My first thought upon arrival at The Arch London was ‘What a Lovely Hotel’. It has a simple elegance that says, we have no need to be pretentious. Located in a residential area only blocks from the iconic Marble Arch, I felt more like was I arriving as a guest at a rich relative’s home than at a hotel.
Rather than standing at a check-in counter, I was seated at a desk as I was welcomed to The Arch. I was staying as a media guest the first night of my three night stay. Once the check-in process was completed I was escorted to my room. Again, it felt like a stay at someone’s home where they show you where you will be sleeping while visiting.
I was given an orientation of my room and asked which newspaper I would like to have delivered each morning. Once alone I explored my home for the next three days.
In addition to suites The Arch London has standard, superior, deluxe and executive rooms. Each room is unique but varies in size. Opened in 2009 the hotel combined a townhouse which had previously been converted into an inn with an additional townhouse on either side to form a unique interior where no two rooms are the same.
I was staying in a Junior Executive Suite and thought some of the special touches might be available in the Suite rooms only. In speaking with the hotel staff I found that all rooms included most of the features found in the suite.
Your newspaper is hung outside your room every morning.
Tea and coffee service includes an electric kettle along with ceramic pot and cups. While there is a charge for snacks and alcoholic beverages from the snack bar all other beverages are free and replenished as needed. That includes juice, bottled water, soft drinks and milk.
There is a TV and remote in the bath tub to help you enjoy a relaxing soak.
A bottle of water and glass are set by your bed each night with turn down service.
Electronic buttons inside your door control a panel outside that signals whether you would like privacy or maid service. There is also a doorbell which really made me feel like I was at home when a friend from London visited me later that day.
The desk area is well lit with multiple plugs and each room has free wi-fi. There is also wi-fi in the public areas of the hotel. Every room in the hotel looks out on either a street view (in my case Madonna’s house) or the neighborhood mews and rooftops.
By the time I had explored my room I had decided I would like to move in for at least a month, maybe longer.
However, I headed downstairs to meet with the concierge and hear about what there was to see within walking distance of the hotel. Theo Dubroy, awarded the Golden Keys in 2014, met with me in the Martini Library to help me plan my stay.
Taking time to find out a little about me and my interests he then provided me with multiple options of things to do within walking distance of the hotel. During my three day stay I was able to incorporate several of his suggestions into my walking tour of London.
A visit to the Wallace Collection, a private London townhouse that has been turned into a National Museum.
Dinner at The Grazing Goat a local neighborhood pub
Touring the street art in and around the Shoreditch area and the East End
During my stay I also enjoyed afternoon tea at The Lancaster Hotel and a walk through Hyde Park to Kensington Palace.
When not taking in the sights of London I had plenty of time to enjoy the comforts of The Arch London.
The Martini Library is a plush, yet comfortable setting for meeting with guests or reading a book. There are discreetly placed buttons along the walls which you can use to call for service and a staff person will appear like magic to take your order.
There is also a business lounge that includes a desk and computer with printer which you may use at any time.
Hunter 486 is The Arch London’s fine dining restaurant. In the morning their plentiful breakfast buffet is included with your stay. In addition, you may order items off of the menu for an additional charge.
Dinner at Hunter 486 offers a wide variety of al a carte items. The menu changes with the season and the service is exceptional.
Next to the restaurant area is the Champagne Lounge. In addition to table seating there are two private circular booths that can be closed off by curtains for a private meeting or a romantic dinner.
There is also a bar in the restaurant area.
As if all of the above is not enough reason to stay at The Arch, downstairs there are also a fitness room and a meeting room. The meeting room is between two bedrooms. That area can be closed off to make a family suite.
The week that I arrived the hotel had also started serving Royal Afternoon Tea in the Martini Library, Hunter 486, or Champagne Lounge. I cannot wait to indulge in tea served in the Martini Library on my return.
Much too soon my three night stay ended and it was time to bid The Arch London farewell. When I reflect on what made my stay so memorable it mostly comes back to the staff. Yes, the architecture and location contribute to the feeling of being a guest at a grand old London home.
However, what makes it truly special is each member of staff greeting you by name when they see you; the waiter who served you breakfast stepping out from the restaurant later in the day to ask you how you enjoyed the museum you mentioned to him that morning. As you walk out the door in the morning the doorman is greeting the neighborhood mom, with her stroller, coming out of the next door mews and wishing her a good day.
The Arch London, for me, embodied what I think of as grand, old London. And for three days I felt like I could have been the Crawleys taking a break from Downtown Abbey for a short stay in my London home.
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