A Crown Jewel – The Arch London Hotel
Where did Madonna, Jimi Hendrix and Charles Dickens, take up residence in London? In Central London, Marlybone is a wealthy residential neighborhood, which has been home to these celebrities as well as the gem of a boutique hotel, the Arch London. While on the look out for Madonna, it is noteworthy that this affluent district is home to many government embassies and the local English upper crust.
The Arch London is just steps from Marble Arch, Oxford street, the shops of Selfridges and the greenery of Hyde Park. The beauty of this location is that although considered Central London, the Arch is on a quiet, tree-lined street. This neighborhood is classy and calm, with hustle and bustle just minutes away, thus offering the best of both worlds. The best shopping in London is within blocks. Fancy a morning jog or a bike ride, Hyde Park is a 3 minute walk away.
This 82-room sophisticated boutique hotel offers modern chic decor. It is beaming with unique features that reflect the authentic English way of life, including vibrant installations of art commissioned by contemporary British artists. But make no mistake, this hotel has “hip” written all over it.
Fluffy Robes and Snuggly Slippers
The luxurious rooms are well appointed and newly renovated, with a modern touch and equipped with all amenities. The uncluttered design offers the most comfortable beds, pillows and duvets to ensure a perfect sleep. The full mini bar, includes complimentary soft drinks and fresh milk for tea or coffee. The Nespresso machine comes in very handy.
Technology is first rate and completely up to date. The two televisions in my room came with complimentary Sky HD TV which includes a complete sports program. Let’s not forget the internet radio and iPod docks. The combination of US and EU adaptors are most convenient.
The bathroom was ultra-modern, with an inviting rain shower, and by far the most impressive feature was the wall mounted television built-in to the walls of the bathtub area that served as a mirror, when switched off. The plush towels, slippers and fluffy bathrobes made it grand.
Cuisine at Hunter 486 Restuarant
Hunter 486 restaurant offers a sumptuous menu with a focus on modern British classics, that would satisfy any palette. The restaurant is named for the telephone area code for the Marlybone neighborhood back in the 1950s. The setting is posh yet cozy and inviting. The open concept kitchen allows chefs to prepare food in full view. This full service restaurant offers an extensive menu, and is very good value for upscale cuisine in Central London.
For breakfast, the choice of full English buffet or a la carte menu is a great start to any day. The eggs florentine were cooked to perfection. The extensive selection of smoked salmon, natural yogurts, fruits, nuts, cheeses, pastries and breads were exquisitely prepared and displayed. For dinner, the creativity of the chef comes through, with bold flavoring and artistic plating. The freshness of local and organic ingredients is evident. The wait staff were professional and charming, making excellent recommendations.
Not to be missed is the traditional English afternoon tea.Try the raspberry and pistachio cheesecake for a twist on the English tea experience.
The Little HIdeaways to be Discovered
The Martini Library is a welcome respite and a wonderful hide away to read the paper or to hold a business meeting. This study is decorated in designer chic, the theme for all the common areas of this hotel. The inviting chairs are custom designed by Tom Dixon. The graffiti ceiling features champagne quotes and tasting notes, and the light fixtures are works of art. Also welcome and unexpected additions were the fitness room and business center, both of which are open 24-hours.
1. Book directly through the hotel’s website for best rates and exclusive benefits at www.thearchlondon.com.
2. For slightly longer stays, request a larger room such as an Executive room or junior suite. The nominal fee for more space is well worth it. All rooms are well represented on the hotel’s website.
3. Rooms on the 5th floor offer beautiful views of London.
4. Don’t forget to try the hotel’s signature Grace Kelly Martini.
5. This is a pet-friendly hotel.
6. Other than the obvious things to do in the neighborhood, consider visiting Sherlock Holmes’ fictional hangout and Madame Tussaud’s wax museum.