Photograph courtesy of the Crowne Plaza
Welcome to our third instalment in Ask a Concierge, our series of interviews with concierges of London's hotels. Starting out at the Holiday Inn Kensington which has recently relaunched as the Crowne Plaza London Kensington, Tony Rossi will celebrate next year his 20th anniversary at the same location. In our interview, Tony shares his love of Kensington and explains why he thinks his hotel is tops.
How long have you been Concierge at the Crowne Plaza? What's your connection with London and how long have you lived here?
As a keen runner, I had an ambition to run marathons across the world, and whilst pacing through the streets of London in 1979, I fell in love with this fantastic city and decided to settle. After working in a few hotels across the capital, I joined Holiday Inn Kensington, now the recently launched and totally redesigned Crowne Plaza London Kensington, and I am very proud to say will be celebrating twenty years of service on this site next March.
What sets the Crowne Plaza Kensington apart from other hotels?
Crowne Plaza Kensington is a cool and contemporary boutique-style hotel with 143 spacious double bedroom and 19 impressive duplex suites. We are the only London hotel that can accommodate four-five people in most of our rooms. We also benefit from an incredibly rare one-acre landscaped garden, which brings the countryside to the capital and makes for a lovely destination to relax on a sunny day with glass of wine. The hotel is perfectly located for visitors to London’s most popular museums, and with Gloucester Road tube station within easy reach. Earls Court and Olympia are just a few stops away as well.
What factors should people take into account when considering where to stay in London?
When looking to choose a hotel, take into consideration the location, the accommodation and facilities, the value and the welcome.
What tips would you give guests about things to see and do around your hotel?
We have a lot of regular guests at Crowne Plaza Kensington, and so the tips and advice I give tends to depend on the time of year. Recently I have recommended the Chelsea Flower Show or the Grace Kelly exhibition at the V&A. This exhibition shows the spectacular wardrobe of Grace Kelly, one of the most popular actresses of the 1950s and features dresses from many of her films as well as the gown she wore to accept her Oscar in 1955.
What's the most common question asked by your guests?
The main enquiries posed by our guests include directions to sights, recommendations for dinner and entertainment, and transportation requests. Our concierge team prides itself on having a wide scope of knowledge about London and what is on offer. We are able to recommend something for every taste and not necessarily just the mainstream options, but also local hidden treasures, many of which are based in Kensington itself.
Got a list of top things to see and do in London to share with our readers?
Within five minutes walk you will find the National History, the Science and the Victoria & Albert Museums. To the north of the hotel you will find Kensington Gardens, particularly popular for sunbathing and picnics in fine weather. It is also popular as a healthy walking route to work for commuters, with the paths used extensively by joggers and runners. Inside the park you also find Kensington Palace, one of the historic Royal Palaces associated with the late Princess Diana.
The Crowne Plaza London Kensington is located at 100 Cromwell Road (SW7 4ER). Visit the hotel's website at www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/cp/1/en/hotel/lonke.