Sweeping Victorian luxury in the heart of Kensington.
This beautifully restored Victorian townhouse dates back to 1876, when it was one of the very first purpose-built hotels in London. The façade is in need of a paint job, but don't let this deter you from experiencing the hotel's rich heritage, preserved through sweeping, elegantly sculptured wrought-iron staircases, crystal chandeliers, stained glass windows, real fireplaces and detailed wooden flooring and cornices. The 212 rooms tend towards the small side, but all of them feature goose down bedding and warm, muted upholstery tones that contrast well with deep dark woods. The hotel offers four restaurants, including Bombay Brasserie, considered one of the finest Indian restaurants in the country. In the mood for something else? The knowledgeable concierge staff can direct you to any of the dozen-odd pubs and restaurants within a few minute's walk. (A 24-hour supermarket is just opposite.) The hotel is on the Piccadilly line, making it perfect if you're coming from Heathrow; the Gloucester Road tube station has trains that run directly to the airport.