Where you lay your head can add immeasurably to the destination itself, even enhance your visit with some extra essence of the place. It’s why a city hotel can make or break your stay. And The Arch, a chic boutique hotel in London’s West End, definitely offers a dash more to a getaway in this storied city.
A short walk from the Marble Arch tube stop and the northeast corner of Hyde Park (where you can stop and listen to some lively debate at the infamous Speakers’ Corner), the 82-room luxury bolthole was created out of seven Georgian townhouses and two mews homes (with original sash windows) on a tranquil residential street, making you feel like part of the posh set in Marylebone. Selfridges, Oxford and Bond Streets are all in your neighbourhood.
Inside, you’re amidst vibrant colours (like magenta) and patterns (from plaid to hip, handmade wallpaper)—classic Brit style that’s also very now. Contemporary art throughout (like Peter Defty‘s “Alphatecture” photo series of impressions of London’s iconic buildings or abstract paintings by London-based Parisian artist Eleonore Pironneau) gives the design-savvy decor an edge—and local context. Bathrooms have the luxe factor of black granite, rain showers, flat-screen TVs (a rugby match and bubble bath go together quite well, as I can confirm) and Malin + Goetz amenities (where I first discovered the oh-yes bergamot body wash).
Beyond the sweet suites is Hunter 486, The Arch London’s bar and restaurant (the name refers to Marylebone’s 1950s district dialing code), where more swish decor (like chairs by London designer Tom Dixon) is the backdrop for some sophisticated sipping (like an Earlgrey MarTeani…there’s a Martini Library, of course). Or get a take-away picnic hamper to enjoy in the park, mere steps away (think homemade crisps, English cheddar, “Jersey Royal” potato salad, berry and pistachio trifle…). I chose to stay in and sample one of London’s microbrews from the mini-bar (while watching that rugby match…).
A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World network and the Mr & Mrs Smith collection, this hideaway off Hyde Park makes a rather stylish base in London—one that feels like you could be living the charmed life of an in-the-know Londoner, if only for a few days. Φ