We have a trip planned for June to London and have two hotel choices Kensington and County Hall.
I am looking for any help in deciding between the two. We are Platinum members but paying for this one. Family of four.
Has anyone stayed at both? Does either have Concierge lounge? anything offered will be appreciated.
Sounds like a wonderful trip, and you have some great choices! Have stayed at both properties, plus a number of other ones as well, so here goes, some information:
First of all, if you plan on sharing one room for four people, please make sure the hotel, any hotel, will allow you to do that. European hotels can be difficult when you have more than two people per room.
Please review previous posts and continue to check, even after you have made a reservation. Things can change literally by the day, and you may be surprised at some special deal that may surface.
Being a fan of County Hall has been easy, but remember, all of these properties are very expensive, so look at your needs and budget. I enjoy CH for these reasons:
The staff is wonderful and they make arrangements for a fee, (The same as a taxi price), to pick one up at LHR and bring them directly to the hotel. Likewise, put the charge on the room!
CH, is in such a great location, with a nice CL, and if you like to walk, you will save yourself a lot of money. There are two Tube stations nearby, which will make it easy to get around London.
There are many more reasons to enjoy CH, but again, look at your own situation, and make the best plan as possible.
Good luck, and let us at MRI know how we can help on specific issues.
, First I want to thank you for the informative reply! I hold both of these reservations because of the confusion regarding the 4 to a room issue specifically. We had the Kensington first but then found the "2 people" mention in the emailed reservation and in trying to clarify that the very helpful Platinum Reservation agent discovered the had rooms and would allow 4. But this still keeps me up at night... Is there some way to get a written confirmation of this from the hotel ahead of our arrival? This is our 25 Anniversary trip and so I want the best without arrival surprises. We are very happy with the choice and will stick with it if we can be assured of the 4 to room promise.
London is a great place to go with the family, but do be aware of you're looking to share 4 to a room, that's not possible at Kensington at all, and officially, although CH does double-doubles the max occupancy per room is 3!
Turnng to the choices themselves, they are chalk and cheese, Kensington is a straightforward Marriott on the edge of the central zone 1. It has a windowless exec lounge that's decent enough and serves lengthy evening service and alcohol hours. For breakfast you can choose the lounge or free in the restaurant. It's about a 5 min walk to the tube, 10 mins to the museums (natural history, science, V&A) and 20 mins to Harrods. Plenty of choices for food.mits significantly cheaper than the other zone 1 Marriotts and is my no1 London choice now.
County Hall is one of the few London Marriots I've not stayed at. It does have an exec lounge and is super-central. It's a 5 star Marriott and charges accordingly! You'll find yourself next door to loads of tourist stuff and especially the wheel, Houses of Parliament with Buckingham Palace within walking distance. 2 tubes are nearby.
County Hall feels right in the middle of it all, Marriott Kensington doesn' t even feel like it's in the middle of Kensington (it's not!). I'd say CH is your best bet on a first tourist visit to London, but if you're familiar with London, the cheaper Marriotts at West India Quay or Kensington are great choices
Brightlybob, Thank you for your great information. This of course has me worried now. We have through the Platinum Res agent been told the 3 room max is for "Adults" one of our four is a 15 yr old. and therefore ok to join us!! we are now worried about arriving to find a different situation. Who would I go to to get something to hold that confirms this?
Thanks so much.
I'll throw in regarding the LCH property (I've not stayed at Kensington). It's a fantastic, beautiful hotel, well located and staffed with friendly, hospitality-oriented associates (and terrific views from the breakfast room, lobby lounge and restaurant, and if you're lucky or willing to spring for a room upgrade, terrific views from the room also, perhaps the best Marriott room views in London).
I don't know if LCH offers rooms with occupancies of four, but to answer your specific questions:
1) They offer a delicious, hearty complimentary breakfast every morning in the library lounge on the first floor (get there early though - before 8am is best - as it fills up by 9am). Beautiful room with river and clock tower views.
2) They do offer a CL with evening offerings, but be aware that it is small, windowless (and pretty warm, come to think of it) and it too fills up fast. If you arrive after 6:30pm, it will be full and they don't like you to remove wine or food from the lounge. So if you want to use it to save on an evening meal once or twice, just know you'll need to get there right at 5:30pm, down side is that you're not out there enjoying the daytime tourist activities (museums, etc.) The CL stops serving promptly at 7:30pm and then it clears out pretty fast.
3) On the sixth floor they have a wonderful swimming pool and a really great gym and spa.
4) Hotel is close to the Westminster tube station just across the Westminster bridge, which also is jam packed with tourists all day long (if you get up and get out there by about 9am, you will gloriously have it all to yourselves along with far fewer Londoners (than tourists) walking or cyclling to work.) It's also walking distance to a number of attractions, namely The Eye (of course), Parliament Building, Westminster Abbey, St. James Park and even Buckinghame Palace, 10 Downing Street and the Churchill War Rooms and Museum. Actually, you can walk to Trafalgar Square, Picadilly Circus and Covent Garden if you are an active bunch.
I haven't stayed at St. Ermin's, but visited the property (I know it's not under consideration for you, but they do have guest rooms that are designed for families, and they just completed a multi-million dollar (pound?) renovation and it is beautiful and the property is well located.) St. Ermin's Hotel, Autograph Collection: London Unique Hotels
They do not have a CL, so you will pay for breakfast, though it looks like they have a fairly reasonably priced "grab n' go" breakfast offering at £5. You could email them and ask if they have in room fridges that are not stocked with honor bar items (at LCH, the in-room fridge was so full with honor bar items, there was no room to store anything personal) and if so, you could just find a local bakery/market and do your own breakfast thing in the room. If you want the CL and complimentary breakfast, LCH is better.
The reviews of the Kensington property seem good overall.
After some research, while it appears that a number of London Marriott properties cater to a family of four (including Kensington), County Hall does not appear to. No matter what dates (even next January) I plug in for four persons, it does not show up on the list. When I change it to three persons, it comes up. You might want to inquire with Platinum reservations regarding this. If you've narrowed it down to the two properties, your choice may then have already been made for you.
Enjoy London! I would like to recommend Kew Royal Botanical Gardens (district line towards Richmond) as well as Windsor Castle (regional train from Waterloo station, very reasonably priced). Also, I loved the tour of Parliament (having just also recently completed a private tour of the US Capitol Building.) Even bought a book in the book shop, British Politics 101.
Message was edited by: pluto77 Email County Hall directly with the details about your family. They'll privide you with a definitive answer regarding your numbers. email@example.com I think it's certain that if the Kensington property provides a list of room options to reserve when you plug in 4/room, that you're safe there.
Wonderful facts you have just shared!
Glad you gave the email address for people to check directly with the hotel staff on certain travel questions that will aid Marriott customers on provide answers. Likewise, it is advisable to put your questions to the attention of, "Teddi or Nic", they are so helpful to guests and potential guests.
Lastly, you will want to check out previous posts and photo's to help you with your questions.
Please let us know about more questions you may have! Here are a couple of my favorite photo's around LCH:
The Big Red Bus, parked in front of LCH, will inexpensively take you around London to all of the sites most desire to see! It's on/off, so you can enjoy a full day or two of relaxing on the top of the bus to see it all. Note, in the back right hand lower corner of this photo is Westminster Tube Station, just a short walk across this, The Westminster, Bridge.
This is The Thames side of LCH! Note the London Eye, and prior to that you will have the London Aquarium, The London Dungeon, and a lot of people. Imagine the joy of having your room right here! It's "Weatherproofing" your trip!