Hello Everyone! I’ve decided to dedicate this post to a hotel I stayed at exactly one year ago this week, the Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt in the Kensington district of London. This is a post I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. I never got around to until now.
Location, Location, Location
The Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt hotel is located in one of the prime real estate areas of London. Located on Cromwell road, the hotel is within a nice two to three minute walk of the Gloucester Road Underground station. This Tube station is serviced by the Circle, District and the Piccadilly lines. The Piccadilly line services London Heathrow so it’s a direct shot.
If you opt to take the Heathrow Express to Victoria, keep in mind you will need to transfer to the Underground or take a cab or other car service to the hotel.
If you are a fan of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) or the Natural History Museum, they are about a ten minute walk along Cromwell road. The South Kensington Tube station is the next stop over from Gloucester Road. After I checked into the hotel and dropped into my room, I ended up heading straight for the museums. It’s a nice easy route.
The Hotel Lobby and Check In
I selected the hotel for its history. Outside, the hotel, the first thing that struck me was the elegant Edwardian façade. This particular property was once a stately townhome that was owned by the wealthy American Vanderbilt family. The hotel is comprised of ten homes on the city block that are all interlinked today. It makes for a unique interior.
The lobby has a modern feel yet has been restored. When I arrived, the doorman was very kind and assisted me with my luggage as I headed to the reception area to check in. I was immediately offered a refreshing cup of lemon infused water. I arrived at about one in the afternoon with the intention of dropping my bags off and pre-registering. Having worked in the hotel industry, I was fully aware it was unlikely my room would be ready before three.
There were about two families ahead of me in line. The front desk staff was wonderful and quickly got through the line. I didn’t have to wait more than five minutes and was actually checked in my one of the new concierge staff members. He was very kind and chatted with me about what my plans were during my duration of my stay. I wish I could remember his name, but he was from Paris. It’s hard these days to find such personable staff members.
Since I had paid for my room in advance, I only needed to supply my passport and put a credit card on file for incidentals. Although it was not required, I always recommend putting a card on file just in case. To my utter surprise, the concierge staff member immediately found me a room that was ready! I was thrilled.
I was provided two room keys, a map to the hotel and was directed up to my room. I chose to take the lift as my hand luggage was a little heavy and my room happened to be no the fourth floor. I will admit that the hallways between the elevators were a little long and took a bit of adjustment.
The room itself was a single bed and held the typical amenities. There was a television, mini fridge, closet, coffee maker, in-room safe, in-room wifi and large bathroom. The hotel has attempted to be as green as possible and most of the menus and other hotel information were found on the television.
The bathroom was exceptionally large and had a large tub and shower. Shampoo, conditioner, and lotion was available in large bottles bolted to the wall. I found the bathroom to be my favorite feature of the room. The only problem I had with the room was that I could not find a single set of utensils. I had forgotten a spoon when I went out one night to procure some soup. I was able to call down to room service, but it would be nice to have one set of utensils in the room.
My room looked out onto the street and was a typical street view. It was quiet. I didn’t have any issues with noise. I would recommend trying to ask for a room away from the elevator. In previous hotels I’ve stayed in, that is usually the only thing that bothers me at night.
Room Service and Breakfast
I ended up ordering a salad one evening when I was up late due to jetlag. The hotel has a limited room service menu that it shares with the bar of the hotel. The order arrived quickly and I was impressed once again with the excellent staff. They ensured I had everything I needed.
When I booked my room, breakfast was included. The service began at about seven in the morning and went until ten. I could be off on the times, again it’s been about a year and I don’t exactly remember. When you go down for breakfast, the hostess will check your room key and assign you a seat. You can ask to be seated anywhere. They will ask if you want tea or coffee and any hot items to order.
I always accepted the coffee, but there is more than enough food that I didn’t feel the need for any hot items. Breakfast is continental. Off the top of my head, I remember there being cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, toast, bagels, croissants, ham, cheese, sausages, bacon, potatoes, and beans.
If you do not have breakfast included in your room booking, I highly recommend you add it. It is excellent value for money. I was a little crowded on the weekend, but if you go early, it’s never a problem. There were never any empty food settings. Everything was replenished in a timely manner. The fresh-squeezed orange juice was particularly good.
The hotel has a bar, afternoon tea, and a full service restaurant, but I never partook in any of these offerings.
The price point for the area and setting of the rooms is fair. I think I paid about $100 USD a night for three nights. I would give this property an eight and a half out of ten. The staff was excellent and extremely friendly. The next time I stay in London, this is the hotel I intend to book. Kensington has turned into my favorite area of the city to stay in.
I did find a few of the food options limiting for lunch and dinner, but ended up finding a Waitrose just across from the Tube station where I picked up some snacks each day. I think I forgot to mention there are no snacks in the room, only water. If you are looking for a great place to stay, you should absolutely consider the Radisson Blue Edwardian Vanderbilt.