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“Acceptable, but not great”

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Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum
Ranked #503 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Reviewed November 12, 2012

It is OK to stay there but do not expect much. The hotel is well located with a metro station very close by and two supermarkets. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes around and you can reach Heathrow by a direct metro line from the hotel.

Rooms are tiny, convenient for single occupancy but if you are two persons then it is really small. I stayed there for 5 nights and it is hard to find smiley and friendly staff.
I asked for a service from housekeeping that was delivered to my room after 5 minute (which is great) however the attendant was on the phone talking with someone, gave me the item and left without greeting or even look at me.
Same with some of the front office staff who would not smile or show interest. Being a priority club member I was not welcomed as one such as in other Holiday Inns, on check-out I was not asked how was my stay, just pay and leave !

Buffet breakfast is good and tasty, try to avoid rush hours. The restaurant in the lobby offers nice food as well. Had dinner there twice however you might wait up to 35 minutes to get served and again you would miss a smile or a nice greeting from the staff with exception to the lady in charge who is well welcoming you on arrival.

Level of noise in the corridors is very high as the space is very small and rooms are very close to each other. Doors are always clacking, housekeeping trolley moving, staff on walkie-talkie, people chatting.

In brief, if you are getting a good rate then it worth to stay their as long as you are on single occupancy. Rooms are clean, Flat screen TV and tea/coffee making facilties.

Room Tip: Take a room at the end of the corridor, it might be less noise
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank TraveltheWorldXXX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelationsLondon, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2012

Dear Freddy-7A,

First and foremost, please allow me to offer you our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused to you during your stay with us. I am genuinely concerned about the lack of welcoming and level of hospitality you received. I personally take great pride in what real hospitality is all about and I cannot apologise enough for letting you down this time. I sincerely regret your experience and I would like to extend our apologies to you. Please let me assure you every point you mentioned will not go unnoticed, and we indeed welcome and thank you very much for your candid feedback. Your comments are highly important to us and always give us an immense opportunity to learn and provide a really great Holiday Inn experience for our guests. With our sincere apologies once again, please if I may kindly ask you to contact me directly, I would certainly appreciate the opportunity to talk to you personally and hopefully be of any help to you.

With our thanks & kind regards,

Esmeralda Mendoza
Guest Relations Manager
esmeralda.mendoza@ihg.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,368 - 2,374 of 4,258 reviews

Reviewed November 12, 2012

We booked Holiday Inn Kensington Forum and Marriott Kensington (both on the same road and two-min walk apart) for our business delegation. I can clearly say that we are unanimously disappointed with the entire experience with Holiday Inn and it didn't make it easier that our guests staying at the Marriott went out smoothly & without any hitches.

Let me re-count why we were disappointed with Holiday Inn that might be of use for reference with other organizations thinking of booking their group.

PRICE - competitive rates. however, after adding everything together, Marriott hotel came out cheaper by £3.00 than holiday inn! this is because the group rate of Marriott included wifi access & we had to pay extra £25.00 per room/night at the HOliday Inn so it makes it more expensive. Check all the inclusions.

ROOMS - So small. Two people need to dance the swing to get by moving around so if you are going to try triple-sharing...good luck!! it's like playing tetris just to move about! They will still give you the same room for double or twin sharing and the third bed would be the sofa. Once all the beds are laid out, there's no more room to walk to go to the toilet unless you jump from bed to bed.

BREAKFAST - Breakfast was actually the best thing for us because there's a good spread of healthy and english breakfast. The sausage was particularly good! However, even this experience was dampened by the service. Every morning the crew will ask you to line up for them to get your room no & name - which was ok. But it's not OK when there's the morning rush and people are rushing to eat their breakfast and then their system tells you that you do not have free breakfast the following day! It's not nice to argue for food first thing in the morning and you get told that the breakfast service / system is not connected to the reservation or booking system. This happened to half of our delegates where they were advised to speak to the person in charge of booking our 17 rooms so they can advise reception - otherwise, they only gave vouchers that will be charged in the system! We tried to call our accounts manager several times and disappointingly she never replied to our numerous calls and text messages for the entire duration of our one week stay! We had to line up everytime to the reception counter to state our case!

CHECK-IN - Half of our group checked in smoothly but half of us had different names on the rooms which caused an hour delay just to check in some guests who came from more than 15hrs of flight! When we asked for the Manager we were advised that he was busy with another customer and only he can fix or override the system! We were only able to check-in when we came back to the reception and did not leave until our problem was solved. If we didn't demand for the time of the only ONE duty manager for a hotel with more than a hundred rooms - then we probably would have waited to check-in for hours to a fault that it totally Holiday Inn's system! We even showed the booking/rooming list we had submitted to our account manager but only the manager could do something. Not a good first impression.

