The Kensington Hotel

Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5LR

“You cannot let your air conditioning system breakdown in a guest bedroom. It is fundamental to the guest’s experience and I think that was really important, so I think the decision to make the change and do it in advance of the technology change, was the right one for us. From a guest experience it has created a very positive response, which is obviously ultimately what we want.”

  • The Kensington Hotel

Project Overview

The Kensington Hotel consists of a row of traditional town houses, creating a unique hotel in the heart of Kensington. This creates many challenges due to the combination of different properties and any major refurbishments require large areas of the hotel to close whilst the works are carried out.

When the hotel approached the phase out of R22 refrigerant, a different tactic was required as all areas of the hotel were affected. Based on the successful air conditioning replacement works at the Bloomsbury Hotel, the same methodology was adopted with the use of Daikin VRVQ replacement air conditioning systems.

Project Budget


Project Details

Daikin VRVQ ‘R22 Replace’ technology was selected to replace the existing air conditioning systems.

Daikin VRVQ systems allowed the existing pipework to be reused, which was an important factor as most of the services are now enclosed in the building fabric. The ability to reuse the pipework and associated cables reduced the installation works and associated disruption. By using this method, the refurbishment works were isolated to the hotel bedrooms and external plant space, assisting in the control of noise, dust and hiding away the works from the rest of the guests.

Work was carried over a 7 month period with the installation of 187 replacement air conditioning units serving the bedrooms without any disruption.

The hotel is experiencing a 26% reduction in energy use for the whole hotel based on a month by month comparison. As this saving has been attributed to the air conditioning upgrade, the actual savings on the air conditioning running costs has reached up to 42% using a year on year comparison, exceeding the proposed 30% savings.

Project Description

The project required the replacement of 187 Daikin VRV fan coil units linked to 28 Daikin VRV condensing units and the refurbishment of the kitchen cooling systems.

The condensing units are housed in light wells with limited access. Careful planning was required to plan a series of crane lifts including agreeing the loss of cooling and heating to sections of the rooms, adjacent road closures and consideration to the hotel’s neighbours in a high end residential area. A series of crane lifts was adopted starting at 9.30 am on a Saturday and finishing no later than 3.00 pm, reducing any impact to all affected.

The project also gave an opportunity to upgrade the ceiling mounted ventilation grilles with a bespoke design provided to improve maintenance access whilst providing a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Where needed some of the grilles were relocated to improve air distribution.