The Best Hotels to Book Near the Natural History Museum and Science Museum, London

The Gore is a Victorian delight, and within walking distance of London's top museums
The Gore is a Victorian delight, and within walking distance of London's top museums | Courtesy of The Gore London - Starhotels Collezione / Booking.com
Photo of Joe Bindloss
3 September 2021
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Forget cities that are famous for one museum – London has three world-class institutions within sight of each other in South Kensington. The Natural History, Science and Victoria & Albert museums are cultural powerhouses where you can explore human innovation, creativity and evolution without pausing for breath. Even better, entry is free, so you can put your money towards a nearby hotel instead, bookable on Culture Trip.

The Franklin London - Starhotels Collezione

The Franklin London - Starhotels Collezione
Courtesy of The Franklin London - Starhotels Collezione / Expedia
Looking like the kind of hotel Mary Poppins would stay in, The Franklin is an elegant South Ken institution, tucked into a crescent of red-brick townhouses. There’s Michelin-starred dining in Alfredo Russo’s Franklin Restaurant, plus a Gatsby-style bar and a tearoom. You can hit the museums in minutes, after staying in rooms that perfectly fit the mood – think vintage nature prints, four-poster beds and old-fashioned reading lamps.

The Ampersand Hotel

The Ampersand Hotel
© The Ampersand Hotel / Expedia
There’s a sense of playfulness at the Ampersand, with juxtaposed fabrics, mismatched furnishings, curving lines and soft upholstery in strong colours. The Kensington museums are just a street away, and rooms feature curated reading material to prime you for the exhibits. The best rooms have London skyline views and roll top baths – some even have a second TV in the bathroom. In the arches beneath the hotel, the genteel Apero brasserie serves fresh Mediterranean flavours.

The Kensington Hotel

The Kensington Hotel
Courtesy of The Kensington Hotel / Expedia
Set in a gleaming Regency townhouse in a regal Georgian block, The Kensington is everything you’d expect of a London hotel. This is the full high-tea and four-poster-bed experience, with interiors that mix bold floral prints with soft, sound-absorbent upholstery and dangling chandeliers. The most elegant rooms and suites have a Chinoiserie feel, setting the scene for a trip to the V&A.

The Resident Kensington

The Resident Kensington
Courtesy of The Resident Kensington / Booking.com
A smart conversion of a Georgian townhouse, The Resident swaps the effusive Victorian style that pervades Kensington for a low-key art-deco theme, with matching wooden desks, bedsteads and picture frames. It’s the kind of place that a visiting New York botanist might stay on a study trip to the Natural History Museum, and the best rooms have small terraces and Kensington views.

The Gore London - Starhotels Collezione

The Gore London - Starhotels Collezione
Courtesy of The Gore London - Starhotels Collezione / Booking.com
Backing onto the campus of Imperial College London, The Gore has the Science Museum, Hyde Park and the Royal Geographical Society right on its doorstep. It’s been catering to the great and the good since 1892, and the cosy, wood-lined bar looks like it’s hardly changed since that time. The unique rooms have an almost theatrical panache: stained glass, gilded mirrors, flowing drapes, and flamboyant heirloom bed-frames that could have been plucked from English stately homes.

Meliá London Kensington - A Meliá Collection Hotel

Meliá London Kensington - A Meliá Collection Hotel
Courtesy of Meliá London Kensington - A Meliá Collection Hotel / Expedia
The Meliá is marked out by its sensitive use of colour, with a single-tone theme in the bedrooms that extends from the beds to the drapes and standalone pieces of furniture. The end result is understated and calming, an antidote to the rush of Kensington outside. It’s two streets west of the Natural History Museum, and just metres from Gloucester Road Tube station for more ambitious London exploration.

Baglioni Hotel, London

Baglioni Hotel, London
Courtesy of Baglioni Hotel, London / Booking.com
Flanked by swanky embassies and looking over the green expanse of Hyde Park, the Baglioni has an unmistakably Italian flair, from the stucco trim on the frontage to the wood-floored rooms filled with designer furniture. There are nods to London, too – thick Regency stripes, open fireplaces and terraces with that Hyde Park view. It’s the kind of place that would suit a paparazzi-fleeing film star, travelling incognito to browse the London museums.

The Egerton House Hotel

The Egerton House Hotel
Courtesy of The Egerton House Hotel / Booking.com
An easy, bag-laden stroll from Harrods, and minutes from the V&A, Egerton House is a small, boutique affair, full of heirloom furniture and patterns that seem to float off the bedspreads onto the walls. Every room has its own cohesive design theme; the best have peaceful garden views that you can enjoy wrapped in 200-thread-count Belgian linen. It’s gently romantic and surprisingly quiet, considering its proximity to busy Brompton Road.

Looking for a wellness-orientated stay in Kensington? Here are the best spa hotels in Kensington, bookable now through Culture Trip. If you want to be closer to another must-see London landmark, stay at the best hotels near the Tower of London through us. Fill up your spare time in the city with the best outdoor cinemas in London and the oldest churches in London, then grab a bite using this foodie guide through the British capital.

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