger group of moderate and upscale (read $$$) restaurants. I didn't eat here, although Babylon was highly recommended to me for its 3 course L15 lunches. Directly across the street from the hotel is very large 24 hour grocery store that we did make use of for snacks and beverages.

The hotel has two real 'gems'. First is the staff. They were very pleasant, considerate and helpful during our stay. A big thumbs up to whomever did their training. The second 'gem' is the Executive Lounge. It is located on a lower level off the lobby and is quite large for a property of this size. It is currently open from 6 am-12 midnight every day of the week. There is a full 'Healthy Start' buffet there along with two hot items each morning There are snacks available all day long with dessert in the evening. It has a computer with internet access (you need to buy a prepaid internet access card at the front desk) and printer and a fax machine. There was a good selection of newspapers and a wide-screen television for news. The staff there were exceptionally nice (We went down late one morning when they were clearing breakfast and they offered to bring everything back out for us). Additionally, they had paper bags if you wanted to grab a couple of pastries to go. The only down side is that drinks from the honor bar are L5-7 (more than the hotel's regular bar).

-I didn't request or receive the 'Platinum Gift' card at check-in, but it was slipped under my door over night along with a welcoming letter from the customer service manager.
-Getting a taxi there can take a bit longer than most places. It took us twenty minutes to get a taxi one day.
-There is an internet cafe about block away on Cromwell Road.
-The hotel has surprisingly narrow halls
-I have been told that the standard rooms can be quite small.
-The property has a fitness center. Oddly, you have to walk through the lobby almost to the hotel's front door to reach its entrance.
-As I mentioned previously, using one of the junior suites for a family group could make for a very good deal. Free breakfast in the am in the lounge, plus the supermarket across the street could save some significant money.

Overall, we had a stay in a nice property, with a welcome upgrade at an excellent price.
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 8:25 am
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I agree almost completely with BillMorrow for whom I give props to for sending me last week the discount code he refers to.

I stayed there for three of four nights and really enjoyed the exec lounge, though you paid for your alcohol. I had none, but noticed one or two people who drank - ignoring the honesty sign-up sheet - and were later asked their room number by the attendant.

Didn't matter to me as the food there, snacks+, were generally good. Like BillMorrow said, there is internet but upon my arrival, one of the front desk folks whispered to me about the internet room across the stree and up one block. Saved me some extra pounds.

I did however, have one small hiccup. Upon arrival at 11:30 p.m., i was told with a frown that the hotel was completely sold out. They immediately sent me to the Park Lane Marriott complimentary where they were quick to remind me that they were a 5-star property.

I found them smug and was happy to be at the Kensington after my three days to reflect.

When I got back to the Kensington property after being exiled for a day, there was a nice bottle of Italian Pinot Grigio (spell check) wine in my room (brought it back) with a nice hand-written card from the manager.

I say go for it at this property - and, most importantly, you can use the three easy-to-reach Underground stations already referred to if you like the subway. Rickity-rack, but gets you there.

Thanks again BillMorrow

[This message has been edited by nhila (edited 10-01-2003).]
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 8:38 am
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I just hosted a workshop at this hotel. Staff were very friendly and helpful, excellent meeting room and our buffet lunch was top notch. Highly recommended.

-- Dambus
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 10:10 am
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I too had a very pleasant stay this hotel back in August. Unfortunately, as it happens at most Marriott hotels I got stuck in a very small room on the ground floor. Maybe because I was a super-low rate with some Visa promotion. Anyway, I still had a pleasant stay and since I was not in my room much at all I did not care about its size. As mentioned, the hall-ways are extremelly narrow. The hotel had been recently renovated and also had a promotion 2,000 MR points per stay then.
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Old Nov 7, 2003, 2:16 pm
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How did you get a L75 rate?

I tried several codes from the discount thread, but the cheapest rates at Kensington, Regents Park, Marble Arch and Maide Vale are all running L115-120, and that's for a weekend night!

Any suggestions? I need some more Marriott nights to maintain my status, but it's going to be tough to justify when the Hiltons have rooms for L59.
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Old Nov 8, 2003, 11:52 am
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The promo code was V88, but it ended September 30th. It was a promo for most London Marriotts, but the Kensington location was also using it for a grand opening rate.
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Old May 20, 2004, 12:37 pm
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I just had a nice stay here. This hotel is quite good and it was sold out this week. I was on a 99 pound conference rate and I asked to stay an extra day. They told me that would cost 159 pounds. So I guess they are doing quite well now. They were shooting a commercial in the lobby yesterday.

The health club is OK and has a decent steam and sauna which helps after a night in the pubs!.
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Old May 21, 2004, 4:03 pm
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We spent a week at Marriott's Kensington in late July, 2004. It had been opened for a week. The staff was friendly, helpful -- calling for car etc. The fitness center was not open. We used points and had a small, but adequate -- especially considering the amount of time we spent in the hotel. We really liked the location and would definitely return to this Marriott.

The fire alarm went off about 10:30PM the first night we were there. We had flown in that morning from LA. We quickly put on clothes and I grabbed my purse and camera. We headed down the stairs with others from our floor. That exit put us on the far side of the building. We made our way around to the lobby and found a party in full swing. We all waited patiently -- thinking an employee would tell us that we could return to our rooms. That gave us time to chat with others about what they had grabbed when they exited their rooms. Employees were frantically trying to figure out the computer glitch that turned on the fire alarm. Finally, we asked and were told by a frustrated employee that we could return to our room.

Last edited by labguides; May 21, 2004 at 4:10 pm
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 9:36 am
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Apols for the late posting of this, been having a nightmare with profile and email, anyway, not a Marriott regular but do live around the corner from the Kensington hotel so thought I'd off some local knowledge.

A streemap may be usefull for this....


So the Marriott is in the bottom left grid and is marked as a Swallow International.

There are two excellant restaurants at the northern end of Gloucester Road, towards Hyde Park.

L'Etranger is modern European, with a late licensed bar downstairs and an excellant sommelier.


Pasha is North African with an excellant atmosphere to unwind in.


I prefer L'Etranger whilst the girlfriend prefers Pasha. This is purely based on type of food, they are both excellant and I could easily live in either. Reservations recommened for both, smart casual dress is fine.

Other local notables are a small restaurant / cafe on Kynance Place (just below the arrow in the centre of the map) called Scandies or something similar. Despite living in the area for 5 years I've yet to eat there as they are either closed or full. The later says alot and is why I keep trying.

Also just south of Gloucester Road tube there's a fish and chip place (opposite an All-Bar-One, harmless and decent chain of bars) which is pretty good quality although it looks a bit of a dive. They also serve food in the All-Bar-One if you don't want to eat formally.

And lastly if you're looking for a deli Partiridges on Gloucester Road by the arrow is excellant although expensive. If you are looking for something particular I'd recommend the Waitrose at Gloucester Road tube or Sainsbury's on the Cromwell Road first as they may be cheaper and both have excellant ranges.

Have fun, and if anyone gets into Scandies let me know.
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