My 24 hours in London spanned two days, necessitating an overnight in the city. I prefer boutique hotels, but also wanted to take advantage of Hilton’s triple points promotion. That led me to the Hilton London Hyde Park. Located in a “Grade II Listed Edwardian Townhouse”, this smaller hotel seemed like a good choice to check both boxes. Moreover, the location, across from Hyde Park and adjacent to a Tube station, would prove helpful to my ambitious schedule. Hotels in central London tend to be expensive, though November being off-season, I paid £156.75. That seemed reasonable given the location.
Hilton London Hyde Park
- 129 Bayswater Road, London, UK
- Features: registered historic building, meeting rooms, on-site restaurant, room service
- Website: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/united-kingdom/hilton-london-hyde-park-LONHPHN/index.html
Location: adjacent to Queensway Tube station on the Central Line, across from Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. The hotel is also a 3-5 minute walk from Bayswater Station to the north (Circle and District Lines). However, NO on-site parking is available, and the adjacent streets feature typical London levels of congestion. Therefore, I don’t recommend arriving in a rental car, even though the hotel isn’t far from the M4.
When arriving from Gatwick Airport, I suggest taking the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station. From there, take the Circle Line to Bayswater. Alternatively, if the weather is nice, you can walk from Notting Hill Gate, about 5-10 minutes away. The total fare costs £15.40 for the Gatwick Express plus £4.90 for the Tube, for a total of £20.30. Total travel time is approximately 60 minutes. From Heathrow, the quickest option is the Heathrow Express to Paddington, then the Circle Line to Bayswater. For the el cheapo alternative, take the Piccadilly Line to Earl’s Court, then the District Line to Bayswater.
Hilton London Hyde Park – Check-In and Common Areas
Wanting a little fresh air, I decided to walk from the Notting Hill Gate Tube station, which took less than 10 minutes. Walking up, you definitely see and feel the building’s historic character. It’s difficult to get a good photo, however, due to the angle.
Once inside, with no other customers in line, a friendly clerk helped me immediately. She thanked me for my loyalty to Hilton, then handed me the keys to my 4th floor room. Incidentally, I checked in earlier via the HHonors app, and chose this room specifically for the view of Kensington Gardens.
The lobby itself is quite small, with a small sitting area located across from the front desk.
The lobby actually continued up to the first floor. Here, you’ll find another sitting area, an art display, and a panoramic view of the lobby below.
Although I’m not exactly sure why, I kind of liked the furnishings. I thought they complemented the building well, in a throwback sort of way. Meanwhile, if exercise is what you crave, take the stairs to your room in lieu of the elevator. You’ll really feel the historic nature of the building on these narrow, winding staircases. Plus a brisk walk up the stairs will have to pass for your cardio workout, since there’s no fitness center.
Speaking of the elevator, prepare for a tight squeeze. It’s small, and if you’re lugging large bags, you’ll need to make multiple trips. That’s typical of historic buildings, but something to keep in mind. As for the halls, they feature standard Hilton corporate design. In other words, remarkably plain. I think Hilton can do better here. A couple of period antiques, for example, would enhance the hotel’s historic background. Or perhaps a modern design to contrast with the building’s old bones.
Hilton London Hyde Park – Guest Rooms
I booked a standard guest room, and as mentioned earlier, chose a room on the 4th floor. Overall, the room was on the small side, though not excessively so. On the other hand, my gamble for a view paid off. This higher room featured a nice view of Kensington Gardens across the street.
A trio of paintings hung above the bed, with one UK-standard plug on each nightstand.
I appreciated having plugs handy on both sides of the bed. Unfortunately, as I find to be the case all too often in Europe, the mattress was too firm. So firm, in fact, that I woke up with noticeable neck and back stiffness. Then again, I slept for nearly 10 hours, so it clearly wasn’t that uncomfortable.
The room also features a flat screen TV, a desk, and a chair in the corner.
I didn’t care for the placement of the desk. Though the additional plugs were welcome, its location directly underneath the TV made it nearly impossible to sit and watch at the same time. The corner chair also seemed oddly out of place. With little space between the desk and window, it had little utility.
The room also contained a coffee/tea maker and a refrigerator.
My HHonors Silver status entitled me to two bottles of water for my stay. In this case, the hotel kept one bottle each of still and sparkling water in the refrigerator. Interestingly, the bottles were real glass bottles. While I appreciate the novelty, glass bottles are more difficult (and heavy) to take with you when going out. The refrigerator was also stocked with a few soft drinks, available for an extra charge.
Meanwhile, a small, open closet next to the door provides a bit of storage space. An iron and board are provided, in case you need to spruce up your clothes a little.
Finally, the bathroom continues the “small” theme found throughout the rest of the room. It features a walk-in shower, with a hand-held shower head. Water pressure and temperature were good. However, as the fact I couldn’t get a complete shot of the stall suggests, it’s a tight fit.
The hotel provided the standard Hilton-issue Peter Thomas Roth products.
One thing to note – typical for an historic building, room sizes and shapes vary from room to room. Some rooms contain oddly-shaped walls that may further cut down on space. I definitely advise using online room selection to pick one that fits your needs.
The hotel does have one restaurant, Aubaine, featuring primarily French cuisine. I didn’t have time to try it on this visit, though the menu seemed reasonably priced by London standards. The restaurant serves breakfast daily. If you’re HHonors Gold or above, you may select breakfast as one of your elite benefits.
Hilton London Hyde Park – Location
If one thing sets the Hilton London Hyde Park apart, it’s the location. Simply put, it’s an excellent base for exploring London. As mentioned previously, there are three Tube stations within walking distance, providing easy access to everything important in London. It took me 25 minutes or less to reach Buckingham Palace and Big Ben via the Tube. Of course, Kensington Gardens across the street is a big plus, and makes for a great spot for a walk or run when the weather is nice.
If you’re in the mood for shopping, Harrod’s is about a mile and a half away, directly though Kensington Gardens. For a more convenient option, take the Tube Circle Line from Bayswater to South Kensington, then the Piccadilly Line to Knightsbridge.
Perhaps the best part of this section of Kensington, though, is the vibrant food scene. Walk north along Queensway, and you’ll find restaurants featuring pretty much any cuisine imaginable. Not finding anything you like? Go a couple of blocks north, then head west along Westbourne Grove to find even more options. Going hungry shouldn’t be a worry. Directly across Queensway from the hotel, I tried out a Moroccan restaurant, Marrakesh. It’s pretty good, and though nothing in London qualifies as cheap, £20 bought me a lot of food. I’ll talk more about Marrakesh in a later post about my London foodie adventures in general.
Hilton London Hyde Park – Overall Thoughts
If you judge a hotel by amenities, the Hilton London Hyde Park falls short in several ways. The rooms are nothing special, and there’s no fitness or business center, for example. On the other hand, I’m a sucker for historic hotels, and it does have a distinctive boutique charm. But more than anything else, it’s tough to beat the location. You have the quiet and serenity of a location next to a park. You’re also walking distance to all the food you could ever care to eat, and an easy (30 minutes or less) Tube ride to many London attractions. I personally value location highest when choosing a hotel. So, I’d recommend the Hilton London Hyde Park, especially if you like boutique hotels.
Note: this post is part of a multi-part trip report series covering my short trip to Europe in November, 2016. Click here for the introductory post and trip report index.