KEYS - Normally you wouldn't even put the keys in things that make your stay disappointing but every night our key would be de-magnetized so it means that we have to get our keys every night! When we complained about their standard spiel was, it was like it's your fault that you keep your card beside your cellphone so it will demagnetized! I stayed in so many different hotels and didn't have any problems with card keys being demagnetized! It's one of those little details that you normally don't think about --- but it can get very annoying!

BOOKING of Transfers - SOme of our delegates booked their airport transfers from the concierge and we found that some were charged £19.00 for a one-way transfer while the others where charge more than £40.00! The reason for this was the other person saw a little note regarding the discounted transfers and asked for it...but if you missed seeing the discount offer, then they will not willingly offer it to you.

In the end, Holiday Inn has a good location and if you get into the higher floors you will have a good view of London which is a good plus. However, all the service and other bits and pieces I mentioned really made our stay disappointing. The booking and communications went really fast, they would reply immediately! But when it comes to being there and having to solve some problems, your account manager is no longer to be found and it's like you are talking to a new hotel all together. The service is not one that you can rely especially if you have a group! You wouldn't want any of these headache when you are here for work.

Room Tip: Good for single or double room. Twin or Triple is very very tight.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank professional_2rist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum, responded to this reviewResponded December 3, 2012

Dear professional_2rist,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent experience at our hotel. I apologize for the inconvenience you encountered and regret that your stay with us was not to your entire satisfaction. I understand your frustrations and I appreciate you bringing this matter into our attention as this is our best resource of improving guest services.

We look forward to having the opportunity to host you in the near future to allow you to experience our commitment to quality and service. Please accept my best regards.

Sincerely,

Krysllin G.
eMedia Coordinator
IHGCare
Reference # 32548756

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Reviewed November 12, 2012

Hotel is typical of the brand - basic and comfortable and nothing special. This is a big and busy hotel in a good location - stone's throw from Gloucester Rd tube station. Had a standard room which was okay. Very warm and wasn't able to override the hotel's settings using the in-room control panel. Long waiting times at the lifts. Lack of atmosphere in the lobby. Didn't eat much in the hotel. Had room service one night which was prompt and reasonably priced. Friendly staff at check-in. Having a doorman with a top hat and tails seemed over the top for this calibre of hotel but was nice to be greeted when entering and leaving the hotel I suppose. Good selection of eating options around the hotel and a few bars although many of the latter are hotel based watering holes. Breakfast restaurant is split level with steps everywhere so be careful when walking around with your full English. Not the best Holiday Inn I've stayed in and I got the impression that the hotel was trying to be something it isn't but I would happily stay here again given the location and the price. You get what you pay for in London and on that score I can't really complain.

Room Tip: Ask for low floor and you can avoid the lift waits
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank gbellDX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelationsLondon, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2012

Dear gbellDX,

We thank you for staying with us and for your time to provide us with your candid review about your recent stay. We are sorry to hear we did not meet your expectations wholly on your visit to our hotel. Your feedback is very important to us and every comment is shared with our whole team. We hope on your next stay you will have a much better experience and a greater feeling of what this hotel can really offer you.
Thank you again for your time and we definitely look forward to the opportunity to welcoming you back.

Best wishes,
Esmeralda Mendoza

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for two nights from the 8th Nov.
We arrived early, and were given or room keys straight away. This was a great start .
The hotel's location is excellent, very close to Hyde Park, the Natural History Museum, science Museum and also the V & A Museum. Also near to Gloucester Road Tube Station.
We ate in the Consortia Restaurant on our first night, and the food was very good.plenty of choice and reasonably priced.The waiting staff were friendly and efficient.
Our room was a standard double on the 16th floor, it was bright and welcoming after our journey.The bathroom was spotlessly clean, and had complimentary face cloths, shampoo and shower gel.
The hotel bar was also a great place to relax in, we didn't eat there, but the drinks were surprisingly reasonable.
All staff that we encountered were friendly and professional.
I would recommend this hotel, and will use it again on our next trip to London.

