There is a new stylish hotel in Kingston and it’s a Hilton. But why Kingston Upon Thames? Well, it’s a good location for a decent hotel for business or pleasure, in an area which seems to have something of a lack of such accommodation.
But why would you want to go to Kingston, anyway? Kingston is an ancient town and still has lots of well-preserved and beautiful buildings. It’s on the banks of the River Thames with a slew of riverside pubs and restaurants which are popular for lunch and dinner on sunny days. Its railway station offers a 28-minute direct train to London Waterloo, with its Underground connections. And this is an ideal business hotel – either hold meetings here or use this Hilton as a base from which to travel into the city.
Kingston’s name isn’t accidental. It’s an historic town where Saxon kings were crowned. The traditional open market still trades daily in the Market Place and that is a square worth visiting, with its noteworthy building façades. It’s a town oft mentioned in literature, film and television: Victorian humorous novel Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome begins here. It’s mentioned in H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. More interestingly for some, the guitarist and singer-songwriter Eric Clapton spent time busking in Kingston.
Riverboat from Kingston
Kingston is a fun and interesting day-trip destination in its own right, but it also makes a great holiday hub. It’s a convenient location from which to enjoy some of England’s most iconic sites, and you won’t need a hire car. Richmond is just a short bus ride away, or take a river boat. It’s a charming Thames-side town, with the green open space of Richmond Park just a short walk away. Twickenham is nearby and that will be a draw for anyone who might be interested in rugby. Kew Gardens are worth a visit and they are within walking distance of Richmond (or a 5 minute bus ride). Hampton Court Palace was built in the reign of Henry VIII and can be reached by a riverboat from Kingston.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London Kingston Upon Thames offers a comfortable home-from-home from which to enjoy the area. The hotel is easy to reach from Kingston bus stops outside the celebrated Bentalls Shopping Centre, and also from the train station – no need for a taxi. These transport facilities truly are just yards from the hotel, and not a luggage-hauling 20-minute walk; the hotel is just around the corner.
The hotel foyer offers an insight into another part of Kingston’s history. This town was the location for three of the wartime factories making parts for the Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft. There are mementos of that association around the hotel entrance. The welcome will be warm, with cookies which are equally warm – a nice convivial touch. Plenty of casual seating for drinks from the bar or meetings over tea or coffee.
Decor is muted and sophisticated. Rooms are well-appointed with Smart TV, complimentary WiFi as one would expect, and air conditioning as one would hope. A king-sized bed with crisp linen will assure a good night’s sleep and the luxurious walk-in shower will offer a reviving start to the day. Upgrade to a Hilton Honors suite and have more space, a private balcony and an espresso coffee machine. There is a 24-hour fitness centre to burn off a few calories and Hawkers Bar and Brasserie (read my review here) to put them all back!
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London Kingston Upon Thames is welcomed by locals who have already discovered Hawkers Bar and Brasserie, with its urban industrial design and its thoughtful menu taking advantage of local and seasonal produce. Breakfast is also served here, and is as comprehensive as any good hotel would offer. There’s all the items to compile a very full English breakfast, but also a choice of breads, pastries, fruits and juices for those looking for something a little lighter. It also stands to become the hotel of choice for those who need to work. It’s an accessible half-hour directly to or from central London, and a short hop to Heathrow, so its conference space will be appreciated by UK and overseas businesses and their delegates.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London Kingston Upon Thames
1 Skerne Road
Kingston upon Thames
Phone: +44 (0)20 3096 0099
Fax: +44 (0)20 3146 4130
Hotel review by Chrissie Walker © 2018