A boutique hidden gem in London
82 Rooms / 8 Suites
The Arch London's demure splendor invites you for a charmed visit. At more than 55,000 square feet, The Arch London takes up a substantial part of Great Cumberland Place, a long straight road stretching from the tip of Oxford Street that meets Marble Arch to the private garden on Bryanston Square. This leafy, affluent London neighborhood is off the beaten track, a hidden gem where Madonna has a house, David and Victoria Beckham’s boys go to school and Wallis Simpson once lived.
The Arch is quiet enough to guarantee a good night’s sleep, yet close enough to the thick of it to make the most of a stay in the capital. It’s a mere five-minute walk from the hotel to the department stores on Oxford Street, the open space of Hyde Park or the independent boutiques of Marylebone Village, and a short cab ride from everything else the city has to offer.
After the friendly doorman, the first thing to greet you as you stroll into this tony hotel is Vincent Poole’s New Shoes, a silhouette created from a vibrant collage of snippets inspired by the surrounding area.
This is one of many pieces by emerging British artists that adorns the public spaces and guest rooms. An ever-changing visual display behind reception flickers between moving images of nature and London sights; Julie Cockburn’s embroidered map of London sits above the fireplace in the lobby; Linda Culverwell’s spherical Olives and Cream with Burgundy Wine adds interest to the study; and a suitably romantic addition to the bedrooms is Natalie Tkachuk’s Posted, a work made up of real wartime love letters.
Spread over five floors — with the omission of floor No. 4 to appease Chinese guests, who consider the digit unlucky — the accommodations in this London hotel range from standard rooms to multi-room suites.
Every room boasts a plump bed swathed in Egyptian cotton and duck-down duvets. The look throughout is light and fresh, with punches of pattern and color from the throws, cushions and contemporary furniture, and one of eight bespoke wallpapers lining the space behind the bed.
A selection of books in every room lends a homely feel, while a TV with a Sky HD package offers movies and sports. There’s even a DVD player to watch the film of your choice from the hotel’s movie library.
In the bathrooms, you’ll find large rain showers (some with a combined tub), steam-proof heated mirrors, flat-screen televisions and toiletries from Malin + Goetz. Nespresso coffee, Jing Tea (with a china teapot to brew it properly) and a fridge stocked with fresh milk, juice, soft drinks and water round out the complimentary amenities.
At this family-run, boutique hotel, there’s great emphasis on providing personalized service. That could mean filling the mini-bar with your favorite soft drink, restocking your special brand of toothpaste when housekeeping notices you're running low or replacing the miniature Malin + Goetz toiletries with larger versions to take home if you’ve been using them quite a bit. Staff will even tweak the breakfast buffet so that it includes a food you particularly like or to meet a dietary requirement.
Repeat guests are invited to leave items in storage for their next visit. One guest even leaves his dirty laundry behind, with the knowledge that next time he checks in, it’ll be washed, pressed and hanging in the bedroom closet (complimentary, of course).
At check-in, you are offered the beverage du jour, which can range from fruit-infused water or warm herbal tea to an alcoholic tipple. In the room, you’ll be welcomed with seasonal treats, such as chocolate-dipped strawberries, macaroons or fresh fruit.
The Arch’s customized service also extends to children and dogs. For the little ones (16 and under), perks include mini robes, slippers and small gifts, as well as milk and cookies at bedtime. There’s also a toy box behind reception where they can choose something to play with during their stay. From special children's menus to babysitting services, the hotel ensures that all guests, no matter their age, will have a luxe, worry-free stay.
Dogs are welcomed with their own bed, bowls and treats. The hotel’s chefs can whip up a fresh meal for Fido. Dog walks and pet sitting can also be arranged.
The Food and Drink
Hunter 486, the onsite restaurant, serves up a “Modern British” menu from an open kitchen. The comfortable mix of red and purple velvet and leather seating, large windows and charming neighborhood views make for a laid-back setting for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Le Salon de Champagne — with its Tom Dixon-designed armchairs and floor-to ceiling-leather booths with pull-around, semi-opaque privacy curtains — is the perfect intimate space to enjoy Taittinger by the glass, a dram of one of many Scottish whiskies or a cocktail (the Earl Grey martini is one of its specialties). Look up and you’ll see illustrator Sara Fanelli’s captivating graffiti ceiling.
The Martini Library, which is tucked away off Alphabet Corridor (named for Peter Defty’s black and white “Alphatecture” photographs that line the wall), is a charming spot with original Georgian touches. You’ll find plenty of corners to settle into with one of the board games or coffee table books. Call buttons will summon a staff member to keep you fed and cups filled. In the winter, an open fire warms the room, and during the holidays a Christmas tree adds a festive feel.