Always fascinated by London’s hustle and bustle during weekdays, I still enjoy coming back to the city during weekends for fun, shopping or just time away soaking all the things happening around the town.
Fortunately, there are gems of tranquillity tucked in the city itself that provide for a quick fix of luxury and pampering, perfect for a weekend away.
Recently, I had the pleasure of taking time off and visiting one such place near the famous Marble Arch – The Arch, London, a five-star boutique hotel. Situated near the district of Marylebone, one can easily walk to the area to visit the independent boutique stores there. The hotel is also at walking distance from the ever-bustling Oxford Street, making the hotel a perfect resting point for both tourists and locals, alike.
The structure represents a true symbol of British architecture and grandeur spread across 55,000 sq. ft. The boutique hotel was born from knocking down two hotels and a row of mew homes, and combining two Georgian houses to erect an edifice of luxury with British heritage.
One of the characteristics that set the hotel apart from the myriad hotels in the city, is its support and representation of art. The team has taken great care to display a specially curated collection of pieces by upcoming artists, giving them a platform to showcase their talent.
Right from the entrance, across the corridors of the hallways and to the rooms, the walls of the structure are lined with spectacular pieces of different genres, themes, and mediums. There are some notable pieces to be mentioned and spotted in the building as you walk around and soak the atmosphere
However, the most eye-catching and noteworthy pieces are, in fact, the hand-painted wallpapers in each bedroom. Each room is adorned by a different hand-painted wallpaper, giving it a unique identity different from the others.
I am no art connoisseur but I am definitely an admirer of the beautiful creations and various stories mounted upon the walls at The Arch, London. The estate houses 82 luxurious rooms and suites equipped with modern amenities paired with the comfort of a Georgian home and nostalgia of British architecture.
We had the opportunity to stay at the lavish Sullivan Studio Suite – just the oasis of indulgence and serenity I was seeking.
The suite includes a spacious room featuring plush sofa and chair seating and a large flat-screen television as a lounging section, where I could put my feet up and unwind with my favourite show and a steaming cup of Jing Tea from the mini-bar. The King size bed, dressed in soft linen and decadent fabrics, made me sink into comfort and deep slumber.
The art in the suite itself was also striking. The floral hand printed wallpaper featured nuances of white strokes on a pale gold background and other pieces of modern art dotted on the other walls, adding a sense of magnificence to the room and bringing it to life. However, the piece de résistance of the Sullivan Studio Suite for me was a high-ceiling glass double door entrance into my private courtyard – a rare offering and site to otherwise find in the bustling city of London.
We ordered for breakfast in room to enjoy a lazy and laid back vacation morning before getting back to the reality of the city. This room was an ideal spot to get a taste of luxury while not too far from the city’s buzz – a true experience of a home away from home.
The rooms and art at The Arch are not the only attractions of the hotel. The food at their restaurant – Hunter486 was sumptuous and made for the perfect setting for date night.
It was an indulgent three-course meal paired with the most exquisite wines suggested to us from the list presented.
For entrees, we ordered the Salmon and Gilt Bream Ceviche with Dill Crème Fraiche – a burst of cool and fresh flavours best for springtime and Chargrilled Spring Vegetables with Salsa Verde – a treat as colourful to the palette as it was to the eyes.
The main course was also as delectable. The Sun Blushed Tomato Polenta Fritters with Guacamole and Olive Tapenade was fit to be served at Mediterranean feast and is a complete delight for vegetarians. The English Lamb Rump with Basil Jus was a serving of juicy meat with perfect accompaniments to add extra body and flavour to each bite.
We ended our meal with a British Farmhouse Cheese Platter and a Fresh Pineapple Carpaccio and Banana Sorbet.
The food at Hunter486 is not to be missed and the restaurant also features a grand spread for breakfast.
However, the culinary experience at The Arch also extends to The Martini Library, yet another Georgian architectural room. You can book a spot here to spend our afternoon for an experience of true English high-tea with nibbles like finger sandwiches, scones, and seasonal cakes.
The hotel’s very own gymnasium is a delight to break a sweat in. The cutting edge equipment and premium machinery helped me to customize my own workout regime that was most suitable to my needs.
The Arch also boasts intimate event spaces for both corporate and social events. Be it a reception for 40 people at the Whitehall room, a private dining setting at the Martini Library or an interview or short meeting at the Study, there is a venue available for any kind of event.
Our Stay was truly an experience to remember with its exquisite gastronomy, state-of-the-art amenities, mesmerising art collections, and unbeatable Georgian ambiance and comfort. I am looking forward to my next visit here and the many stories that the walls and hallways carry.