Our Family Fun Package stay at The Arch London Hotel
Prior to our indulgent ‘Family Fun Package’ one-night stay at The Arch London Hotel, we have had the privilege of taking our 5 and 6-year-old boys to North Cyprus, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Germany and France. This year we will be heading to North Cyprus for the third time with the kids to attend my brother’s wedding and, later in the summer, to Valencia to visit my brother-in-law and his family. So, we’d like to think that we are a well-travelled family (well, mostly in Europe) and we intend to keep the family holidays coming for the duration of the boys’ childhood (and onwards). However, where we have lacked, ironically, is holidaying in our home country, the UK. Bar one great trip to Dorset a few summers ago, we haven’t really travelled anywhere nationally where we have stayed in accommodation for at least one night. So, when we heard about The Arch London’s new Family Fun Package, we decided to treat the kids to a real VIP experience at one of the prestigious 5* hotels in London.
The Arch London Family Fun Package
The Arch London is situated right in the heart of London, Marble Arch, which is a stone’s throw away from Hyde Park, the West End and London’s top attractions. The Arch London has fast become a popular resting ground for families exploring the vibrant capital city. Taking advantage of its unrivalled location and child-friendly amenities, The Arch London devised the ultimate ‘Family Fun Package’, which starts at £390 per night. The package promises to treat little ones like VIP throughout their entire stay, offering a host of family amenities and services for children to indulge in. Upon arrival, children are gifted with a speciality Archie Bear, as well as exclusive children’s bathroom products, bathrobes and slippers waiting for them in their room. There is a large Treasure Chest filled with toys for the children to enjoy, along with a variety of books for bedtime stories and the freedom to explore the hotel’s Martini Library whilst enjoying their complimentary milk and cookies.
Families can refuel and recharge at the hotel’s stylish restaurant, Hunter 486, as young children will dine complimentary with their parents during their stay. Children-sized cutlery is provided and colouring books will be on hand to keep them entertained whilst the parents can sit back and relax.
The morning after the night before, the family will be treated to a complimentary breakfast before setting off to explore the City. The Family Fun Package accommodates up to three guests per room but connecting rooms are available upon request and special night lights, baby cots and rollaway beds are provided complimentary in the guest rooms.
Our Family Fun Package stay at the Arch
We live quite local to London, so we drove to The Arch London Hotel and had the valet park our car overnight for £40. Upon arrival, the boys were offered a welcome pack each, which included an activity book, colouring pencils and a ‘Do not disturb’ sign. They were promptly provided with the grand tour of the hotel, as well as the ability to choose the table they wanted to dine at the Hunter 486 restaurant. On the way up to our room, we were shown the Martini Library where the kids were to have their complimentary milk and cookies after dinner.
The Welbeck Suite
It was quite a walk to our room for the night, which happened to be the grandeur Welbeck room, fitted with a four-poster king-sized bed, 1 single bed and 1 futon. The room included a mini bar, complete with complimentary soft drinks (snacks and alcohol were chargeable), a coffee/tea area with a Nespresso machine and a selection of teas and Nespresso pods. A kettle was included with a teapot and even some semi-skimmed milk in the fridge.
The bathroom was enormous and very accommodating for a family of four. If I had a bathroom as large and as spa-like as this bathroom, especially with a fitted TV in the bath, then I probably would never leave my house!
But, more excitingly, a pleasant surprise was waiting for the boys in the room. Each received a welcome selection of gifts, including Archie the bear, a dressing gown, toiletries (bubble bath, shampoo and moisturiser) and slippers, as well as a lovely note from Archie welcoming the boys to the Arch.
I also received a welcome note too!
Upon closer inspection of the room, I spotted a Bluetooth radio that I could connect to my smartphone and, of course, the TV in the bathroom, which the boys were transfixed on. There was an array of travel books to enjoy as well as the complimentary staples like a sewing kit, shoe mitt and toiletries.
I set up my laptop and notepad on the large desk by the corner of the room and hooked up to the internet almost instantly. We were offered the chance to book our breakfast in advance and so I ordered two full English breakfasts for the adults and two continental breakfasts, albeit slightly smaller versions, for the kids, complete with four cold drinks and two hot drinks. I read in our Welcome Pack that the gym was open 24 hours, so I made a mental note to try and alternate my gym visit with hubby whilst the kids were in bed, in order to burn off our impending 3-course dinner. Sky HD was connected, so the kids expertly worked the TV and didn’t waste time tuning into their favourite cartoons whilst hubby and I acclimatised to the large room.
I enjoyed my Nespresso coffee whilst I wrote up some notes about the room and hubby paraded around, taking shots of the Welbeck suite. There was plenty of room for the kids to run about and they even managed to create an assault course by jumping from bed to couch to futon, as well as miraculously spreading their jigsaw puzzle everywhere at the same time.
Dinner at the Hunter 486
We headed down to dinner at around 6 pm and were welcomed with very friendly service to a lovely round table that the boys had reserved earlier.
