London’s Marble Arch area is a tale of two sides. On one side is bustling busy Oxford Street at the top of Park Lane; street hawkers, tourists and traffic. On the other, by Great Cumberland Place, a leafy mews laden warren of 18th century Georgian townhouses and elegance from a bygone era. It is in this stylish corner of leafy London you’ll find The Arch Hotel, taking up no less than seven of these lovely Grade II listed houses and keeping them in the style they are accustomed to in the process.
The Arch Hotel, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World network, does luxury boutique impressively well, each of the 82 guest rooms individually designed according to the shape and size available in a homage to the original buildings. But this is not faded decadence; more a conversation between the past and the present, where trendy, colourful and elegantly modern fixtures and fittings sit very comfortably within this period setting.
A warren of corridors, past a comfy sitting room filled with overstuffed chairs, and large coffee table books of art and photography leads to our room, The Juniper Suite; a beautiful room with its own little courtyard and swing chair. A Nespresso machine sits proudly on a dresser in the spacious lounge area opposite a generous state of the art flat screen SKY HD TV. Past the bedroom dominated by a huge bed bedecked with a flurry of fluffy pillows lies a stunningly indulgent bathroom complete with both rain shower and separate deep tub with yet another flat screen TV and a range of Malin+Goetz toiletries.
I love the power adapters to fit any plug type already sitting in the sockets, free wifi, a bath pillow (so you can lie back and watch that TV) , a jar of cotton pads, free mini bar soft drinks and room service without “tray charges” little personal things that make a stay so memorable.
Down in the lobby, the Hunter 486 bar and restaurant is doing brisk business. It offers excellent brasserie style fare at surprisingly good value considering the central London location. My wild garlic soup with creme freche is a triumph as is the day’s seasonal special; a lamb stew with mushrooms, onion, bacon and braised rice at £21. Other options are equally appetizing; the pulled ham hock , globe artichoke and foie gras terrine at £9.50 or the raviole of tiger prawns on buttered spinach leaves at £16.50 in particular.
Hunter 486 is the breakfast venue too and just like dinner, doesn’t disappoint save for the pastries, which have a lack of freshness about them. I like the farmer’s market style boxes for the buffet and the hand filled bottles of water and orange juices. There is an extensive egg menu and my poached eggs with Portobello mushrooms on sourdough toast are perfect.
The Arch Hotel, just a 3 minute walk from Marble Arch tube station, is a delightful oasis of modern elegance, a perfect place to retreat to after a hard day exploring Oxford Street and nearby Hyde Park.
The Arch Hotel from £178 per room including breakfast.