Immigration was smooth and we were thru in mins due to the new policy that Singaporeans are now able to use the egates in UK. Kudoos to that. For my 5 days in London, I choose to stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington. It is actually a long term stay property but you can in fact stay one night as well. It is more like a aparthotel. Usually you can find a wet bar with cooking facilities as well. What really attracts me was its fair pricing. London is an expensive place to stay in with prices usually around 300-400 SGD for something decent and in the city centre. The hotel location was superb, right in the heart of Kensington, the most upscale area in London, Tube station nearby. You are right in the heart of the city centre and could walk anywhere, Westfield mall is just mins away on food. High Street Kensington is a stroll away. I also realised that there is a direct tube line from Heathrow to the hotel on the Piccadilly, so that is really affordable and easy to get to the airport. Best of all, a large Tesco is located right next door. I will shall more about this later on. I paid 309SGD per night, after Prestige 4th night free that brought it down to about 239SGD. Furthermore I get to earn some Marriott points.
It was about a 5 to 10 mins walk from the nearest Tube which is Earls Court. It was made much tougher than it looks since the station is undergoing much renovation. It is easy to find your way to the hotel and definitely the iconic Tesco icon help. Kensington looks rather gorgeous with its classy houses and buildings. The Residence Inn is decked out with a glassy exterior and it looks rather fresh and new. Upon some researching, the hotel was just recently renovated in 2017. I love the abundance of natural light. We were there super early, around 8am given our early arrival. There is no wait at check in given the timing. Sadly the room will only be ready in the afternoon and we already got the check in process done. It is a delight to be upgraded to a 1 Bedroom Larger Suite!
We freshen up for a little and got out baggage checked with them. We were also invited to help ourselves to the breakfast service. In Residence Inn, every guest get complimentary full breakfast so that is not much of a thing. The selection were pretty good, I will share more of this later on. I took the opportunity to check out the lobby area and got some pictures. There is a little business centre by the side and lots of seating available. Although most of the lobby seats act as an overfloor area for breakfast. You can expect how busy it gets at certainly peak period given that everyone have access. There is also a game room by the side. Although it is just a pool table. We decided to walk around the area and were back around 3.30pm to get the room. Do note that there is no ball boy service and the baggage were not send to the room. This is just a small issue.
The room was fresh and it was really spacious. I didn’t expect this given how expensive London is. Given that it is a long term residence, all of the rooms are like suites with a little living space. The orientation is kinda weird for my room since the door open up right in the middle of everything and immediately opposite of the front door is the entrance to the toilet. Towards the left hand side you can find the “bedroom” with a double bed as well as some storage. There is a TV on the wall which is of a decent size. I love that there are outlets placed conveniently around the bed. The bed was firm and pillows are alright.
On the other side, the right, immediately after the entrance you can find a wardrobe. The size is rather small though.
This is the main living space of the suite. You can find a full dining table with chairs. Sofabed as well as a coffee table. It might look a little less spacious in my pictures since the sofabed is converted to another double bed. The area is still comfy to move around and the sofabed while less comfy than the normal one was still pretty good and spacious. There is another TV here in the living space and larger as well. Wifi is also strong in the room.
On the dining table you can also find some tea as well as a Nespresso Machine which is rather generous in my opinion. The room also comes with everything that you might need. I think it is comfortable for long stay. There is a full kitchen with all the necessary utensils and cooking stuff. Plates, pan, pot and cutleries. You can find an induction hob as well as a multi function Steamer/oven/microwave. Dishwasher is also there for any lazy ass:) I really love the little pinboard next to the kitchen that have all the instruction to operate the stuff. Fussless.
I love the place so much and never regret booking it. I made full use of the kitchen. Tesco is literally just next door and open 24 hours with the exception of Sunday. You can really save up given the high price of eating out in London. You can easily buy those marinated prepacked stuff to cook.
As mentioned the toilet is located near the entrance and this is probably the only bad side about the room. It is too cramp and small, like literally hard to move around.There is also a lack of space to place and hang towels. Soaps were provided, although in dispenser form, they were from Essential Elements, a brand from San Francisco. The water and temp pressure is good and there are hand held shower head which is something that is so important to me. I guess I am still alright with the toilet after all.
Breakfast is served daily at the pantry, which is located right next to the reception. It is from 6am to 11am on weekdays and till 11.30am on weekends. Coffee is also available the whole day. I was down for breakfast the next day and it’s a pretty awesome selection. They serve up a full english breakfast complimentary for all guest. As such it could get rather busy at certain timings. The selection is not huge but comprehensive and of high quality. Everything looks fresh, good and delicious. I also appreciate that they alternate some of the selection from day to day.
You can find cold cuts, fresh pastries, bread as well as yogurt as well as some cereals for the continental selection.
For the hot dishes you can find eggs, bacon and baked beans. They do alternate it and on certainly days you can find mushrooms or other form of eggs, sausages etc. Coffee, juices and of course tea are provided as well. This is England afterall.
Surely they need to do something about the lift. I have no idea why their design is so weird here as they do not like to have a close door button. Although this is rather common in Europe. There is also usually a wait for the lift especially at peak timing. All in all, the location is perfect, just slightly outside from the buzz. Chelsea Kensington is a perfect place to stay. I love that it allows me to cook and Tesco next door is perfect for getting all that you need. Staff was polite and nice. However Housekeeping is also another major flaws of this place. Dishes were simply just placed in the dishwasher and undone. I will definitely stay here again given the perks and price point. Recommend!