Little Explorers 'After Bed' Package at 100 Queen's Gate Hotel Review (2023)

Star Rating: ★★★★★

There has been a severe lack of adventure in our family over the past 18 months - an inevitable byproduct of only being able to leave the home when absolutely necessary, and then only for trips in the area. I don't know about you, but we kill the nearby forests and parks.

A night in a luxury hotel on the doorstep of London's best museums, with a backpack full of essentials to explore them further, and a fabulous setting that will make the whole family feel like they're on the Bridgerton set - that's it Ingredients for a real adventure.

The Little Explorers package at Kensington's 100 Queen's Gate Hotel offers a stepping stone to attractions like the Natural History and Science Museums, as well as a backpack full of crayons, notepads and a microscope to document all the strange and exciting discoveries on display.

And now it's been updated with some after bedtime extras, so the fun doesn't stop when you return to your room. Staying up late for dinner at a restaurant with Mom and Dad, having treats like popcorn and hot chocolate delivered to your room before bedtime while you watch a movie in bed – that’s what most kids dream of, isn’t it? ?

Where will I sleep?

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Our plan was to drive to the hotel in the morning, drop off our bags and head into town for a full day of exploring. Part of the package is an early check-in at 10am (and late check-out at 4pm), meaning you have all the time you need for a weekend in the city and the most of your stay can get out .. one night.

The reception staff were very friendly, especially to the children, making them feel as important as the adults. After getting some information about the hotel layout and the location of the restaurants, we carried our bags to the top floor room, which was nice and quiet (at least until we arrived).

By default you will get a two bedroom connecting family room but if availability allows you will be upgraded to a duplex suite with a second connecting bedroom, which is what we had. And it was impressive.

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The children's room was spacious and elegantly furnished, with its own bathroom, large TV and a double bed. Also, as part of the Little Explorers package, a Toniebox with stories to listen to.

Next to it was the main room, built on two levels with a living room and bar, a mezzanine balcony, a huge bedroom and a second bathroom with a large bathtub. Both rooms had their own air conditioning and coffee makers, tea kettles, irons and ironing boards, and minibars stocked with chocolate, snacks, and beverages.

A sliding door can be used to separate the two bedrooms, although it cannot be locked unless you have a key - a relief given our youngest's habit of accidentally locking themselves in places.

Our first impression was how peaceful the large and airy duplex felt - scented with an inviting scent and with soft classical music playing throughout. The children also quickly discovered (and destroyed) a tray of fresh fruit and cake that had been left on the living room table.

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Stylistically, the rooms blend classic architecture with modern design in tones of blue and copper, with marble and tile bathrooms stocked with Floris of London toiletries. The bedrooms felt warmer with wood paneling and soft lighting, while the hall highlighted its beautiful vintage fireplace and exploration gear lined with bookshelves. A memorial to the hotel's original owner, Victorian aristocrat and explorer William Alexander.

The master bedroom had a sloping roof with skylights, making it hidden and enveloping - a cozy retreat that isolates you from the hustle and bustle of the city outside.

Most of the time, though, my family didn't believe in staying in a hotel room with its own staircase.

What's included in the Little Explorers After Bed Pack?

There was a Little Explorers adventure backpack waiting for the kids in their beds when we arrived, containing everything they needed for a day out in London, including crayons, a notebook and an aluminum water bottle from the hotel, as well as a microscope and a dinosaur construction set from the Natural History Museum where we spent the afternoon.

You now have to book tickets instead of just showing up (although it looks like you can queue) but at least that means we got there quickly enough being only a ten minute walk from the hotel. Both children brought their Little Explorer backpacks and we told our eldest that he was on an important mission to document as many of the museum's artifacts as possible with drawings in his notebook. My daughter just walked around because she's three and honestly they do.

Staying in London meant we could take as much time as we wanted to see all the exhibits - we've never toured the entire Natural History Museum as we settle our growling stomachs and mentally prepare for the long journey home had to. Knowing we only had a short walk to dinner and some late-night luxuries (more on that later), we made the most of our time together at the museum.

What is there to eat?

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On the way back to the hotel we only had time to change before our pre-booked dinner at the ESQ bar. Normally you are at the W/A Restaurant, but during our stay it temporarily closed at 5pm. This is probably no longer the case, but if possible I would recommend asking if you can do the same - Rocco the bar manager made us all feel incredibly welcome and the whole team makes a fuss about it Made to tell the kids what important guests they are and how good it was to be able to look after a family with young children. This reassured us all because although the atmosphere - in the context of the hotel - was more casual, it was still very chic and more formal than what we were used to.

