Go Boutique in London at The Ampersand Hotel

This charming Kensington hotel is just steps away from some of the city’s best museums.

The exterior of The Ampersand Hotel, London.

Kensington is an ideal neighbourhood to stay in when in London, thanks to the nearby museums — including the Victoria & Albert Museum and Natural History Museum — Kensington Palace (where the current Duke & Duchess of Cambridge reside — a.k.a. Will and Kate) and High Street shopping. When looking for a place to stay you’ll find plenty of options in the area from chain hotels to B&B’s, but nothing quite like the recently updated boutique property, The Ampersand Hotel.

Built in 1888, The Ampersand Hotel was one of London’s original Victorian boutique hotels. The six-storey townhouse contains 111 destination guest rooms, all individually-styled and many with balconies. Decor-wise it’s a mix of contemporary meets English heritage, which is evident as soon as you step into the lobby, where a lightbulb sculpture snakes its way up past the wrought-iron staircase. Though you won’t miss the Victorian details either including the high ceilings, columns, and gargoyles.

A deluxe studio.

There are five distinct styles of rooms — botany, music, geometry, ornithology and astronomy — all inspired by the neighbouring museums. Every room comes complete with oversized velvet headboards, floor-to-ceiling windows, complimentary soft drinks from the mini-bar, LCD TVs and lovely toiletries from London perfumer Miller Harris. Plus you’ll also find complimentary Wi-Fi, which is always a major bonus. The Single and Double Rooms are definitely cozy, so if you’re looking for a bit more space a Deluxe Studio (pictured) is probably your best bet. They include a sitting area, an iPod dock and Nespresso machines.

The Drawing Rooms.

Though the hotel may be modern, tradition lives on not only in decor aspects, but also in the lovely Drawing Rooms found on the first floor. Open to outside guests as well, the space is part-patisserie and part-parlour. Here guests can sip on coffee and teas, with sweet pastries from 11 a.m. onwards. Afternoon tea runs from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m., and when 5:30 p.m. hits you can switch from a cup of tea to a pre-dinner glass of champagne.

Apero Restaurant.

The Ampersand Hotel also features a Mediterranean-style restaurant called Apero, found beneath the hotel’s cellar arches. Exposed brick, white subway tiles and cozy leather seating make it an intimate dining destination. The bar is always a-buzz with the bartenders shaking up custom cocktails inspired by great painters and thinkers. For lunch and dinner, it’s tapas-style with small plates like flatbread, baked scallops with seaweed, and gnocchi.

You’ll also find a small Fitness Centre open 24 hours, with a bike, treadmill and crosstrainer, plus free weights. Although considering Hyde Park is just a few minutes walk away, taking a jog outside might be a nicer option. The hotel can give you a running map to help you out, so be sure to ask!

There is also a Games Room available for use when it’s not booked for a private event, which holds a full-size table-tennis table, library and ample seating.

Room rates start at £200/night + VAT for standard guest rooms and £385/night + VAT for suites with balconies. All room rates include breakfast.

The nearest underground station to the hotel is South Kensington, just a 1-minute walk away.

Where to Find:
The Ampersand Hotel
10 Harrington Road
London, SW7 3ER
+44 020 7589 5895
ampersandhotel.com