Inconsistent service, unenjoyable stay
We were looking forward to our stay at the Kensington due to all of the positive reviews, but unfortunately our stay was less than ideal. Before arrival, we had corresponded with the hotel requesting a street-facing room. Check-in informed us that our room was street-facing, but upon arrival at the room found a room facing the back of the hotel with all of the equipment. We requested to move rooms but they said they had no availability for that night and we would have to wait until the next night to move. This was very inconvenient given that we could not fully unpack our things for a 5-night stay. Disappointing that our initial request was ignored.
The most egregious incident was when we brought back cupcakes from the artisanal bakery down the street and wanted to enjoy them with the drinks we just ordered from the lounge bar. A waitress immediately approached us and to inform us that we can't eat outside food/drinks in the lounge. This is quite offensive given that we were guests of the hotel and paying patrons in the lounge. The reason we wanted to enjoy it in the lounge is because the room is extremely small with only one sitting chair. One of us would have had to sit on the bed. I brought up this fact with the front desk who apologized and said that we could enjoy it in the lounge, but later called up to our room to tell us that it's in fact a management policy not to allow outside food/drink in the common areas. Given the size of the rooms, paying lounge guests should be allowed to enjoy a snack on the first floor.
The rooms are very small with minimal area around the bed to put luggage or maneuver around the room. The bed and pillows were uncomfortable and we did not really sleep well during our stay.
We booked the Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea. I thought the experience was just fine but overpriced. Inconsistent service from the wait staff. We were ignored for the first 20 minutes when tables around us were getting serviced. For instance, we never received the Belle cookie that is suppose to come before the food until I specifically asked about it. At breakfast one morning, the waitress did not write down any part of our order. When our food arrived, the omelet orders were both wrong. We had waited a bit for it so didn't bother sending it back. I had also ordered a juice (which I later found out was not included in the breakfast rate) that I think she forgot to put in since it arrived after we had finished our meal. However, of course we still got charged for it. No concessions made at all for poor service during multiple instances during our stay.
Positive notes: Thomas from the breakfast staff was excellent and the location is very close to the South Kensington station