One of our family goals this year is to spend at least 1 weekend every month as a quality time weekend with the kids exploring, adventuring and ignoring the day to day chores of homelife. For the first weekend of the year, we decided to head down to London to get some culture, history and nature! In the past, we've always just done a day but this time we decided to make a weekend of it and stayed at the fabulous Royal Garden Hotel London in the heart of Kensington right by the Royal Palace. Instead of the clock watching to make sure we didn't miss the train back or an early alarm to get to London to make a full day of it we were able to explore 2 of the best museums (in the kid's opinions) in London and rest, relax and enjoy the time as a family.
We were provided with rooms and meals at the Royal Garden Hotel London in return for this article. However, all thoughts and ideas are our own in accordance with the sites disclosure policy.
Royal Garden Hotel London for Families
Located in the heart of Kensington just a few steps away from the underground on the cirle and district lines the Royal Garden Hotel is brilliantly located to see the sights of London and it is perfectly set up for families giving parents time to rest and the kids a comfortable relax after a busy day seeing the sights before doing it all over again.
Till the end of January there is a New Year Sale on the rooms with special offers -> Find out more about the Royal Garden Hotel New Year Sale and read on to find out why we will be booking our next trip ASAP to make use of this offer whilst visiting London with the kids later in the year.
With either the option of our family staying in a room (2 adults and 2 children under 12) in a room or a guaranteed connecting room it means that you have space to recharge your batteries without being on top of each other.
For our family of 4, we had connecting rooms allowing the children to have a peaceful night sleep and us to enjoy a little time without worrying about the kids being far away from us in a hotel. After the past summer, this was a very real concern having experienced this in a resort after a flight delay and ending up 1 parent and 1 child in each room with this guarantee you know that you won't have a chance of this happening.
Little touches to the rooms made the kids feel happier - night lights that showed the way to the bathroom meaning that it wasn't too dark in an unfamiliar room when they got up in the middle of the night.
A bath and not just a shower so that they too could relax and something that we struggled with when travelling with the kids when they were very young as the bath was part of our bedtime routine.
The room also came with a wigman for them to play in.
In fact, when my eldest woke up at his normal 5 am he got his book and torch and made himself comfortable in the wigman to read. Making sure not to disturb his sister and only rousing us briefly to check that he was ok.
Food and Flicks
If you are a regular Rainy Day Mum visitor you will know about our fussy eaters. It's not easy heading out for a meal with the kids as they are unlikely to eat unless it's familiar or falls into the few food substances that they enjoy.
After a day walking around London and visiting the sights (5 miles of walking around a museum in my case) the thought of dinner out with the kids dealing with the refusal to eat or for them to pick apart the dish just didn't seem appealing.
So the Food and Flicks package (£40) provided by the hotel was perfect.
A selection of finger food that between the 3 fussy eaters in the family there was something that everyone would eat all brought to the room with accompanying 24hrs of movies meant that we were able to enjoy the evening and refuel ourselves for the coming day.
The movies meant that whilst the kids enjoyed their Disney and Marvel movies before heading to bed once they were asleep my husband and I watched a movie too.
If you are interested in this package then speak to the staff when you book. It really is worth it and meant that once we had arrived at the hotel until Breakfast we were able to remove our shoes and relax instead of heading out again to feed the kids.
Breakfast at the Park Terrace
Once you've had a comfortable nights sleep to fuel up for a day of sightseeing in London you need a good breakfast and the breakfast packages at Park Terrace on the ground floor of the hotel are ideal.
With an option of continental or full English you can pick your favourites and when booked as inclusive in the family package children are free.
From cereal including children's favourites to fruit and cooked breakfast or waffles, everyone in the family had food enough for a day at another museum before heading home after our weekend in London.
Getting to the Royal Garden Hotel
We took the train into London from Suffolk and then the underground. The nearest underground station to the hotel is High Street Kensington.
However, we visited the Natural History Museum first and then took a 15-minute walk through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens to the hotel at the end of the day.
If you wish to drive there is parking available in the hotel and nearby check when you book for more on this.
However, the kids loved the tube and train journey in and without having to pay congestion charges and deal with driving in London made for a nicer trip down for me and my husband.
Near the Hotel
The hotel is right beside Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.
Within 15 - 20 minutes walk you have the Royal Albert Hall, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum.
Then as the tube is so close you can take your pick. Exhibits like The Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at the Saatchi Gallery are easy to visit.
Remember that children under 11 are free on the underground with a fee paying adult.
We headed to the British Museum and the Natural History Museum Trip - next time the kids have asked to visit the Tower of London and London Zoo! It's always something different.
Booking your Stay
Don't forget that there is a New Year Sale through to the end of January that is valid for the whole of the year.
When looking at rates for my birthday weekend in March a comparison of a "budget" hotel in the same area was just £50 difference and the comfort, friendliness of the staff and relaxation you get from the stay at the Royal Garden Hotel is worth a lot more than that.