The Ampersand Hotel is a modern luxury hotel set behind a stunning Victorian facade. While its exterior belies the historical layer of posh Kensington, its interior is definitely charming and funky. I stayed with my friend Elena, from Passion for Hospitality, for a night.
London’s stunning Ampersand Hotel is located in the heart of Kensington, one of London’s most prestigious neighbourhoods. It is right across the street from the South Kensington tube station, which makes it ideal for visitors as tube is the best way to get around London. There is a bus station just outside of the hotel entrance as well, and of course the ubiquitous London black cabs are easy to hail. Kensington is home to several London museums. The famous Golden Triangle comprises the Natural History museum, the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Royal Albert Music Hall is also in Kensington. Nearby parks include Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
Kensington is also a well known shopping district in London. It is home to many designer boutiques and artisan shops and galleries. Both Harrods and Harvey Nichols are within a short walk from the hotel, while the popular Oxford Street is just a tube ride away. Attractions like the Tower of London are accessible on the Circle line from South Kensington. With the District and Piccadilly lines here too, all of London is within easy reach.
The hotel lobby
The entrance of the hotel is taken up with a beautiful grand staircase with modern touches. When we stayed there was a modern lighting installation with goose feathers hanging from it. Despite the wrought iron railings and the plush dark carpet, the feeling is very much contemporary. The lobby is furnished with modern, colorful furniture. The floors are a smooth creamy marble and there is plenty of chic black and white decor. Rather than wear suits, the staff wear polished jeans and crisp white shirts, which gives the entire hotel a relaxed yet sophisticated feel.
The check in process went very smoothly and we were soon in our deluxe room. We stayed on the fourth floor and had a private balcony with a lovely view across the London rooftops. Elena described it as a “Mary Poppins view,” which sums it up perfectly.
Our deluxe room at the Ampersand Hotel had a luxurious bed with a large cushioned headboard. At the foot of the bed was a small modern sofa adorned with bright pillows. There was also a small armchair and a work desk.
The rooms at the Ampersand Hotel are designed around five themes, all relating to the museums in the area. These themes are botany, music, ornithology, geometry, and astronomy. Designs vary by room category. The hotel describes the design as “Victorian values of discovery and wonder” combined with “a modern sense of whimsy.” Our deluxe room had a gorgeous grey mural behind the bed and all the pillows had brightly colored flowers.
The room featured a complimentary minibar with waters, sodas, and juices, as well as coffee and tea making facilities. We also had a large LCD television with a media hub and plenty of places to plug in laptops as well as our phones. Had we wanted, we could have connected our phones to the stereo and tv. A laptop size safe was available in the room as well.
Our bathroom, had a large tub-shower combination, complete with its own television, and two plush robes for us. The bathroom also features a heated floor, although it takes a few minutes to warm up. The ample selection of toiletries were L’Occitane.
Dining at the Ampersand Hotel
The Apero Restaurant is the Ampersand’s hip Mediterranean restaurant. It is located on the ground floor of the hotel and serves both lunch and dinner. Apero is also the perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or a nightcap long with light bites. Breakfast, which is included in some room rates, is also served here. Elena and I took advantage of the breakfast and dined here during our stay. Selections included assorted meats and cheeses, cereals, quiches, yogurts, and pastries.
A popular activity is the Ampersand Hotel’s famous luxury afternoon tea, inspired by the nearby Science Museum. This takes place in the Drawing Rooms, an intimate space inspired by classic French patisseries and British Victorian parlors. The tea is considered one of the best in South Kensington and attended by both locals and guests. It is served daily, and reservations are recommended.
The Drawing Rooms are also available for private hire, as is the Games Room. If the Games Room is not booked, guests may enjoy relaxing in there and playing a bit of table tennis!
The Ampersand Hotel
The Ampersand Hotel in London’s prestigious South Kensington neighborhood is a wonderful place to stay. Its modern take on Victorian London is elegant, comfortable, and luxurious. I highly recommend it for travellers in London!
For more information:
THE AMPERSAND HOTEL
10 Harrington Road,
LONDON, SW7 3ER
T: +44 (0) 207 589 5895
I was a guest at the Ampersand hotel but as always opinions are my own.