What better spot to kick off London explorations than from the back door of Kensington Palace? The Royal Garden Hotel is a 5-star luxury property on Kensington High Street, just steps away from Hyde Park and the beautiful Kensington Palace. The hotel goes out of its way to welcome families with special packages and amenities — including free loaner scooters for kids!
While the Royal Garden is central to major attractions, its location on the west end of Hyde Park provides a quieter, more laid-back atmosphere than staying in the heart of London. The Princess Diana Memorial Playground is only a 10-minute walk through Hyde Park; it is 15 minutes to the Peter Pan Statue and 20 to Hyde Park’s Serpentine, where pedal boats are available to rent in season.
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Getting around is easy using the Underground from Kensington High Street station, a 5-minute walk away. Paddington Station, which provides a direct link to Heathrow Airport with the Heathrow Express train, is just a 10-minute cab ride away. Nearby are designer shops and family-favorite restaurants such as Wagamama and Dishoom.
With 394 bedrooms, including 17 suites, families have plenty of options to choose from. From the lobby to the guest rooms, the decor is modern yet comfortable, without stuffiness. Families will enjoy the Executive Rooms and Park or Master Suites, all of which are sizable enough for a family to spread out.
Our family of three was housed in an Executive Room. With 430 square feet, it has space for either three adults or two adults plus two children under 11, with a king bed and pullout sofa. All rooms feature state-of-the art technology with WIFI, flat-screen TVs, an iPod docking station, international sockets and a media hub.
A full closet and large shelves invite you to unpack and stay awhile. Getting ready in the morning is also made easier with a family-size bathroom, featuring a glass walk-in shower and separate soaking tub. When guests reserve a package that includes breakfast, there is no additional charge to order breakfast delivered to the room.
Our favorite features were the towel warmer, cozy robes and slippers, and turn-down service that supplied daily complimentary bottled water.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and high tea are served in the beautiful Park Terrace restaurant, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Kensington Gardens. In the morning, it’s set with a breakfast buffet; a la carte menu options, such as avocado toast, are also available. Lunch offers fresh British cuisine with Asian additions such as pork belly buns. In the evenings, the bar is a main attraction with glittering lights and beautiful bottle displays. Children’s afternoon tea is also offered and a kids’ menu is available after 5:30 pm.
For fine dining, head upstairs to Min Jiang, featuring authentic Chinese cuisine. With breathtaking views over Hyde Park and equally attractive dishes, such as dim sum, spicy Sichuan options, and a legendary wood-fired version of Beijing duck, it is perfect for a date night or family foodie dinner.
One of my favorite options for families who just need a night to relax and stay in, especially when getting over jet lag, is the family-friendly “Food and Flicks” package. It features unlimited movies (just watch who controls the remote, as there are quite a few adult options) and trays of room service delights, including mini pizzas, rolls and butter, fish fingers and chips, chicken wings, ice cream and sodas.
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The Royal Garden Hotel also offers complimentary access to a health club next door with a gym, sauna and steam room. Just note that you need to ask at the front desk for a keycard. The concierge can also help with transportation, provide Tube advice and arrange for a complimentary shoeshine. Families can request to borrow toys to use in the room or outside.
The Royal Garden Hotel is ready to welcome little princes and princesses (and their grownups.) It is a perfect choice for families with younger children who plan on spending downtime enjoying Hyde Park.
Editor’s Note: Royal Garden Hotel provided a media package in order for us to review the property for families. As always, all opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Tamara Gruber.
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