“Hunter 486, the hotel’s restaurant and bar outlet, brings together classic glamour and timeless hospitality reflecting local colour and introducing a new dimension to London’s drinking and eating experience. This incorporates a dining area off the open plan kitchen, the Library and the Bar.” The Arch London
Hubby ordered two large glasses of the Malbec wine, a large bottle of still water, orange juice and lemonade (to satisfy my bubbly tooth).
The boys chose apple juice and a round of Margheritas, which they got to see being made in front of them.
Whilst we pondered over our starters, the wait service brought over a delicious selection of olive bread and soda bread with butter and olive oil/vinegar dips. Aidan was a huge fan of the soda bread, as was I, so I mentioned our appreciation to the lovely waitress and she responded by handing me the recipe on a piece of paper, which I did not expect. I haven’t had the chance to recreate the recipe yet, but it’s on my list of things to do.
For starters, hubby went for the Mushroom Consommé, Truffle Tortellini and, although delicious in flavour, only had 2 tortellini pasta shells in the soup. I assume this was because the Truffle Tortellini was only a starter and, in hindsight, I don’t think he could have stomached more.
I ordered the Heritage Beetroot, Lentils, Butternut Squash, Quinoa and Feta Salad, which was utterly delightful. The tang of the feta cheese teamed beautifully with the Heritage beetroot and the butternut squash, which resulted in a very refreshing starter. I have since recreated this recipe at home and it has become my favourite starter salad. The addition of avocado makes the salad complete.
The kids got to watch the Margherita pizzas being made before they were swiftly brought out, bubbling hot and ready to be devoured by the boys, which they did quite quickly. I sneaked in a slice and was pleasantly surprised with how clean and flavoursome the cheese and tomato pizza was. I could really taste the authenticity of the homemade dough and these Margheritas fared far better than the regular Domino pizza treats that the boys get once or twice a month.
For mains, hubby went for the Rose County 28 Days Aged Rib Eye Steak with French Fries, Grilled Mushrooms and Peppercorn. I ordered the Fillet of Halibut, Salsify, Orange and Chervil Butter Sauce with Roasted Veg.
I was nicely stuffed after the halibut, which was soft and tender with plenty of zing in its flavour. What’s more, I only picked out 5 fish bones! Hubby’s meat was rare and juicy, with a peppercorn bite. He also mentioned how soft the steak was when finishing off his meal and believed the meat to have been cooked well.
As uncomfortably stuffed as we all were and feeling the exhaustion setting in from the food binge, we all opted for dessert anyway, but I decided to go for the lightest option on the menu, which was the Passionfruit, Pomegranate and Mascarpone Sorbet with Sugared Almonds. Hubby decided to indulge in the Chocolate Fondant and Salted Caramel Ice Cream with Peanut Brittle. The passionfruit sorbet was delicious and I loved the Mascarpone inclusion. The orange slices around the plate really complemented the texture of the ice cream and, as uncomfortable as I was after the courses I had devoured, I still very much enjoyed this dessert. Hubby was suffering too but managed to finish his indulgent chocolate, which looked amazing. But, I think, if I had sneaked in a bite that probably would have finished me off.
The boys wanted ice cream, so they both decided to go for the Trio Ice Cream with a good helping of Hot Chocolate Sauce, which Aidan expertly smothered all over his dessert.
Aron ate his ice cream separately after realising that the sauce was dark chocolate. I noticed that Aron’s ice cream was topped with fresh cold mint leaves whilst Aidan’s was dressed with sugared oranges. I don’t remember the boys being asked about their option of topping, but, ironically, the staff had got it 100% right. Aidan loves all things citrusy and Aron is a big fan of mint.
I could not physically move after dessert to the point where I couldn’t even finish my wine. So, I asked to take my mint tea that I had ordered to the Martini Library, where the boys were to enjoy their milk and cookies like gentlemen.
Overall, we had such a great time at the Hunter 486, not only because the food was delicious, but that we actually got to take some time out to enjoy dinner uninterrupted with the whole family in a rather private area of the restaurant. Even though we were uncomfortably full, I don’t think that we will forget our special family time at the Hunter 486 for a while!
The Martini Library
The Martini Library was grandeur in its antique decor. The room reminded me of a gentleman’s lounge, where men in monocles and smoking pipes head to read their broad papers and sip their whisky nightcaps. There was a great selection of art and history books displayed on the shelves, alongside the walls. Aidan had spotted a large book all about classic cars and spent some time studying the pictures. Our after dinner chocolates and the boys’ milk and cookies arrived, along with my mint tea. I could not physically stomach any more sugar, let alone food, so I gingerly sipped my tea, as the boys eagerly anticipated the arrival of the treasure chest, which promised to be full of books, toys and games. The chest was actually sitting in the main reception area and, after an enquiry from hubby, we were advised for the trunk to not leave the reception, which we were a bit surprised about. Surely, if the treasure chest was to be enjoyed complimentary in the Martini Library as part of the Family Fun Package, along with the milk and cookies, then shouldn’t it have been readily available for use? Nevertheless, after about ten minutes or so, hubby and the Concierge emerged, lugging the treasure chest into the seating area where we were waiting and the boys wasted no time bringing out Dominoes and Connect 4, as well as some other interesting puzzle games and toys.
