Whether you are a tourist visiting London or just doing a staycation in your own city, South Kensington is the perfect area to visit. Some of the British capital’s most famous museum are here, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. You are also less than a ten minute stroll away from Sloane Avenue where you can find some of the trendiest bars and restaurants, as well as spa’s and designer brands such as Chanel, Acne Studios, Josephs and many more. It doesn’t stop there – the area is also the home to two of London’s most magnificent Royal Parks: Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Not to forget, the famous Royal Albert Hall which hosts some of the best classical concerts, as well as rock, pop, ballet and opera gigs. South Kensington also homes the 5 star boutique hotel – The Ampersand. Located a minute walk away from South Kensington underground station, with easy access to everything mentioned above and more, this hotel is the perfect place to rest your tired feet after the perfect day sightseeing or shopping. It is also a lovely space to escape to if you feel the need to take a day or two to hide from the city’s busy streets and focus on yourself or your partner. The privately-owned hotel boasts high ceilings and the beautiful staircase in the entrance hall is a reminder of the building dating back to 1888. The hotel however has a modern twist to it, with an eye-catching lighting installation which twirls high up in the stairwell. Next to the reception and contemporary lobby you will find our favourite room – the Drawing Room. Here you can relax on the fun striped sofas and comfy high back chairs and enjoy the hotel’s popular afternoon tea while watching busy London play outside the large windows.
You will be surprised to find that this cosy hotel boasts 111 rooms across five categories, including five suites. We highly recommend the deluxe studios, some of them come with freestanding baths next to the bed. The rooms are spacious and the king sized comfy beds have tall colourful headboards that give the rooms a lot of character. Every room has a different theme inspired by the hotel’s location and nearby tourist attractions – birds, botany, music, geometry, architecture or astronomy. Pick your room according to your favourite! We love the little details that make this hotel stand out – the iPod docks available in every room, and a personal mobile phone which you can use during your stay. The minibar includes complimentary bottles of water, soda, juice and milk which is definitely a welcome amenity for guests and you have plenty of tea and coffee options as well as delicious cookies to choose from. We won’t blame you if you take a quick selfie in the bathroom mirror, it’s one to show off. The beautiful black and white tiled bathrooms are stocked with luxurious L’Occitane products and plenty of space to relax in while wearing the fluffy comfortable robe and slippers. Another adorable detail is the rubber ducky that can be found in every shower and bath at this hotel.
The stunning French-influenced Drawing Room where you can enjoy the hotel’s fantastic afternoon tea, or just tea/coffee while reading a book or catching up with a friend. Spoil yourself to a suite with freestanding bathtub – incredibly romantic if you’re two or intensely relaxing if you’re alone. The preloaded mobile phones are also an appreciated detail. It has location information, shopping guides, maps and can even be used for free phone calls. Great for those without an international phone plan.
Eating and drinking
You can enjoy a light snack or afternoon tea in the Drawing Room or visit the Apero restaurant and bar in the hotel’s basement for something more substantial. The atmosphere there is French but the menu is Mediterranean. Choose from a wonderful selection of sharing dishes as well as mains such as Stone bass ceviche or Flash fried English baby squid with saffron Aioli. The space is softly lit, with white metro tiles and exposed brick walls – perfect for an intimate catch up. The Apero restaurant is very popular with guests, as well as locals, so make sure to book to avoid disappointment. The bar is the perfect place to start your evening in, with a signature cocktail or a glass of wine before dinner. Breakfast is also served in the Apero restaurant. For private dining, wine tasting and intimate events, you can also pre-book the The Wine Room.
Fitness & Spa
The hotel’s small gym is open to guest 24 hours and has everything you may need, from a bike, treadmill, cross trainer as well as free weights. Guests are also welcome to use the table tennis table in the Games Room. Don’t forget that you have Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens close by where you can enjoy a nice jog as well as accessing activities such as horse-riding and roller-blading.
All images courtesy of The Ampersand Hotel.