Courtesy of the Kensington Hotel
Set in the heart of the upscale neighborhood that shares its name, the Kensington is easy walking distance from Hyde Park, the Royal Albert Hall, and both the Natural History and Victoria & Albert museums. But the hotel is also its own heritage property—a 19th-century Regency-style townhouse, buffed to a high gloss following a $30 million renovation. The 150 rooms and suites here retain a certain period elegance; many have ornate lacquered bedsteads and sideboards, crystal chandeliers, and armchairs in jewel-tone velvet. The bathrooms, though, are slickly modern, with angular vanity basins, walk-in showers, en suites, freestanding tubs, and wall-mounted TVs.