Amba Hotel Marble Arch
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Why all the Hating??
"Our four night stay at the Thistle was great. Excellent location, nice sized room for europe. our fifth floor room faced oxford street and had a big comfy bed. If i had complaints i would say the room service food sucked and the houskeeping staff did not respet the do not disturb sign. We wanted the room left alone and left the do not disturb light on and came back to find the light off and the room cleaned. Service at any cost i guess, so if you don't want anything messed with, lock it in the provided safe. None of our things were missing, but if i leave do not disturb that means don't come in, even if I'm not there, LEAVE! But i guess they don't see it that way. Overall an excellent hotel where i would enjoy staying again."
- Travel date: Mon 4th of April 2005
You Can Do Much Better
"This is a large hotel that specializes in groups to fill its 400+ rooms. As a result, it is not surprising to experience lines at registration or to find the elevators too full to enter. It has poor services for business travellers charging 15 pounds per day for Internet and 1.50 pound for 800 telephone calls. Its location is convenient to Oxford Street shopping and the Marble Arch tube. However, it is not a great location for restaurants or the theatre. The service is below par as the employees seem often overwhelmed. This is not an inexpensive hotel - you can do much better in London finding a friendlier and better located hotel."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of March 2005
Excellent room in perfect location--I will return!
"The Thistle Marble Arch is right on Oxford street in the heart of London, within walking distance of Buckingham Palace and many other sights. The many double-decker busses that stop in front of the hotel will take you almost anywhere you want to go. The "tube" is 1-2 blocks away.
We stayed for six nights in early March 2005. Our room, overlooking Oxford street, was immaculate! Due to the double-glazed windows, traffic noise was not much of a problem.
The hotel does have two negatives--neither one critical. First, it is large, so you will walk a bit to your room. Second, since it is on busy Oxford street, with no room for taxis to stop, the entrance had to be placed on the "back" side (Bryanston Street). And the lobby is up a long escalator ride to the second floor, since the entire ground floor is given over to stores. So you walk a bit more.
Once there, the lobby is pleasant, but more serviceable than luxurious.
We paid 20 pounds per day for an upgrade to an executive room, and it was worth it. The upgrade included a large and attractive buffet breakfast that had virtually everything, even sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, and fresh fruit. A very pleasant way to start the day. And our room, as stated above, was attractive and immaculate, with marble in the bath.
The hotel has two bars, including the Art Deco "Glenn Miller" Bar, which was pleasant.
We were surprised at first to find two single beds (not double), but the mattresses were firm and comfortable. Bedding included attractive duvets, as found in finer hotels. Housekeeping was excellent.
Since we got our room on Priceline at an excellent price, we would have had to pay about three times as much to get anything significantly better. I would be delighted to return to this hotel the next time I'm in London, and plan to do so."
- Travel date: Wed 16th of March 2005
GREAT hotel, GREAT value!
"Okay, so we got a SUPER cheap rate on Priceline (which isn't hard if you're willing to put in the research), and feared for the worst when I saw some of the reviews on this site, but was more than pleasantly surprised when we arrived... the check-in line did take a bit of time (about 20 minutes), but we got chatty with a really nice clerk who gave us an upgrade to a "better" room (not sure what the inferior room was, but maybe that's what the previous reviewers got), along with a few vouchers for a FULL English breakfast (and who needs more than one of those per trip to London - urp!).
Anyway, rooms was very clean, beds and bedding were comfy (and FIRM, instead of saggy like many European beds i've experienced), housekeeping did a great job every day, and extra towels were supplied quickly upon request. Even though the room faced busy Oxford Street, the windows were doubled, which kept the room very quiet. The heating and cooling system worked fine (always seems to be a problem with me) and the bathroom was big and clean. The shower didn't have the best water pressure, but that's pretty standard in the U.K. (and I've had MUCH worse, even at expensive London hotels!)
There was a small minbar fridge that was already emptied, so we bought cheap drinks and nibbles at the numerous local stores. There are also two locations of Pret-A-Manger nearby for delicious coffee and breakfst treats if you don't feel like splashing out on room service (and who does these days with the dollar being so weak!).
As mentioned in other reviews, the location at Marble Arch is GREAT, especially for buses to just about everywhere (and a bus pass good until 4:30 am is only Â£3.00 a day -- good for those late night pub/club hops!)
As I've said in the past, it pays to be pleasant to the staff at your hotel, especially the front desk clerk! Don't be a stereotypical grumpy and demanding American; you catch more flies with honey than vinegar! Happy travels!"
- Travel date: Fri 11th of March 2005
This IS a good hotel
"Staying here means staying literally in the heart of London...right slap bang in the thrust of it !
The hotel is big - 700 rooms - so dont come for high level personal service. The size and volumes they must do here means that sometimes some people are going to be disappointed - and for sure there will be queues for breakfast if you decide to come down late...with another 600 people all having had the same idea !
The rooms are a really good size for London, esp as this isnt a five property - and there are many more expensive four star. And by walking around the hotel you notice there isnt that tendency for some floors to be better than others, depending on when they were redecorated...they all seemed equally good (size and decor) from what I saw...
What should one expect from a 4 star London hotel ? This one really does deliver for me. I honestly think if people dont like it, they really ran unlucky or are they sure they had a reasonable expectation in the first place ? I'm happy to tell people I stay here, and happy to have people meet me there when I am in London...it's a smart hotel and gives a good impression."
- Travel date: Fri 4th of March 2005
I thought it was quite nice!
"The Thistle Marble Arch didn't disappoint me at all. It was just what I expected. The rooms were very large, and clean, the bed was comfortable, and my accommodation felt more like an apartment. The windows were double glazed, and quiet even though there was construction going on across the street. They do vary in size, so perhaps I'm a lucky guy. The location was excellent, a block from Hyde Park, 1 block from a tube station, and around the corner from Oxford Street shopping.
