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Exclusive: Crowne Plaza Kensington becoming DoubleTree London Kensington

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Last month we reported that Crowne Plaza London Kensington, a surprisingly pleasant hotel on a fairly grotty road, was leaving IHG.

The hotel is rebranding as DoubleTree London Kensington.

It will reopen on 17th May after lockdown. There is no website yet, and it does not appear on hilton.com. You need to trust us on this …..

EDIT: The hotel website is now available – click here

The new DoubleTree London Kensington

Oddly, this is not the first DoubleTree London Kensington.

When 100 Queen’s Gate, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, joined the chain, it was branded DoubleTree London Kensington. Once refurbishment work had been completed, it took on the Curio branding.

The new DoubleTree London Kensington is an interesting property. It is a townhouse hotel on Cromwell Road, opposite Gloucester Road tube.

Don’t be fooled by the exterior, however.

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 had an executive lounge when it was a Crowne Plaza – it isn’t clear if this will continue when it becomes a DoubleTree.

I did a review of the hotel when it was Crowne Plaza London Kensington 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.

This is a classy hotel and a great addition to the DoubleTree brand. What I don’t fully understand is why it is going to the time and expense of rebranding from Crowne Plaza, which is a more ‘solid’ four star brand.

The upside, of course, is free breakfast for Gold and Diamond members of Hilton Honors and hopefully a more proactive approach to upgrades and late check-out. Lounge access for Diamond members would also be attractive, if it remains.

You can book the DoubleTree or find out more on the Hilton website here.


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Comments (32)

  • Yi says:

    Hi Rob, any idea whether the original management team will be kept or not? I heard it would rebrand last summer when I stayed there. Most of its staff left me a very good impression so it would really be a pity to see they leave.

    • Rob says:

      Ownership has not changed since last Summer. The GM changed but it would have been before you stayed – he went over to CP City which was, clearly, unfortunate because he got laid off.

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