Residence Inn London Kensington: decent rooms but disappointing service and food

The first step of our trip to Boston took us a few steps away from our London home, since we were temporarily staying in a hotel while we moved.

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

#TypeReview
1DiaryMoving to the USA with a dog!
2HotelResidence Inn London Kensington
3DiaryPet Taxi London – Paris
4HotelRenaissance Paris Nobel Tour Eiffel
5LoungeAir France Lounge, Paris Charles-de-Gaulle, Hall M
6FlightAir France Business, Paris Charles de Gaulle – Boston Logan, Boeing 787-9
Today’s itinerary

Booking

I booked the Residence Inn several months before our arrival. I changed the reservation several times, either to adjust the timing of our stay or to take advantage of a lower price at this property.

I booked the lowest room category, and then applied Suite Night Awards to ensure an upgrade to a more comfortable two-bedroom suite.

So for just under £200 a night, I booked a four night stay.

Arrival

For convenience, and as we were busy packing, we did check-in the afternoon before our arrival which was late at the hotel the same evening.

Howeber, as we left our home, I noticed a downgrade of 2 categories of the suite previously upgraded with the Suite Night Awards, very strange!

So we arrived at the hotel reception, and I inquired about this point: the receptionist asked me if I really need this two-room suite, which I confirmed, and corrected this mistake and put us back in the suite in which we had previously been upgraded.

Apart from this last minute inconvenience, the check-in formalities were very professional, and a small welcome kit was given to us in a paper bag.

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Suite

Our suite was located on the fourth floor of the hotel. Due to its size, it is at the opposite side of the elevators and requires to walk the entire hallway to be accessed. Muffin loved running down in the long hallway leading to it.

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The entrance was quite long and served, on the left, a first cramped room. It is in this room that we installled Muffin’s bed at the foot of the “real” bed that can accommodate two people. The decoration is rather tasteful.

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This first room is equipped with a complete but very small bathroom.

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Then came a second room, still on the left, just as cramped since no storage was available in this second room, where we slept with my wife. The bathroom, also en suite, was bigger than the one in the first room, even if a lot of space was lost because of the rounded exterior architecture of the building.

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Facing the entrance, the living room and its fully equipped kitchen, a large corner sofa, a table with 4 chairs for dining and a TV facing the sofa.

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Everything was functional and relatively well maintained with a tasteful decoration. The kitchen was relatively clean and the utensils were in good condition.

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To finish, a video tour:

Hotel facilities

The hotel is equipped with a gym that we did not use during our stay, and located in the basement of the property. A laundry room was also available to guests.

Catering

The restaurant offer was limited to breakfast and the bar, both served in the same area.

In the absence of a lunch or dinner menu, the hotel has partnered with a nearby Italian restaurant.

Breakfast service

Breakfast was served daily from 6:30am to 10:30am, and 11am on weekends. It was included for all guests regardless of the rate paid.

A hostess welcomed guests at the entrance of the restaurant to check in their room number, well only when she was there.

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The restaurant’s decoration was simple but modern, and the tables were frequently cleared.

The selection was rather large but the quality was rather average.

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Service

The service is really lacking in this hotel. I know that Residence Inn is one of the half-service brands of Marriott. But still… A smile never hurts and, actually, inspires a positive attitude from guests that reduces conflicts. But here, no effort, not a hello to guests entering the hotel, or even, sometimes, a response to guests’ Salutations. Unacceptable and contrary to the basic principles of hospitality.

Departure

The departure formalities were simple and the invoice sent by e-mail at the same time.

Bottom line

A well-made hard product, but the whole soft product needs to be revised from top to bottom. Shame.

Residence Inn London Kensington : Chambres correctes mais service et restauration décevants

Emplacement
Design
Service, check-in & concierge
Chambre
Restauration & Bar
Installations (piscine, spa, fitness...)
Respect du programme de fidélité
Service
Rapport Expérience/prix

Moyen

Un hard product de bonne facture, mais tout le soft product est à revoir de fond en comble. Dommage.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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