The service can be a bit impersonal, though keep in mind, the hotel has 700 rooms. It's a better option for a self sufficient traveler who can explore and find dining options on their own, and know how to book theater tickets and work their way through a city. If you do need help, such as when I arranged transportation to the airport, the staff is generally helpful and personable. When in a large hotel, there will occasionally be waits at the front desk/concierge, especially considering some of the demanding guests I've overheard while in line.
My only "gripe" about the hotel (which is large and occupies a full city block), is there are only 4 passenger elevators which are located in a corner of the building; this can mean a long walk to them depending on where you are. In this case, I had a bit of luggage for an extended stay.
The Thistle Marble Arch is a nice hotel if you know what to expect. It's no Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons (and I've stayed in enough of those to recognize the difference), but a good convenient value for a visitor. I would stay again. If you stay here, will probably enjoy your visit unless you are expecting the Ritz or the Dorchester."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of March 2005
Perfect Hotel Experience
"I went to London for the 1st time in March/2003 with my girl friend at the time and this hotel was included in our American Airlines Vacation package. We didn't know what to expect! We were very happy with it.
LOCATION: perfect! Right on Oxford Street (lots of stores there) with easy access to the tube and many bus lines. You have Hyde Park within walking distance, and you can even walk to Picadilly Circus stopping at various stores (we did that a few times).
FOOD: in our package continental breakfast was included, so we ate breakfast there everyday. Nothing special, but a variety of fruits, juices, and breads. We also had a 2-4-1 coupon for dinner at the hote's restaurant. We ate there once, the food was descent, but a bit pricey. Worked out ok because we had the coupon.
FACILITY: Hotel lobby and bar looked very nice, clean and welcoming.
ROOM: Stadard small room (we were in a budget package), but clean with a nice bathroom, and it was cleaned everyday. It also had a coffe maker and tea!
STAFF: No problems, very helpfull.
I hope this review helps somebody! Boa Viagem!"
- Travel date: Thu 24th of February 2005
Terrible, Over-priced Stay
"Well where do I start. I was spending some time in London with my boyfriend over my birthday in November & intended on doing lots of shopping, so we thought this to be a great place to stay, what with being right on Oxford Street!! I cannot complain about the location as this was great!
Unfortunately, when we attempted to check in they said they could not find our reservation in which case someone higher up had to come & give them a helping hand to get it for us.
Then in the room, at first glance everything seemed good until we noticed the windows were slightly unclean & one unable to shut! The bathroom was also small & exceptionally not looked after.
As well as this the next morning we realised on our floor there was work going on right outside our window & the floor above so our view was green mesh & the noise woke us up. If we weren't only staying for a couple of nights we would have requested a better room but it wasn't worth the hassle!
After getting used to this, one night after a busy day we were shattered & decided on room service from their '24 hour' menu. Well, unless you like curry after 11 or ice cream there isn't much left to choose from. Finally we settled on 2 baguettes, another problem occured with this choice. They did not have baguettes left, only bread & they didn't have 2 of the fillings! We did speak to the F&B manager who was very helpful & prompt. Success!!
The last horrible reminder, when we were packing to leave I did my usual routine check of the room to make sure i didn't leave anything. Whilst having a look under the bed we found an opened condom wrapper - NOT belonging to us!! Yuk!
I must say though, even if I was desperate to shop & wanted to stay near I would not stay at this hotel. It is over priced for the service & accomodation that you get!"
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of February 2005
Nice and friendly Hotel
"The hotel is located just off Oxford Street, not far from Selfridges. I have to say its a good location for if you want to do shopping in london. The hotel is clean and comfortable, and the staff are friendly and helpful. The rooms are a little on the small side, but you cannot expect much more for a hotel located in the heart of London. The downside to this hotel is if your staying over a weekend, expect a long wait outside the breakfast room. We had a 20 min wait before being seated. This is due to the volume of guests. Over all I would stay at this hotel again."
- Travel date: Fri 18th of February 2005
WORST hotel I have EVER stayed at - UNSANITARY
"Where do I begin. The room was extreemly unsanitary. The mattress was so old that my back was resting at the bottom of the matress with a few springs popping into my back. The walls are paper thin. I had to sleep to the loud snore of two compeating neighboors. The breakfast is a joke - it was really bad and made me sick. The people at the concierge desk are terrible. The line was 40 min. long and they had no good ideas, they kept sending us to the Middle East town next door for food when there was so much more close by. THERE ARE MUCH BETTER OPTIONS OUT THERE THAN THIS HOTEL. DON'T DO IT. ITS A REAL DUMP."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of February 2005
Stayed for 1 night in the Thistle Marble...
"Stayed for 1 night in the Thistle Marble Arch on Business. Hotel is in a great location for Oxford Street Shopping and the bars and restaurants of St Christopher's Place.
Hotel is very big (takes a while to find your room), but when you do it's very spacious for central London. Large double room, lots of wardrobe space, even had a sofa in my room and a large bathroom. Room was very nice, no complaints.
After a bit of shopping, I had some room service - which was surprisingly good value for money for central London. Initially thought the portions might be small, given the prices - but ended up with far too much food and they even sent me a complimentary bottle of water.
The buffet breakfast was reasonable, lots of food and again good value in a very nice hotel. The hotel was quite busy when I was there - given it was Xmas.
Overall I'd recommend, either for business or for a break in the city. The tube is very close and therefore it's easy access for any sightseeing you may want to do in the capital."
- Travel date: Wed 12th of December 2007