The Kensington – South Kensington, SW7
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What a great address, in an attractive and central part of London that so far hasn’t been noted for its hotels; at least, not until spot-hitting ones like this Doyle Collection model from the family-owned luxury group that also owns London’s The Marylebone and The Bloomsbury hotels, and The Westbury in Dublin. Its chairman, Bernie Gallagher, oversaw the interior design to make it feel like a beautiful private residence. Comfortable, sophisticated, but never try-hard, you can eat and drink in the homely Town House restaurant or in the K Bar, which offers signature cocktails and bar bites and do not miss out on the acclaimed London Landmarks Afternoon Tea. The public drawing rooms are stylish yet relaxing and there are 150 beautifully decorated bedrooms and suites including two sumptuous signature suites. If you want to explore, there are Pashley bikes to pedal around the capital, with baskets for carrying a picnic – a typically thoughtful touch – and partnerships with local institutions such as the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum and Royal Albert Hall, which allows special access to exclusive VIP tickets and packages.
Doubles from £330
+44 (0)20 7589 6300; doylecollection.com