The Royal Palace Hotel, Kensington

The Royal Palace Hotel once stood at 6 Kensington High Street, at the corner with Palace Avenue. It was demolished in the 1960s. The Royal Garden Hotel now stands in its place.  I’m not entirely sure the Royal Garden Hotel was an inspired addition to the High Street.

Royal Palace Hotel c.1900
Royal Garden Hotel c1967

In  1960, the Royal Palace Hotel was demolished and a new hotel was built in its place designed by  Richard Seifert, who was responsible for some of the nastier buildings in London in the 1960’s and 70’s, including Euston Station, Centrepoint at the top of Oxford Street, Kings Mall in Hammersmith, and Tower 42 in the City.

After five years of building works, the new hotel opened in 1965 as the Royal Garden Hotel. In 1966, it hosted the official reception celebrating England’s victory in the World Cup final.  I find it very odd I have no memory at all of the hotel being built, even though we played  in that part of the park at least once a week, using the path that is just visible in the bottom right-hand corner of the photo above.

My first memory of the hotel is The Monkees waving to thousands, and thousands, of teenage girls in the park from a seventh, or eighth, floor balcony.

The Royal Palace Hotel had a stunningly over-decorated Victorian style, as can be seen from the photos below.

Royal Palace Hotel. Foyer view with mantlepiece
Royal Palace Hotel. Reception Room
Royal Palace Hotel. Smoking Room
Royal Palace Hotel. Private drawing room
Royal Palace Hotel. Reading Room
Royal Palace Hotel. Billiard Room
Royal Palace Hotel. Eastern Room
Royal Palace Hotel. Foyer lounge
Royal Palace Hotel. Drawing room mantlepiece
Royal Palace Hotel. Drawing room

View north from the roof of the Royal Palace Hotel, looking towards Kensington Palace in 1920. On the left-hand side of the picture, you can see the allotments on Palace Green remaining after WW1.

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