Welcome to The Arch London – a stunning 5 star, boutique-property nestled within the posh and tranquil streets of Marylebone. The Arch is a proud member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and surely lives up to the collections’ brand standards of utmost excellence. From entering the doors right through departure, every facet of the stay was a beautiful experience perfect for any type of traveller. As advertised, this truly was a 5 star hotel that “delivers more”.
Situated just north of the ritzy Mayfair and minutes from the central tube line, the location of the Arch could not be more accessible to visitors to London. The Arch, appropriately named for being within a 5-minute walk from the iconic Marble Arch landmark, is also within walking distance of top London sites, such as Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, the best upscale shopping in London, the swankiest restaurants and pubs, and large business hubs. With grandiose Georgian architecture and endless amounts of hanging baskets of flowers framing the streets of this charming neighbourhood, travelling to The Arch was a delight.
Before I even walked in the doors I felt welcomed – prominent and beautiful signage stood out beyond the scaffolding next door to proudly greet me and inform me I had found my destination, and a lovely man welcomed me outside with a huge smile and showed me the way in with my luggage. The entrance to the lobby set the tone for the entire stay. The vibe was lavish, modern and artistic; yet, conversely very cozy and approachable. The warm desk staff checked me in immediately and I was ushered down to The Sullivan Suite where I was to enjoy the exact same vibe I felt in the lobby – modern, cozy luxury!
Although the hotel is already relatively young at only eight years old, the rooms had already been refurbished – a real testament to the overall modern look and feel of the property, and the sense of pride the owners take in maintaining a trendy space. The rooms represented this intention without a doubt.
The first thing I noticed about the suite was actually the sense of relaxation I felt immediately upon entering. If I were to ever design my own space, this is what it would look like. Unique, modern, fresh, colourful yet calming artwork covered the walls, while luxurious fabrics draped the bedding and comfortable seating area. Natural light flooded the spacious room – two things which are not often found in England! I realized to my delight that I had my own private courtyard and the floor-to-ceiling glass doors were responsible for the pleasantly bright room.
On a funny side-note, I got lost coming back to my room later that day, since I had gone up to the wrong floors not realizing that my suite was technically located on the basement level – the room was just that bright from the dug-out courtyard that I never would have guessed I was below the ground!
But let’s get back to the room. The full desk area and large closet space is ideal for business travellers or those having a longer stay, and the bathroom was a glamazon’s absolute dream or even better for a group of ladies travelling who would usually fight over the vanity space. Finally, I’m not one to normally gush over TVs, but this room got them right. There was a large flat screen TV facing the sofa and chairs, and a pop-up one discreetly hidden in the cupboard facing the bed for those who like to watch their TV lounging about horizontally. What’s better than TV in bed? Well, there was a TV in the wall above the bathtub. This room was literally perfect for anyone. And there were many others, which were just as lovely.
Later that evening, I was treated to a delicious dinner at the in-house restaurant Hunter 486, named after the 1950s dialling code for Marylebone. Plush fabrics with oversized booth-backings and wooden tables, juxtaposed with dazzling glass chandeliers and beautiful art again, struck the perfect balance between sleek and sexy modernity with approachable comfort and charm. I could easily envision this spot working for a quick catch-up with a girlfriend, a first date, a laid back dinner with family, or a private business meeting with the few more secluded, draped booths in the restaurant.
After I was seated, I was brought yummy homemade olive and soda bread to nibble on with the most incredible, fluffy butter I have ever had. Salt-baked heritage beets, with whipped goat’s curd, red chard, and candied pecans were next on the menu, with pan-fried sweet potato gnocchi, Jerusalem artichokes, mushrooms and parmesan for the main event – absolutely divine! Although I was thoroughly stuffed by the end of the meal, dessert is always a must when reviewing a hotel. When in London, one must always have Sticky Toffee Pudding. Hunter 486 puts a twist on this British classic with a Steamed Ginger Pudding covered in warm butterscotch sauce and topped with yogurt ice-cream. The balance between the bite in the fresh ginger and the sweetness of butterscotch was perfection and something I still day-dream about to this day.
This restaurant is perfect for other events with its custom offerings. Hunter 486 welcomes guests to Le Salon de Champagne for pre-dinner bubbles, or The Martini Library for cocktails or Royal afternoon tea.
Brought your furry friend with you? Sadly, I did not – but it was still comforting, nonetheless, to know they had a dog-friendly menu to cater to the needs of a man’s best friend (yes, the hotel is dog friendly)!
After a dreamy sleep and breakfast the following morning (I obviously had to have the Hunter Favourite: poached eggs on sourdough toast with spinach and avocado), I enjoyed wandering the rest of the hotel to scope out the amenities.
The business event spaces were quite diverse for such a small, boutique hotel. Rooms ranged from those like the Whitehall with seating space for 30 for a theatre-styled conference, to more intimate, relaxed atmospheres like the Study. Alternatively, if you are looking for a cocktail soiree, the gorgeous Martini Library can host up to 50 guests. Apparently, Princess Eugenie spent her birthday at The Arch – you know it’s fit for royalty, when! If actual royalty isn’t your cup of tea – surely pop royalty is. Neighbourhood resident Queen Madonna has been spotted using the fitness facilities at The Arch!
Taken all together, I have not experienced a lovelier hotel that is so inclusive of each traveller type. No accommodation “vibe” or travel purpose is required to have a wonderful stay at The Arch. The management team has done an excellent job delivering the luxurious sophistication of a 5-star hotel, yet maintaining the approachable, unpretentious-charm and standard of care only found at family-owned businesses. The Arch experience is truly one to be matched, whether you are a young family on vacation or a seasoned business traveller, and I cannot wait to return, whatever my purpose for visiting London. Perhaps, I will bring my furry friends Billie and Charlie with me next time for a dogs-perspective on that pet-friendly menu!