Holiday Inn Kensington Forum – London – Review – Plus where we ate!

Earlier this month I stayed at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum in London.  My daughter is in a study abroad program and her apartment is right next to the hotel, so it worked out perfect!

I had read reviews on Trip Advisor, some good, some bad.  I remember one of the reviews said the lobby looked like an airport lobby.  Well, it is big, but it’s a big hotel.  You have a lot of pilots and attendants staying here plus some large groups which took up a lot of room in that big lobby!

When I arrived at the hotel, a nice doorman took my luggage for me and it was delivered to my room 🙂  That was nice.  Check in went smoothly.  I booked a King Exectutive room because when I was looking at the different room options, it seemed a safer bet I would get a nice room with this option.

The room was nice.  My only comments –

The bath towels – Why can’t the bath towels be softer?  They felt rough.  If I went again, I would bring my own towel and just leave it ..

WiFi – Only available if you pay for it … even in the lobby!  I finally paid the 25 pounds for 48 hours of internet in my room.  Pricey but worth it for me at the time.

American Electrical Plugs – I also chose this hotel because they offer a line of plugs so you don’t have to use an adapter.  My “American” plug didn’t work so I had to call down and get someone to fix it.  They couldn’t fix it, but brought up a portable one for me to use.  This was a big plus because using adapters with your “American” curling irons, flat irons, etc ..  can heat them up wayyyy toooo fast and ruin them.

In-Room Refridgerator – NOT COLD – Barely room temperature.  I bought some Stella’s at the market and put them in the fridge … checked later and they were room temp.  On my way out for the day, I mentioned this to the front desk and was told the fridge isn’t meant to be cold, but to keep things more at room temp.  Give me a break.  And, you don’t find ice machines in hotels in London, or at least not where I’ve stayed.  I guess everyone drinks their beer in the pubs ….

Elevator security – You have to use your key to use the elevator.  This is nice … keeps people out who don’t belong there!

Concierge – Nice.  I bought my tickets to The Tower of London through the Concierge.  Didn’t save me money, but time in line … if there was one.  I also went down to see if they could go on-line to United and check me in for my flight.  They let me use the computer!  That was really nice.

I would stay here again unless the Radisson down the street offered free WiFi and was comparable in price.  We stayed at the Radisson Blu in Edinburgh and that was really nice.

Here is a picture of my room –

The view from my window facing Cromwell Road.

FYI – The hotel entrance is on Ashburn Place.  When I was looking at the map on Google and “walked around” the area, I thought the entrance would be on Cromwell Road.

Things close by –

The tube – Gloucester Road – very close and convenient!

Starbucks with free WiFi

Paul – Great Coffee and Bakery goodies!

Waitrose – the local market which is closer to the hotel than Sainsbury’s down the street.

Where we ate  –

Nando’s – Peri Peri Chicken – different levels of spice available.  Really good!  Flame Grilled Chicken.

Wildwood Restaurant – 154 Gloucester Road – Nice Italian choices but I had their special for the night which was Shepards Pie.  One of the best desserts we had – a waffle, bananas, nuts, ice cream and toffee sauce!

We ate at Da Mario up on Gloucester Road and it was Great!  We started with the Garlic Bread and Fantasia di Bufala Alla Caprese – SO GOOD!

We then shared a pizza and salad.  This is a small place with Great Food!  I would highly recommend it!!

One night we ate at The Monsoon on Brick Lane.  It was very very good.  It is traditional Bangladeshi cooking.  We had the chicken curry and a really good appetizer … can’t remember the name … it was just really good!

We also ate at the Newman Arms which was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show.  It was very good.  We had to make reservations and we ate upstairs in the Pie Room.

Please let me know if you have any questions – just leave me a comment!




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