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Exclusive: Crowne Plaza London Kensington leaving IHG

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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, 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:

Crowne Plaza Kensington secret beach

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.)

IHG One Rewards update – April 2024:

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Comments (23)

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  • DeB20 says:


    On 14th January 2021, the government housing minister set aside the Deputy Mayor’s decision and ordered a Public Enquiry into the redevelopment of the Holiday Inn Forum Hotel.

    This was the result of a campaign by local residents due to the plans for redevelopment involving road closures around the building, heavy vehicles access 24 × 7, along with other issues and the not very small fact that the project is expected to last five years. That does not take into account any delays to the project.

    The Prince of Wales has called the building an eye sore and the developers had hoped that they would have his support.

    The saga continues.

    • Lady London says:

      I am surprised if Kensington & Chelsea local council would have approved any development involving heavy vehicles tracking in and out 24/7. They have a department which handles such things and they are pretty on the ball.

      I think the residents were right to protest.

      • DeB20 says:

        Yes Lady London, that was one of the key issues that led to the local residents association protesting. The campaign has also been supported by the local Member of Parliament, Felicity Buchan. One of the loudest voices in the campaign has been that of a famous TV personality.

  • George K says:

    Got to say, CP Kensington is/was my favourite IHG property in London, and one that was never stingy on upgrades, at least in my experience. Have lucked out on a top floor suite with them, and even pre-refurb, it was very good.

    I also didn’t mind the HI next door. Never had any grand expectations. If you got a top-floor room you’d have a great view of London…

  • Argiris says:

    CP Kensington was a great property with a good day manager. Upgrades were common and they usually went out of their way to make things more pleasant. I have stayed in some of their excellent 2 floor suites, the manager room etc and they were well above what u ll get in most London hotels. Also just accross the Gloucester Road tube. Having had used points for the majority of my stays there we will certainly miss it from the IHG family

  • Mark H says:

    Have to agree with George K & Argiris the CP Kensington was very good & surprised IHG are letting it go.

  • Nick says:

    Can we please learn the difference between Enquiry and Inquiry?! Not that difficult…

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