This hotel is perfect if you have a lot of running around town to do. The Arch is only a short walk from the transport hub of Marble Arch yet also sufficiently distant to be quiet and relaxed. To the north lies Bryanston Square, a private park with fine trees, while southward you'll find the big stores of Oxford Street and the open spaces of Hyde Park.
Spread over five floors, nearly all the rooms here offer the same facilities - so only pay more money if you want more space. Those on the first floor have high ceilings and elegant sash windows, and there are three lower-level suites that include a decked courtyard. Once inside, I find the rooms a welcome reminder that travel should be fun. There's Sky HD, an Internet radio that can get over 18,000 stations (I didn't count), a Nespresso machine, iPod dock, a TV beside the bath - plus good-sized work desks and terrific beds. The decor is colourful but not mad, with a brazen mixing of patterns and textures. And if you want a night in (and you've certainly paid quite enough to stay here) there's a complimentary DVD library of Oscar-winning movies from 1949 onwards.
With a reception desk lined with Macs and an eyecatching video wall behind this, it's abundantly clear we're in a hotel with a clear sense of now. The 'emerging artist' art on the walls is a mixed bag but there is an impressive range of lounges that could be handy for a business meeting or drink with friends - be sure to find your way to the Study and the book-filled Martini Library.
Eating and drinking
Fancy Afternoon Tea and a signature éclair in the Martini Library? A flute of Veuve Clicquot in Le Salon de Champagne? A freshly-flipped pizza cooked in the flaming wood-fired oven of the HUNter 486 restaurant? It's all good... If romance is on the agenda, check out the two semi-circular dining booths where you can dine à deux behind a shiny gauze curtain.
Work out in the well-equipped basement gym or go for a jog in Hyde Park.
Casually welcoming - the porters wear grey V-neck pullovers as if bunking off from the sixth form. As befits a five-star hotel, there is a concierge and turn-down service.
Who stays there
The Arch appeals to both business and leisure travellers and its fun lounges and bars are popular with non-residents who drop in for meetings and to socialise.
Rates generally exclude VAT and breakfast (£12.95 for Continental, £18.95 for Full English). WiFi is free, along with the soft drinks in your minibar.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Stag / hen parties
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Free WiFi and soft drinks
- Well-equipped rooms
- Super-central location
- Neighbourhood lacks character