London’s newest destination hotel opens

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    The Arch London has opened its doors to immediate acclaim as one of the capital’s most delightful and individual luxury hotels. With interiors conceived by award-winning hotel designers, RDD plc, the hotel combines contemporary London design influences with the architectural heritage of the Georgian Grade ll listed townhouses in which it is accommodated, to create a unique hotel and a glamorous new destination in the city’s West End.Entering via an elegant Portland stone portico, guests are immediately offered intriguing glimpses, through dark stained timber and glass screens, of the reception, lounge and study.

    Behind the reception desk a real time projected artscape offers a constantly changing collection of video art according to the time of day and, facing this, an electric blue wall sculpture and vivid crimson leather bench provide a counterpoint to the hypnotic quality of the video images. The study is different again with black and silver hand printed wall covering, bespoke red lacquered writing desk and a deep red and black sofa accented with black and cream geometric cushions.

    Le Salon, Bar and Kitchen restaurant areas are carefully blended together, each with their own environment and each needing to play a different role through day and evening. The areas are delineated by an array of devices, from semi-circular floor to ceiling banquettes to a dark gloss brick wine dispense for wine tasting and a pewter fronted cocktail bar designed to provide unhindered views of the cocktail-making drama.

    A procession of contrasting light fittings leads the eye through the story of the room. In Le Salon, cascading columns of lit glass rods illuminate each dining table; in the central Bar area , three large clusters of brosilicate lamps are suspended from a pressed tin ceiling casting an array of light over the bronze and mirror detailing of the bar, and, towards the kitchen, industrial-style pendants define a more down-to-earth, inclusive tone.

    The open Kitchen is part of the dining experience and the flame from its “Stone Hearth” oven can be glimpsed invitingly from the farthest corner of the room. With a dark gloss brick façade to the oven and charcoal riven tiling to the other walls, the open servery provides a dramatic backdrop to the theatre of cooking. The servery itself is finished in a bright polished stainless steel; this, together with a playful collection of hanging pots and pans creates an intriguing array of reflections.

    Among the many other delightful design features there are: brushed silver bar stools by Philippe Starck, jewel coloured Tom Dixon armchairs and a specially designed glass over bar that is layered and lit to create a misty display and give a seductive glow to the space.

    Of all the public spaces, it is the Library that is most reminiscent of a private townhouse drawing room with its charming “collectibles”. Traditionally inspired leather wing chairs are joined by a mix of contemporary furniture, including a large circular table with hand crafted silver powder coated base and dark stained timber top, and by a blend of modern and traditional light fittings. The centrepiece is the beautifully crafted martini cabinet.

    There are 82 guestrooms over six floors and 10 different design schemes. However, the reality of planning bedrooms in a series of old townhouses meant that the designers had to individually design each room to incorporate modern technology without impacting the natural charm of the carefully restored architectural detail. The ground and first floor guestrooms retain the traditional high ceilings and elegant original casement windows. Bold wall coverings and luxurious fabrics combine to create rooms with individual flair and character. Bathrooms are well appointed with granite vanity units, bevelled glass mirrors and flat screen TVs recessed above the bath.

    The Arch London has nine suites, each one unique. The ABBey 222 and SULlivan 785 have small sunken courtyards leading off the Guest Bedrooms. Each courtyard has timber decking and wall heaters.

    The WHItehall 944 meeting room includes a state-of-the-art media wall and a fully programmable colour changing lighting system to suit all occasions and events. However, located in between the two suites, it is also designed to convert easily into a large sitting room with access from one or both of the suites. When used as a lounge, the media wall‟s double 52” plasma screen installation offers a host of additional entertainment facilities including Playstation 3, Nintendo WII and full Sky HD.

    Daniel Fountain / 06.01.2010

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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