Travel writer and There We Go blogger, Katie Gregory, stayed at the London Marriott Hotel Kensington with her family to test out their new Dino Discovery Package, which celebrates the return of Dippy the dinosaur to The Natural History Museum…
If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing Dippy the Diplodocus at The Natural History Museum, now’s your chance. The nation’s favourite dinosaur is back in the spotlight at the landmark London museum after touring the UK for five years. And to celebrate his return, the nearby London Marriott Hotel Kensington has curated a special Dino Discovery package for families.
We stayed overnight at the London Marriott Hotel Kensington with two children – one age 7, one 9 – to try out the dino-themed package and squeeze in a visit to Dippy down the road. The overnight package runs until December 31st, 2022, and Dippy will head off to a new location after January 2nd, 2023. So if you’ve got kids who love dinosaurs, you’ll need to be quick.
What’s included in the Dino Discovery package?
The special treatment for kids staying on the Dino Discovery Package starts at check-in, when ours were showered with all sorts of goodies at the desk. They were given a Dino Explorer Map showing the way to nearby attractions, a VIP lanyard and ID badge, a fact-filled book for bedtime, a cool NHM dinosaur activity set that kept them busy in the room while we unpacked the bags, and a cute dinosaur backpack that they toted around for the rest of our stay.
The package also includes a voucher for each child to have a special ice-cream sundae down in the hotel’s restaurant, the Cast Iron Bar and Grill. We booked a table for dinner so the kids could use their vouchers for pudding, and they were delighted to be given a little form to fill in to choose their toppings before their sugary creations arrived.
Before pudding they filled up on pitta and dips as their starter, followed by a hot dog for one, and macaroni cheese for the other. The grown-ups had a chicken Cesar salad (£10) and a steak ciabatta (£14.50). We didn’t have much time to squeeze in dinner before heading out to the theatre, so we’d probably venture out to eat somewhere in Kensington if we visited again and had more time on our hands. Breakfast in the morning was brilliant though – fresh, tasty, and with lots of variety – and the restaurant itself is picture-perfect. If you’re eating here, try and get the little booth at the back – our kids scrabbled to bagsy it for every meal.
What are the bedrooms and facilities like?
We stayed in a Junior Suite with two king-sized beds, and the space was ideal. For starters, the room is lovely and big, and incorporates a lounge area with a TV and sofabed, as well as a dining area with a table. There’s another TV in view of the beds, which is always a must for the kids, and means grown-ups can watch TV in the lounge area without disturbing them too much once they’re asleep.
This particular room also comes with access to the executive lounge downstairs, and the children enjoyed being able to pick up snacks and drinks whenever they wanted to. Breakfast was also served down here, but we opted to have ours in the pretty Cast Iron Bar and Grill instead. Other family rooms at the hotel include a deluxe family room and a superior family room, and they all look fantastic thanks to a multi-million-pound refurbishment. Ours was light and bright, with a feature headboard that combines bits of the area’s rich heritage – like paintings from the V&A, and characters straight from the Natural History Museum – and finished with a spotlessly sleek bathroom.
What is there to do nearby?
The London Marriott Hotel Kensington is right in the middle of swanky Kensington, with the Natural History Museum just down the road. It took us just under 15 minutes to walk there with kids, and we hopped in a black cab to get back to the hotel afterwards. If you’re planning to go to the museum, read my post for tips on visiting Dippy with kids, including what not to miss while you’re there.
The Science Museum is just next door to the Natural History Museum and is another must-visit with kids. Keep going another five minutes and you’ll reach the Royal Albert Hall, and another five minutes gets you to Hyde Park.
In terms of public transport, Gloucester Road Tube station is less than a ten-minute walk around the corner, and we jumped on the Piccadilly Line to Covent Garden to watch The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre in the evening. With a location this good, London really is your oyster – and the London Marriott Hotel Kensington makes the perfect base.
Disclaimer: this one-night review stay including breakfast was provided for free in return for an honest review of London Marriott Hotel Kensington’s new Dino Discovery package.
The Dino Discovery package at London Marriott Hotel Kensington runs until December 31st, 2022. Prices start from £355 for one child per room. To book, visit https://www.marriott.com/offers/dino-discovery-package-off-52050 or call 020 7973 1000.