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Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street
Ranked #593 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Reviewed October 5, 2012

Dingy rooms (don't be fooled by their tarted up lobby), unreliable service, and attempted overcharges on your bill? Then this will be the place for you. Do you see all the other negative reviews here? Heed them.

Took a chance and booked this hotel in spite of all the negative reviews because the hotel highlighted had a very good fitness centre and pool in their description. And, it's true. What they lowlighted, if they mentioned it at all, was that you have to pay extra to use them. This is cheating. If you want to brag about your pool, at least be honest enough to tell how much extra you're going to charge your guests to use it.

Actually, this is a pattern at this establishment, who will try to nickel and dime you to death. Actually, this is London, so it's more like 5 and 10 pound you to death. Want a bucket of ice? Guess how much they want for it? Well, you can find out for yourself when you go there.

Oh, and, if you book via hotels.com, you will see it shows that internet is free. However, when you get there, they will try to charge for internet and claim hotels.com is lying about the internet being free. I got a good laugh from that, and after a moment, they did agree to "waive" the internet fee. So far so good. Only problem within a couple hours, the internet crashed, and wasn't available for the duration of our one day stay.

The final memorable moment of the stay was when, at checkout, they tried to charge me again for the internet which: 1) should have been included in the price in the first place; 2) was crashed and unavailable for our entire stay.

All this only to find their gym and pool is actually open to the public and I could have booked a nicer and cheaper room down the street and used the savings to pay for the fitness centre/pool entrance fee. Well, next time I'll know better.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank lane99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kenclose, General Manager at Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, responded to this reviewResponded October 6, 2012

Greetings. Thank you for taking the time to write in. We value all our guests' comments as they help in the continuous strive for excellence. I am equally compelled to respond to your review as we believe it is largely an unfair depiction of our Hotel. I address each point you raise in the order they appear.

Our newly refurbished, modern lobby and bar are hardly tarted up. They have been meticulously designed for comfort, luxury and seamless service. I am not sure what category room you booked. If, however, we did not deliver the category you reserved and paid for, we would be delighted to refund any difference in rate. Our Hotel offers small, medium, large and suite category rooms, all different with amenities and costs. While we are always disappointed to note dissatisfaction from any of our guests, you will appreciate that some guests travel with a specific budget. As you correctly pointed out, the London market is generally very expensive. We would have been delighted to offer you a higher category room, if you found your original choice to be below expectation. Hotels.com generally offers very competitive rates but not necessary the most luxurious and spacious category rooms in our Hotel.

We are happy to note that our guests have provided overwhelmingly very good/excellent reviews since the multimillion pound refurbishment.

Kindly note, we do not charge for ice in our Hotel. You may have received a service charge, standard for all Hotels, if you requested it through our 24 hrs. room service facility.

We hope you can also appreciate that when a third party is involved, a booking engine in this case, errors and omissions may occur. I am glad to see that our team was quick to react and remove any charges (internet) at your request. The internet charges are automatically posted to the account - it is not a manual function of a team member. If you attempted to log on during multiple occasions, the charges would inadvertently appear on your statement. Once again, we are delighted our staff reacted swiftly and removed the charges upon your departure. As an aside, we are grateful you have brought this to our attention, as the free WiFi promotion ended on August 31, 2012, and as such, should not have appeared on Hotels.com website.

You are correct regarding our sports center and leisure spa facilities. While we do maintain a good number of private members, the access charge for the public is significantly higher than the cost (£8) Hotel guests are subject to.

Thank you for your attention. Please do not hesitate to contact us, if there is anything further we can do from this end.


Kind regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,324 - 3,330 of 4,332 reviews

Reviewed October 4, 2012

This was my second stay at this well located recently refurbished hotel; just down the street from High Street Kensigton underground station. The decor is modern and the rooms are comfortable with great beds and clean new white bathrooms; the room on my first visit was small but adequate. The double room I had this visit was much larger and more comfortable. Access to the rooms is via small lifts which are quite out of keeping with the impressive new modern well decorated, open, spacious reception bar and lounge areas.
Check in and check out involved queuing as not enough staff on the front desk. I checked in at 10pm and the hotel clearly had a problem with obtaining credit card pre authorisation, my card was declined, (as was guest checking in next to me?!) and only when I called for the manager, and called my credit card company, who confirmed there was no problem with my card, did the hotel agree to get a manual authorisation but only up to the value of one night's accommodation. And I was advised that I was not permitted to charge anything to the room! As I had not eaten I had planned to order room service; instead I ended up at McD! I was unimpressed with the approach and attitude of the manager to the predicament I was in (and not of my making) and as a consequence I have recommended that our company look to stay at an alternative central London hotel in the future.