We started with a few cocktails from the huge menu - and if you're missing your usual favorite the staff will make it for you, but I can assure you they won't. The children enjoyed watching their own drinks (a mix of tropical fruit with a dried pineapple garnish) being shaken behind the bar while Emma and I selected from the bar's signature range, each priced at £13.50.

We ended up with a Smoked Nozzer and a Floriography - mine was a spiced rum and walnut syrup concoction that came in a bulb and tasted like Christmas cake and campfire, while Emma's was a floral and fruity number in a more conventional glass. Both were delicious and luxuriously long.

The children's menu has been specially put together by the hotel's kitchen team and costs £13 for two courses and £17 for three courses. My two opted for the hummus and melon crudites with berry compote appetizers, a burger and fries and penne with tomato sauce, and two giant bowls of gelato for pudding. It's family-friendly fare with a truly sophisticated presentation - perfectly designed for a luxurious family vacation.

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The adult menu, on the other hand, is classic with a modern twist, and we share a British charcuterie platter for starters (£13) before moving on to wonderfully crispy cod and Japanese fries (Emma, ​​£19) and a generous fillet-seasoned one Meat with red wine jus (£23, I) plus a large bowl of fries (£7) buzzed with truffle and parmesan. Desert was a strawberry cheesecake each (£6), although I would have happily eaten both.

If the cumulative cost makes you wince, there's a £50 food and drink voucher included in the package, and children under five eat free with paying adults. Our bill was supposed to have been around £140 but was closer to £70 - which turned out to be fantastic value given we had three courses plus cocktails, the food was out of this world delicious and that Ambiance and service absolutely impeccable.

Rocco made Emma and I each an espresso martini (best I've had yet) as bedtime gifts and said he's working on a salted caramel version that we should go back and try. Which we will definitely do.

We head back to our room and get the kids ready for bed - the After Dark pack also includes a glowing bath bomb each and Little Explorer bathrobes and slippers (plus a matching hotel teddy bear!) before we download a movie from my phone to one stream the huge tv in the room.

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The final, and perhaps most exciting element of the trip, were four coupons, each meant to be redeemed for popcorn and a hot chocolate — they were supposed to be redeemed at the restaurant, but here's a trick: you can order them as room service and enjoy them in bed. The kids said this was their favorite part of the trip and a perfect way to end a really special day.

After a peaceful night's sleep (we were all exhausted and full) we visited the W/A Restaurant for breakfast - the package includes a continental breakfast in the room or a full English breakfast on the ground floor and we chose the latter. There's also a huge buffet and extra options like made-to-order waffles and pancakes, so we had quite a mix-up. It's really impossible to pick a favourite.

The restaurant itself is beautifully decorated and we were seated at a large table with a great view of the hustle and bustle of the streets as London came alive. Unfortunately this was the end of our trip as we had plans for that afternoon but you could easily schedule another visit to the museum on the second day.

Where is 100 Queen's Gate and what is there to do?

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The Queen's Gate crosses Cromwell Road (where the Natural History Museum is located) and heads north to Kensington Palace and Hyde Park. We drove there and that meant parking in London, which is never cheap. Nearby KCP is about a two minute walk and the hotel offers a 20% discount meaning we paid £40 for our 24 hour stay.

Finding cheaper parking just outside of the city and taking the tube is probably a better bet, and the hotel is conveniently located in the middle of Gloucester Road and South Kensington stations.

Allow ten minutes to walk to the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, and V&A Museum if you have young children, and between 10 and 20 minutes to walk to the Diana Memorial Playground, Serpentine Boating Lake, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, and to reach Kensington Palace.

How much does the visit cost?

The Little Explorers Package is available from £365 per night for 2 adults and up to 2 children in a Two Bedroom Connecting Family Room, with a complimentary upgrade to a Duplex Suite Family Connecting Room (subject to availability).

final thoughts

At face value £365 for a night in London might be a bit steep, but I came from experience with plans to take a regular break. Granted, not every year, but not once in a lifetime either.

The location (a very posh part of London), the extras included in the package, and the special treatment alone made it worth that cost, and that's before you factor in the museum and sightseeing tours, which we were allowed to do without getting up too early or having to drive home late.

You also need to consider the sky high cost of traveling to the UK at the moment. Weighed against five days in less-healthy accommodation (with one or both of my kids usually getting bored and fed up) versus a much more memorable two-day trip, the latter looks far more appealing. Especially since my kids haven't stopped talking about it since.

In short, I'm a big fan of the espresso vacation - a more focused experience that doesn't last long but gets a lot more bang for your buck. In reality, it probably won't replace the annual free week, but as a treat after a bad few years, the Little Explorers at 100 Queen's Gate package has delivered on all fronts.

For more information and to book your own stay at 100 Queen's Gate, visit

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