Crowne Plaza London Kensington, a surprisingly pleasant hotel on a fairly grotty road, is leaving IHG on 1st April.
It is, oddly, still bookable on ihg.com, but trust me on this ….
It will be rebranded, but I don’t know at this point what it will be.
EDIT: We now know that the hotel is becoming the DoubleTree London Kensington, which is a Hilton brand. The new hotel website is here.
This is an interesting property. Crowne Plaza London Kensington is a townhouse hotel on Cromwell Road, opposite Gloucester Road tube.
Don’t be fooled by the exterior.
For a start, the hotel has a huge garden. In Summer it runs ‘Secret Beach’, importing a pile of sand – here is a picture from the 2019 launch party:
If you’re looking for somewhere different for a private lunch or dinner the hotel has also – as you can see just behind the beach in the picture – installed some domes for all-weather outdoor eating. Each is fully airconditioned, has wi-fi and power sockets and has been set up with a circular dining table and chairs.
The inside of the hotel is also a lot better than you would expect from the exterior. It went through a hugely expensive refurbishment five years ago, and I had a full tour at the relaunch. It does deliver everything you would expect from a Crowne Plaza, including an executive lounge.
I did a review of Crowne Plaza London Kensington here based on a press tour. It is best known for its duplex suites which are not hugely expensive and, being set over two floors, are totally different to your usual hotel room.
I’ll let you know when I discover how the hotel will be rebranded (EDIT: it will become a DoubleTree, see the Hilton website here). I hope it can attract a brand in keeping with its quality.
PS. The Holiday Inn Kensington Forum, opposite the Crowne Plaza, will also be closing in the medium term. Plans for its demolition have now been approved by the local council. There is no date for this yet. As one of the bigger eyesores in this part of London, it won’t be missed. (EDIT: as noted in the comments, this decision may be overturned at a public enquiry set up after local opposition.)
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