Cultural Kensington at The Ampersand Hotel

Culture vultures will feel right at home in this modern, stylish hotel.


While London has a wealth of world-famous museums, there is a concentration of some of the most popular in South Kensington – there’s even a street, Exhibition Road, named to honour the cultural hub.

The Victoria & Albert Museum, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum are all located here, making it a busy, buzzing part of town.

The boutique Ampersand Hotel is so-called because it’s a stone’s throw from Exhibition Road making it a perfect connector to London’s cultural district. Within an extremely grand Victorian building with steps leading up to stately double doors through which you are ushered into a sophisticated, light and airy foyer, the atmosphere is as relaxed as the design is modern with staff who are friendly and welcoming.

The 111 rooms and suites in The Ampersand reflect its location, each representing five central concepts: botany, music, geometry, ornithology and astronomy – all of which link to local galleries. We noticed the elements of these are even on the wallpaper throughout the hotel, not to mention beasts of various shapes and sizes popping out of crockery!


This is a hotel for those with a love for quirky interiors and an eye for detail. It manages to straddle sophistication and wit, as well as remaining quintessentially British. We had a Deluxe room, equisitely decorated with an ornithological-inspired interior. A huge dove featured on the wallpaper and oversized cushions rested on the king–sized bed – the space was made for relaxing. We were greeted with a box of homemade cakes, which gave a little taste as to how delicious afternoon tea might be.

Guests are invited to sample the delectable teas and cakes, coffee or champagne in The Drawing Rooms, a riot of pattern, colour and texture, where light floods in from the high windows. For guests with more energy, there is The Games Room, complete with table tennis or for those who want the escapism of literature, the Library would surely beckon.

The hotel’s restaurant Apero, offers Mediterranean fare, but after a long day in exhibition, you’d be just as well to order from the room service menu and snuggle up to watch a movie. Breakfast is served in Apero – and boasts the sort of Full English that will kick-start both mind and body.

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