Set a stone’s throw from the epicentre of South Kensington, the charming Ampersand Hotel resides within a few minutes walk of historical landmarks The Natural History Museum, Science Museum, V&A and Royal Albert Hall …a welcome dose of culture by anyone’s standards.
The original hotel dates back to 1888, although was recently taken over by a private individual who meticulously renovated the building, reinventing it for the 21st Century, where it opened in time to celebrate the 2012 Olympic games. All of its 111 rooms take their inspiration from nearby historic buildings such as the National History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall; referentially incorporating the five themes of Botany, Music, Geometry, Ornithology and Astronomy …albeit with a artsy contemporary twist.
Situated within the pulsating heart of South Kensington, do not be fooled by The Ampersand Hotel’s grand Victoria fascia, as the interiors are über-modern, a brilliant play of cosmopolitan luxury. Its white walls bring a bright and spacious feel, which like those of an art gallery, work to draw ones attention to the colourful array of artworks …and in this case complementary designer furnishings. Additional facilities include a bar, gym and two restaurants for discerning clients seeking the best in design, comfort and hospitality.
First impressions did not disappoint, and we were as impressed by the grand entrance as the playfully charismatic interiors. Upon arrival the hotel porters were warm and accommodating, courteously greeting us from our car and promptly assisting us with our luggage as we proceeded to check in.
Although our room was not the largest on offer, it was remarkably well proportioned, memorably trendy furnishings and tall sash windows that flooded the room with natural light.
The bed featured a cool purple velvet bedhead dressed with more pillows than we knew what to do with. Our bathroom was simple yet crisp monotone affair, boasting the essential ‘his & hers’ twin basins, with a purposeful bath/shower combo that sported a suitably mahoosive shower-head. Complimentary Miller Harris toiletries sealed the deal.
After a great nights sleep it has to be said that you can’t help but notice the mild tremors of the London Underground beneath, which whilst no good for a lie-in, actually helped ensure I got up in good time on Monday morning, with ample time for a hearty breakfast before heading to the office.
Breakfast was enjoyed in the rather trendy Apero restaurant, which is intimately located in what were originally the Victorian cellars …yet thankfully now updated with chic white metro tiles and marble tables that contrasted against the warm tones of exposed brick walls. Our continental breakfast did the job, with a selection of freshly squeezed juices, cereals, homemade muffins, fruit and yoghurts. Service was relaxed …but in a good way, with waiting staff that were attentive and always on hand when required.
As well as the Apero dining area, The Ampersand Hotel features a first class patisserie, ‘The Drawing Rooms’, which is a successful marriage of French finesse meets British poise. whilst I am yet to sample their menu, I hear that their chocolate and mango cake is a must so will have to give that a go on my next visit 😛
The Ampersand Hotel
10 Harrington Rd,
London, SW7 3ER
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7589 5895