Finding the perfect hotel for a staycation has to have one of two things – a great location or a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere. If you can find both, you are winning and should book straight away. This weekend, I took a staycation with my husband in central London in the newly-launched 4-star Amba Hotel Marble Arch, which is literally a stone’s throw away from Oxford Street, Selfridges and Hyde Park. I actually don’t think you can find a closer hotel to all the shopping action, which makes it perfect for picking up those last minute Christmas presents.
We stayed in an executive king room, which was very spacious for such a centrally-based hotel, I loved that as well as the giant bed, I do love a cosy hotel bed, it also had a lounge area to relax in. The room also came stocked with free snacks and soft drinks, which is pretty nice, as well as a Nespresso machine, perfect for a caffeine pick-me-up in the morning, and each room also has free wifi, a Smart TV and in-room iPad where you can basically request anything you’ve forgotten, which came in handy when I realised that I had left my toothbrush at home. Another plus point for our room had to be the bathroom, not only did it have a great size bath, sadly I didn’t have time to soak in it, there was also a relaxing rainfall shower, which was a great wake-up.
The only downside to our room was the unappealing view. I’m a sucker for a great view, and if you stay in the Amba Hotel Marble Arch I would suggest requesting a room overlooking Oxford Street, especially at this time of year with the Christmas decorations looking so beautiful. I think the noise of the busy shopping area would have been well worth it for the view. I would also suggest turning off your fridge before you go to bed unless you have something perishable in it, as we didn’t and it scared us to death at 2am grumbling so loudly. I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels, all had mini-bars and I have never put up with noise that bad before.
Breakfast is always a highlight for me when I stay in hotels, I love to pick-n-mix, and the offering at the Amba Hotel Marble Arch was pretty good. Served in the hotel’s The Grill restaurant, it offers a hot and cold buffet featuring an endless supply of cereals, pastries, fresh fruit, juices, cold meats, as well as the traditional hot breakfast items, pancakes, and a chef ready-and-waiting to prepare you a made-to-order omelette, a highlight for me. The only downside is that this hotel has nearly 700 rooms, that’s a lot of people, and it was very busy when we went down at 9am, so you end up waiting a while for your table, to order your omelette, and I had to ask more than once for a bowl for the fruit, in the end, I gave up and used a giant plate. Overall the food was pretty nice and there is a lot to choose from, I like the fact you can request vegetarian sausages.
We used our central London staycation as a chance to do a little shopping, how can you not when it’s seconds away from Selfridges. The hotel is so close to the three main shopping streets – Oxford Street, New Bond Street, and Regent Street, as well as the cute St Christopher’s Place and Carnaby Street it can be a little dangerous on your bank balance, but so, so convenient. That’s why the location for the Amba Hotel Marble Arch makes it a great place to stay for a shopping staycation.
What I would say is this isn’t a hotel for more than a two-night stay, for longer I would want something a little more comfortable, but for a busy shopping trip, meeting with friends for dinner, seeing the sights of London, or like we did a festive tour of all the gorgeous Christmas decorations then it makes for a great base.