The Arch, London
THE HOTEL: The Arch opened in 2010, featuring 82 guest rooms across a row of converted Georgian townhouses. It is located on Great Cumberland Place – a short walk from Marble Arch tube station – and is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
THE CHECK-IN: Striking pieces of art adorn the lobby walls and set out this property’s design credentials from the start. A film of London scenes and landmarks was projected on an elongated screen behind the reception desk, while leather seating and sofas created a lounge-like environment.
THE ROOM: My room, the Sullivan suite, felt like a hotel showpiece, with state-of-the-art technology, huge super-soft double bed, sleek bathroom (featuring bath with TV screen and enormous walk-in shower) and even a small courtyard with seats and heaters. The subtle tones of a floral feature wall, bed linen and sofa contrasted with the shocking pinks and purples of an enormous rug and easy chairs. Facilities included a safe, ample wardrobe space, minibar with complimentary soft drinks, work desk, digital radio and iPod dock, wall-mounted TV – plus another popup TV in the unit at the foot of the bed – a DVD player, Nespresso machine, free wifi and Malin+Goetz bathroom amenities.
THE BUSINESS: The stylish Whitehall 944 room is the main meeting space and has capacity for 18 people in a boardroom set-up. Three-hour hire is £285 for non-residents. There’s also the Study for informal meetings.
THE FACILITIES: The excellent Hunter 486 restaurant, bar and ‘Le Salon de Champagne’ are lined up off the lobby area and provide plenty of quirky fixtures, fittings and art – not to mention the open kitchen – to occupy the eye. The restaurant was filling up quickly when I dined at 6pm. The Martini Room is a nice space to enjoy an alcoholic drink or afternoon tea while thumbing the pages of the numerous books on display. There’s also a gym on the hotel's basement floor.
THE VERDICT: There’s art to be admired at every turn – hallways double up as galleries – and the building’s historic nature gives it real character. Design and décor throughout the hotel has to be admired, and the hotel’s even split of leisure and corporate guests is testament to its universal appeal.
THE DETAILS: 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD. Room rates start from £205 per room per night. Tel: 0207 724 4700; See: www.thearchlondon.com
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2013)