Room Tip: Insist on a refurbished room. The four digit room numbers appear to be the double rooms and they ar...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank GCR484
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2012

We stayed in this hotel for two nights. On arrival at the hotel we were informed a deposit of £60 was required (our room was prepaid). In fairness it does state in the booking terms this will happen but it does not say it will be £60. I was assured by the member of staff who checked us in that this money would be available in my bank as soon as I checked out. It also states in the booking terms "any such deposit shall be cancelled or returned at the end of the guests stay". I asked again when we checked out yesterday morning if the money would be available and was told rather abruptly yes. Well I am still waiting for this money to be available in my account and after phoning my bank they told me it was the hotel so I phoned the hotel and spoke to Martha who I'm not sure if she was the manager or a supervisor and she told me that it could take up to 72 hours for the money to go back in. So after being told by 2 different members of staff I would have the money straight away this is not the case.
Received an email just as I'm typing this and apparently the £60 will be back in my account by next week. How can the hotel be allowed to do this with my money?

When we asked the night before checking out about a left luggage service we were told by reception it was free - yet again we were told lies as there is actually a charge of £1 per item.

Our double room was so small it was actually impossible to walk between the bed and the bathroom door. The extractor fan in the bathroom was so noisy we had to get someone to look at it for us. The tv was ancient, and pillows on the bed were lumpy. I

We were looking forward to going for a swim but decided not to at a cost of £8 per person, again this is not made clear on the website.

Extremely unhappy with my stay at this hotel, the staff clearly need training on the actual charges of things and exactly how long they take. They could also do with customer service training.

My advice would be to pay any further deposits in cash as that way you will hopefully get it back as soon as you check out.

Room Tip: Avoid room 351 as its tiny and also noisy.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lynne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2012

I stayed here earlier this week - I had stayed there several years ago & to be honest was not keen to return - BUT - for some reason, on check-in, I was upgraded to a Club Room.
What a great room ! Everything I needed and more - one of the nicest rooms I've had in London recently.
The breakfast was good - self service - and all-in-all, it was a good stay.

Room Tip: Try & get upgraded to a Club Room - I've no idea how you do this, because I didn't even...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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Thank ceb346
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Lovely hotel, but should include wifi and the swimming pool for no extra charge. In room 1003 the tv did not work. The room was a bit on the small side. Great location. I have finished this review now but trip adviser is asking for 200 characters .

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Mullen1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

I stayed in this hotel one night the room was by no means big I was charged £20 for an extra bed for my son which turned out to be a bed settee the cost of the room was already £200 for the night

naming itself the executive suite I think not wifi charged at £9.99 per24 hours it actually has a gym which was advertised no where within the hotel nor was the swimming pool which apparently you have to pay for as well !!!! The tiles in the bathroom stuck to your feet when using the bathroom as there was a fair few loose there was no hot water other than from the shower and all night long I listened to the whirring of what I can only describe as a constant boiling kettle the towels had loose threads all over them value for money I think not upon discussing this with the reception staff was told you should have said at the time how helpful was that such a shame they have focused on the entrance and not the rooms certainly wouldn't return and nor recommend there are much nicer places for less

  • Stayed: October 2012
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2  Thank slimcoolchic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Stayed here from 29/9/12 to 1/10/12. Initial problems with our room were that it was obviously not made up for our arrival.. dirty towels on floor etc. The room itself was pretty dire. The light had to be kept on as the room was in complete darkness due to no natural daylight being allowed in through the tiny window. On reporting the state of the room to reception my complaint was dealt with with a swift apology and the offer of a new, much bigger room. Very, very impressed with how efficient and pleasant the staff were. Every member of staff from housekeeping to concierge and reception greeted us with a smile at all times day or night. The size of the rooms was not an issue but would not be keen to stay here in a room with no natural daylight (extremely claustrophobic) but on this occasion we were happy enough. Everything very clean, staff as mentioned very helpful and pleasant and the location perfect. On the whole would recommend this hotel providing our next stay was not in a darkened room!!!!

Room Tip: Upgrade if at all possible
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 140jules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street

Address: Wrights Lane | Kensington, London W8 5SP, England (Formerly Kensington Close Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > South Kensington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#75 Spa Hotel in London
#351 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range: $131 - $277 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street 4*
Number of rooms: 708
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street is a beautiful 4-star hotel centrally located near Kensington High Street tube station and a short walk from Kensington Palace & Gardens, Royal Albert Hall, Earls Court and the West End. The Hotel has 708 well-equipped non-smoking bedrooms including Executive bedrooms and Suites. Enjoy fresh seasonal dishes in the brasserie or a drink in the sunny private garden. Business traveller's appreciate the powerful WiFi service, wide ranging room service menu and an executive lounge for VIPs too. State of the art meeting facilities for up to 250 delegates are ideal for meetings, dinners and weddings. Shopping at Westfield and Oxford Street is a short distance away. Imagine Health Club and Spa includes a fantastic new gym and an 18 metre swimming pool with sauna, steam rooms and jacuzzi. The Spa offers an enticing selection of massage, facial and beauty treatments with our expert therapists. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kensington Close London
Hotel Kensington Close
Kensington Close Hotel London
Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street England

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