Room Tip: High floors have great views.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jacSwindon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelationsLondon, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2012

Dear jacSwindon,

Thank you for such a wonderful detailed review. It is a pleasure to know you both enjoyed your short break in this beautiful city of London.
We have shared your comments with the entire hotel team and we can only thank you so very much for staying with us.
We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best wishes,
Esmeralda Mendoza

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Reviewed November 10, 2012

Very large Holiday Inn! Location was great and the hotel have its own drive way so you are not right on the main road. Because of it's sheer size, check in was a bit of a wait because they don't have enough staff behind the counter. (actually they do but most are too busy doing other things in the back and ignoring the fact that customers were waiting) We waited about 15mins and this was in the gold/platinum check in.
We got the exectutive room, which was a very small room with a giant King size bed and a one seater sofa which also converts to a bed. Not enough room overall, unless you do everything on top of the bed. Everything else was a Holiday Inn Executive room standard - so large flat screen tv, Water, robes etc.
Staff in the restaurant downstairs was fantastic. So friendly, professional and attentive. If it wasn't for them, I would give this review a 1! Given staff from front desk to the business centre were so terribly unimpressive.
Overall, it is a business hotel and so it is always busy. Not an ideal hotel if you are on vaccation but ok if you are there on business and need to be located conveniently in town.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Thank stugs123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelationsLondon, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2012

Dear stugs 123,

We thank you for your valuable feedback. We are very sorry to learn your check in experience was not as pleasant and efficient as we would expect. We really appreciate your time to let us know how your overall stay was, and we sincerely apologise if some our staff did not meet you in a friendly and professional manner. We are pleased on the other hand, that you enjoyed our Consortia restaurant and the service provided by our staff. May I mention again, your review is very important to us as this helps us greatly to continuously improve our services and facilities.
Thank you again for your time and we hope to see you again,

Best wishes,
Esmeralda Mendoza

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Reviewed November 10, 2012

Got a decent deal for this hotel so I regard it as good value for money. But the room was quite small and the bathroom even smaller. Didn't use facilities as it was a brief stay. Good service regarding luggahe storage after check out.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank bjp54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelationsLondon, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum, responded to this reviewResponded December 3, 2012

Dear bjp54,
Thank you for your review. We appreciate your time to provide us with your valuable feedback. We are sorry to hear you found your room and the bathroom small. On the positive side, we are pleased to hear you liked the excellent location and the luggage room services.

Thank you for your stay,
Best wishes,

Esmeralda Mendoza

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Reviewed November 10, 2012

I stayed here for one night after booking through Last minute.com. Paid £99 for a double room. Staff were extremely helpful. Rooms were clean. Tea and coffee facilities in room. Towels and toiletries provided. Pillows were labelled 'soft' or 'firm' and you could choose which you wanted. Very near to all the museums, and only short tube ride to central London.

Room Tip: Higher rooms have a better view
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Choccie_123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestRelationsLondon, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum, responded to this reviewResponded December 3, 2012

Dear Choccie_123,

Many thanks for your review about your recent stay. We are pleased to learn you enjoyed your short stay with us and that you found our hotel comfortable and welcoming. Thank you for your visit, our team is very happy to hear your great comments. Yes we have a great pillow choice aiming to provide you with a great night sleep!
We look forward to welcoming you soon back again.

Best wishes,
Esmeralda Mendoza

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum

Address: 97 Cromwell Road, London SW7 4DN, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > South Kensington , Earls Court
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#316 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range: $125 - $217 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum 4*
Number of rooms: 906
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The perfect option for business or leisure the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum sets the standard for hotels in Kensington. Stroll to Gloucester Road Tube Station, your gateway to the sights of the city. Enjoy the hotel s close proximity to Harrod's, the Royal Albert Hall, Earls Court and Olympia Exhibition Centres, the Natural History, Science and V&A Museums and Kensington Palace. As the tallest Holiday Inn Hotel in Europe, our 27-floor and 906 bedroom hotel offers modern bedrooms with stunning views of London from our higher floors. The hotel also offers a choice of suites and accessible rooms (one with hoist). All rooms are equipped with high speed Internet and Wi-Fi connectivity is available in the public areas. The hotel's carpark has 76 spaces and there is a 24-hour fitness room. Holiday Inn Kensington Forum offers its guests a choice of three restaurant and bars whether you want to relax with dinner, grab a quick snack or enjoy a pint of traditional British beer. The Academy offers 13 meeting and event rooms for up to 300 people, all with natural daylight, high-speed Internet and unlimited Starbucks tea and coffee. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum Hotel London
Holiday Inn Kensington Forum
London Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum England

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