Our energy had depleted fast after the days’ events and it was nearing 9 pm, so we were ready to head back upstairs. It was well past the boys’ bedtime and they still needed to bath, so feeling full and uncomfortable, we all slowly headed upstairs to our new room for the night. I decided to postpone the gym visit until 6 am the next morning, 3 1/2 hours before our scheduled complimentary breakfast at 9.30am.
By the time we turned the lights off and were ready for bed, it was 10.46pm. It had been one long, yet very special day spent with my family.
I woke up at 6.30am dripping with sweat, but ready to brave the gym. I realised that the AC had been left on at a sizzling 28 degrees celsius, so I tried for about 10 minutes in the pitch black to bring the temperature down, but failed miserably and left a dark and very silent room of sleeping boys to head to the Lower Ground floor. As we were situated on the Ground Floor, I was at the gym within minutes. However, I was a little uncomfortable at passing through the main hotel reception with my scruffy gym clothes and unmade-up face and hair, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was the only person at the gym, so early in the morning. My first reaction of the gym itself was that it was quite small, so small in fact that I had felt a little boxed in. I was also quite surprised to see that the bike machine was within eye’s view of the entrance to the gym, so when people walked in, they would see you working out on the bike. This discouraged me from using the bike for privacy reasons.
Instead, I decided to circulate around the rest of the machinery, which was fully equipped with the latest Techno gym equipment. This meant that I could watch TV, listen to the radio or even play games whilst working out. I never really understood how people could play games, however, because I find myself feeling quite uncomfortable when really working a sweat. So, I stuck with using the system’s already programmed workout circuits and did ten minutes on the cross trainer via the heart rate program (designed to keep your heart rate up) and ten minutes on the treadmill that contained lots of hill climbs. I then grabbed some 5kgs and headed over to the floor area to work in some squats whilst lifting weights, before I finished off the workout with some intense ab crunches and stretching yoga. The floor area was so small that I could touch the ceiling quite easily – and I’m only five foot two inches! I could not imagine how hubby, at six feet tall, would be able to handle the floor area when he would be a good head taller than the ceiling! The rest of the room housed two treadmills, one cross trainer, one rower and a few other weight machines.
After about an hour, I grabbed a towel and a bottle of water from the shelves (these were freely available) and headed back to a dark and very silent room. I enjoyed a lovely long shower, thoroughly lavishing in the gorgeous huge shower head that made me feel like I was bathing by a waterfall. I felt great and eagerly awaited my well-earned full English breakfast that we had scheduled for 9.30am. By 9.19am the kids and hubby were up.
Our breakfast was brought up to us in two trays, one for the adults and one for the children. I was utterly ravenous and the smell from the full English had me gagging for some sustenance in the form of carbs and protein. My full English consisted of two bacon, three poached eggs (I had requested for the mushroom to be substituted for an extra poached egg), one sausage, one grilled tomato, some wholemeal and white toast, and a cup of baked beans, washed down with a cappuccino and apple juice.
Hubby’s breakfast was much the same, except that he had two black puddings (one from me because I can’t stand black pudding), mushrooms and scrambled egg.
The boys’ continental breakfast looked amazing! They enjoyed a bowl of fruit (melon, pineapple, berries), some yoghurt, jam, marmalade and wholemeal /white toast, along with a cup of Nutella, which they slathered over their toast, and an Actimel yoghurt each to wash down their mammoth breakfast.
I managed to take some time to sit down and relax with the paper while the kids watched some TV before we proceeded to pack our belongings away and head to reception for check out.
Sitting down with the Financial Times and relaxing after a gruelling workout and a hearty breakfast made me think of how invaluable it was to just take some time out and enjoy an easy life with the family. We planned to head to the Natural History Museum after check out, but because it had started raining, we decided to head back to visit the boys’ grandparents before we went back home to reality.
We took so much away with us from this one-night Family Fun Package stay at The Arch London Hotel. Not only did we get to spend some real quality time together, but we also got to just chill out a bit and be waited on hand and foot for a change. The boys really enjoyed their time at The Arch and they still have Archie bear sleeping alongside them every night.
The Family Fun Package is a great idea for families who want to enjoy a special few nights in luxury but can’t afford to go on holiday abroad. You get to enjoy all the 5* amenities at The Arch London Hotel before you set off to explore the City and you won’t be lost for choice, as there is a lot of sightseeing in London to do after breakfast.
Check out our YouTube video of our Family Fun Package stay at The Arch London Hotel here:
If you are looking to try out the Family Fun Package and you’re coming from abroad, the hotel’s Concierge can assist in arranging a car to collect you from the airport (Heathrow £95 and Gatwick is £130).
*Motherhood Diaries and family were gifted with a Complimentary Bed & Breakfast, Dinner and Drinks in return for an honest review of the Family Fun Package. All opinions are 100% our own.
*Photos and video by Preston Perfect Photography
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