Samuel Johnson has been oft-quoted as saying: "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
And he was right -- who could get tired of non-stop culture, nightlife, sight-seeing and shopping (especially taking advantage of the exchange rate)? Now that spring is finally here, we can start thinking about London city breaks again. If you're planning a trip you should consider The Doyle Collection's London city hotels (formerly Jurys), with fabulously central locations at Kensington, Marylebone and Bloomsbury.
We stayed at The Kensington Hotel, at Queen's Gate, in leafy South Kensington, which has recently undergone a £20m (€23m) renovation programme. And it's pure luxury. The Regency-style townhouse exterior opens into a boutique interior, where Jo Malone candles give off the most exquisite fragrances and cosy corners abound in which to sit, sip afternoon tea and observe the world from your comfy perch (furniture is designed by George Smith and Julien Chichester).
This ambience, combined with the excellent Aubrey restaurant, means that you'll be tempted not to explore the surrounding area.
However, this would be a mistake, as you're within walking distance of cultural hotspots such as the Victoria and Albert, the Natural History and the Science museums and shopping meccas The King's Road and Knightsbridge.
At The Kensington Hotel, service is king. From the smiling people at reception, to the accommodating bar staff, to the friendly manager, nothing is too much trouble. They even leave a flask of hot cocoa or camomile tea beside your bed, along with some cookies on your pillow, to help you sleep. And when you check out, you're given a bottle of water for your trip to the airport.
The Kensington Hotel is currently running bespoke packages: 'Flavour of London' (designed for food devotees, based on a two-night stay and including a three-course dinner at the Aubrey restaurant and a guaranteed reservation at Tom Aikens' restaurant the other night of your stay); The 'Enjoy London' package (includes afternoon tea for two on one day and tickets to Kensington Palace, Madame Tussauds, the Tower of London or the London Eye).
For information visit www.doylecollection.com