Nick and I were invited to be one of the first visitors to stay in the new Amba Hotel in Marble Arch just before Christmas.
With a location right on the biggest shopping street of London, Oxford Street, this was the perfect occasion for us to score a few last-minute presents for family and friends.
AMBA HOTEL MARBLE ARCH – LONDON, UK
The Amba Hotel Story
Amba Hotel London is a 4-star hotel previously known as Hotel Thistle Marble Arch. In 2015, the hotel was reopened under the new name after a complete renovation.
With such a central location, this hotel is perfect if you’ve only got one or two days in London, or if you’re planning on mostly going shopping. Apart from Oxford Street, which can get pretty crowded, there are some amazing side streets such the beautiful and luxurious Regent Street and the hip Carnaby.
THE TRAVEL TESTER IN ACTION
1. What does it SOUND like?
While the interior has been completely redone, it sounds like this hotel is super modern, but it was a nice surprise to find that the building still has that 30’s look and feel to it, which can be seen in the hallways and the restaurant.
In the rooms, you’ll find all the modern comfort that you might need, like a mini-bar, Nespresso-machine and kettle, big Smart TV, decent desk to work on (if you want) and even a tablet with super fast internet. Besides that, you can choose your own room when booking online and they have an app from which you can order extra services such as room service.
A nice mix of new and old, or so I thought!
2. What does it LOOK like?
When you enter the building, you ascent a futuristic-looking escalator and end up in an open space with white check-in desks.
I checked in alone during the daytime, because Nick was still at work, and received a friendly welcome by the staff. Luckily, my room was all ready to go and I could do a bit of a sneak peek before Nick arrived and jumped all over the bed!
3. What does it TASTE like?
Amba has a restaurant (The Grill), where they also serve breakfast, a deli and a bar that’s open to late. Of course you can also order room service, or finish your day of shopping with a traditional Afternoon Tea!
We only went for dinner really late in the evening, so the restaurant was pretty empty and not very lively, but we also enjoyed the extensive breakfast buffet, where it was quite busy because of the incredible amount of rooms this hotel has (almost 700!).
The buffet probably has everything you’d want for breakfast: a good variation of of bread rolls (something you don’t always see here in England), yogurt and all different types of cereals and of course a tasty English breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausages and beans -if you like them. We walked back and forth a couple of times and because we were enjoying ourselves so much, we totally forgot to take photos, oops!
4. What does it FEEL like?
We didn’t know beforehand what kind of room we would get, so when I opened the curtains, I couldn’t believe that we’d been given the best room of the building: with direct view of the main shopping street. That surely gave me all the feels! We could even see the Marble Arch from our window (and we could see straight into Primark *sound of angels singing*). From the traffic outside, we could barely hear a thing.
The rest of the hotel has rooms varying from Standard to Deluxe, all the way to Executive King rooms. They all have either a double bed or twin beds. The hotel also has wheelchair accessible rooms, rooms for families and even a couple of studio apartments with a lounge and kitchenette. There is something for everyone!
5. What does it SMELL like?
This hotel smells like adventure, as it’s so easy to venture out from here and discover the rest of London.
Marble Arch station is connected to the Central Line (red underground line), which connects you without a transfer to the huge Westfield shopping mall in Shepherd’s Bush (or the one in Stratford, which is close to where we live), the lovely boutiques and market of Notting Hill and Liverpool Street station for access to fun neighbourhoods like Shoreditch, Spitalfields and the express train to Stansted Airport.
From Bond Street station, you’re also connected to the Central Line, as well as the Jubilee Line (grey line) for a direct connection to sightseeing highlights as Westminster (Big Ben), Waterloo (London Eye and the South Bank) and London Bridge (Borough Market, London Bridge and the Tower of London).
On the Jubilee Line, you’ll get off one stop from Bond Street at Green Park for the Victoria Line (for Gatwick Airport) or the Picadilly Line (for Heathrow Airport).
These three metro lines are also part of the night tube, so even after a night out, it’s easy to get back ‘home’.
After our 5-senses test, we’re ready to answer our final (and perhaps most important) question in our Amba Hotel Review:
6. Does this hotel make us happy?
With such a historic building, I think that Amba did a great job on their refurbishment. We had a wonderful stay and the location was perfect to get some last-minute Christmas shopping in. Fun Fact: this hotel has some of the largest rooms of London’s West End (an average of 33 square meters!) and the bed are the same that are used in the residences of the Royal family. If that doesn’t get you a good night’s sleep, I don’t know what will!
VISIT AMBA HOTEL
Amba Hotel in Marble Arch London
Bryanston St, Marylebone, London W1H 7EH
Disclaimer: We were offered a stay at the Amba Hotel London Marble Arch in exchange for sharing our experience. All photos and opinions in this article are from ourselves.