Over the last couple of years Ollie and I have been in discussions over finally making the trek from home here in Nottingham to London to experience what it has to offer.
However time always seems to get away from us and the thought of actually tracking down and planning has pushed the idea of heading to the big smoke to the back of the list.
If truth be told I’m not good visiting places I am not familiar with and so organising a trip with 2 children in tow actually had me fairly anxious.
Recently we were invited by the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington to come and experience as a family what a 5* hotel has to offer and to check out their unique offerings specifically deigned for families and whats more their package to help organise everything you need.
Right off the bat I have to say that 5* accommodation and children is something I presumed would never be an option so we were really intrigued at just how it could be pulled off.
As part of the family package the Royal Garden Hotel offers its families a host of options, from its amazingly vast breakfast offerings, organising trips and excursions (fees apply) Children’s afternoon tea, children’s activity backpacks and even an exciting Film and Flicks option enabling free use of all movies for 24hrs along with a host of snacks so needless to say we were excited to finally get to venture into the city to explore.
When we arrived we checked in and were introduced to the concierge team who were immensely helpful thought our stay, organising our attraction tickets and even loaning us a Micro Scooter on the Sunday to take in the beautiful Kensington Gardens.
Firstly however we were shown to our suite and I have to say it was opulent and incredibly well-appointed for families with a separate living area offering a seating area, table and chairs and even desk space, all while over looking Kensington Gardens.
The bedroom offered a further seating area, humongous super king sized bed and an immensely luxurious bathroom. Also with a fair-sized lobby area that we were able to put our pushchair in and even a separate toilet so it was everything a family would want and more!
We headed to the Park Terrace after checking out our suite as we were ready for some afternoon tea which also incorporated a children’s offering too.
The children’s afternoon tea was nothing short of brilliant with a range of child friendly items from chocolate and banana sandwiches and even a crisp sandwich! Joshua was in total heaven!
Following on from the range of sandwiches there were some tasty cakes including homemade scones with clotted cream and homemade jam.
During our afternoon tea there were numerous members of staff on hand and I was blown away that even with a grumpy baby we were not made to feel anything other welcome, which is massively different to how we have been made to feel in other places.
On the Saturday we had planned our epic adventure round London with visits to The London Eye, Sea Life Centre and had planned some visits to stores in Leicester square, along with some sightseeing on route with the Big Bus Tour!
Having no idea about how and where we were going the concierge team came into their own again and gave us some information on where we were catching the bus, how it worked and also gave us information on where some of the stores we wanted to visit were located too! So we felt at ease the moment we stepped out the hotel.
The hop on hop off service of the Big Bus tour means that you can get on and off at those attractions that suit you best, so it’s a great way to see the sights and discover new ones you didn’t know about too.
Our first stop during our adventure was to the much-anticipated London Eye. Although truth be told Ollie and I were super nervous as we don’t like heights!
Thankfully the tickets we had been issued at the hotel were advanced tickets which meant we didn’t have to wait too long to get aboard so if you are heading to this attraction I would recommend advance tickets only as the queue for the regular tickets was immense and must have taken hours to reach the front. For us we were in and on in less than 20 minutes.
Even after my initial fears of the height we were in awe of just how amazing the sights are from up there and thankfully there was only about a millisecond that I felt anxious with my fear of heights so I got to see the sights without crying in a corner!
Next we headed to the Sea Life Centre which was great to calm down an over excited Joshua. This venue is far bigger than the ones we had visited previously and there was a great range of creatures for petting too!
After all the excitement of the morning we decided to opt for some lunch and then go and do some shopping in Leicester Square.
First on the list of must go to designations for any Lego fans was the new Lego store then we had to squeeze in some time with spongebob before heading out for some more exploring on the way back to the hotel and ventured past, Harrods, Downing Street and Trafalgar Square too!
Once back at the hotel we chose to order the new Food and Flicks package that gave us unlimited film usage for 24 hours and even some really well thought out nibbles to eat while viewing which all went down amazingly well.
Giving us the perfect opportunity to fully relax and unwind after a fantastic day sight-seeing.
Sunday we decided to discover a little of what The Garden Hotel had on its doorstep and to get the kids outside in the fresh air so after a hearty breakfast with masses on offer we headed back to the concierge team once more to borrow a Micro Scooter and helmet for Joshua, who was super excited at being able to scoot!
Kensington Gardens is literally right next door to the hotel and makes for a wonderful place to blow away the cobwebs and work of some energy for the kids too!
The whole stay at The Royal Kensington Hotel has been a complete delight from start to finish, we felt totally catered for from staff in every department we came across that seemed to genuinely want all the members in my family to have a super time … and that can be a rarity when travelling with kids.
I especially loved the way the staff interacted with the kids in both the Park Terrace and in reception from the concierge team which as a parent is massively helpful and reassuring in equal measure.
Like with any review I like to give the positives and the negatives but unfortunately there is nothing negative to say … Unless you count the fact we don’t have a booking to come back!
The thoughtful touches from the team with the films and flicks, the afternoon tea for children and the ability to hire out scooters is genius and we could not have asked for a better family trip to London.
Thank you The Royal Garden Hotel for having us we certainly made some very special memories for all of us and you were at the heart of them.
Disclaimer: We were given complimentary weekend for the purposes of this review. All thoughts and opinions were independently formed by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse.