The Hopeful Traveler has never stayed at the same London hotel twice in a row until now. I enjoyed my stay at the Kenilworth in November 2004 and it is conveniently located in Bloomsbury just a few steps away from the British Museum and within walking distance of the West End, Soho and Covent Garden. The hotel is not in the cookie cutter mode of hotels found on Park Lane near Hyde Park. Each room is distinctive from very tiny to spacious mainly depending on the size of bed chosen. It’s an older structure with a hotel shoehorned into its architectural limitations. This means a room may be of unusual dimensions. But all rooms have modern furnishings, amenities and security (floors are accessed by key card).
A Boots (drugstore), Sainsbury (grocery store), Wagamama (noodle restaurant), Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road underground station and even a Subway sandwich shop is within a short one or two block walk.
One unusual thing about this seven-story hotel (the hotel entrance pictured above) is the elevator: There is only one guest elevator to all 186 rooms. Probably less than one square yard, at most the elevator can carry four passengers with very little elbowroom. If someone has luggage, the space is even tighter. Thank goodness for mirrors on three sides for the claustrophobic. Also it has to be one of the quietest elevators in the world. You don't feel or hear it moving. One thing I like about this hotel unlike it’s sister hotel (Marlborough) across the street is it has air conditioning; an important convenience when visiting London in the warmer months. I stayed at the Marlborough in 2003 and one warm day a bag of Malteasers (similar to Whoppers) I left in my room had melted into one big lump by the time I returned later in the day.
Unlike American floor numbers, in England and most other European countries the first floor is called the ‘Ground Floor’ and the second floor is called the ‘First Floor”. So if your room number is 514, you need to head for the sixth floor.
For those that need to be wired, this hotel offers free use of computers in the Business Center with free internet service (take a big hint U.S. Hotels) 24 hours a day with no time limit. Saves time from having to travel with a laptop. So I’d check my message before I head out for the day and right before turning in for the night.
The Kenilworth is part of the Radisson Edwardian chain of hotels with twelve hotels located in London. More info at www.radissonedwardian.com. In the pic below, the set of bay windows in the center on the top floor is my room. There is actually one more floor above it.