Hotel check: Ibis Styles Kensington

BACKGROUND

Ibis Styles (formerly All Seasons) is one of three budget Ibis brands under Accor, the others being Ibis Hotels and Ibis Budget.

The brand is “all-inclusive”, which means breakfast and wifi are built into the price. This property opened in September.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

Previously the three-star, independently owned Enterprise, it is now a design-orientated budget hotel set in a renovated Victorian building.

The lobby is a riot of colours with a large map of the area highlighting local attractions – this is a theme taken to extremes throughout the hotel, with lighting and artworks referencing everything from the Science Museum to the Royal Albert Hall.

To one side of the lobby is the bar – again, multicoloured and more like a children’s play area than a traditional bar – and next to the lift there is, in fact, a small play area. Quotes and graphics fill the corridors, which I’m sure is popular with children and (possibly) tourists.

Check-in was quick and the lift was immediately to the right of reception. Coming back after a function later that night, the reception was still manned at 10pm and I could purchase a drink and sit at the bar, which was quiet.

WHERE IS IT?

On Hogarth Road, two minutes’ walk from Earl’s Court Tube station on the Piccadilly line (for Heathrow) and the District and Circle lines.

ROOM FACILITIES

Rooms start from 17 sqm for Standard singles, 19 sqm for Standard doubles and twins, and 21 sqm for Standard triples, which have a double bed and single sofa bed.

The narrow corridors indicate this was once a house (or at least flats) – some of the rooms are accessible by flights of stairs as you move between different parts of the building.

I stayed in a Standard double – its 19 sqm was generous, I thought, for a budget room, with plenty of room for a chair and desk.

All rooms have air conditioning, flatscreen TVs, free wifi (although this was slow), a hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, a full-length mirror, own-brand toiletries and, in my room, a power shower above a bath – many rooms only have showers.

Rooms have themes such as “Sushi” (from the Great Exhibition of London), “Music” (a reference to the Royal Albert Hall) and “Parrot” (a homage to the Science Museum). I was in one of these, with a mural of a parrot and quotes on the walls, which my children would have loved.

I was perhaps unlucky that groups of people stood and chatted outside my door at around midnight, but this is a budget hotel, and so has a mix of business and leisure travellers.

Otherwise, the bed was comfortable, the air conditioning easy to use, and there was no noise from the outside. My room was at the back, but the road to the front of the hotel isn’t particularly busy.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

There is a breakfast room that offers a continental buffet. It was the only time I got to see the other guests, who at 8am were all there on business, although I was the only one wearing a suit.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES

A meeting room on the ground floor seats ten people.

LEISURE FACILITIES

A fitness room is due to open this month.

VERDICT

A good budget option – smart and clean, with free wifi, in a central London location. The new design is welcoming without being too obtrusive, and the staff were friendly.

FACT FILE

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? 115 – 16 Standard singles, 71 doubles, 16 twins, 12 triples.
  • PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in March started from £115 for a Standard double room.
  • CONTACT Ibis Styles London Kensington, 15-25 Hogarth Road; tel +44 (0)20 7373 4502; ibisstyleshotel.ibis.com


Tom Otley


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