The Prince Akatoki London Hotel Review

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4

The Prince Akatoki London Hotel

The Prince Akatoki hotel in London, England

Ben Carpenter

What We Like
  • Modern, sleek design

  • Calm atmosphere

  • Central location near Oxford Street shops and Hyde Park

  • Smart TVs and Bluetooth audio speakers

  • Japanese TOTO Washlet toilets

What We Don't Like
  • Restaurant service is hit-or-miss

  • Street noise can be loud in guest rooms

  • The bar and restaurant don't offer many non-alcoholic drink options

Bottom Line

Although the service needs some improvement, The Prince Akatoki is a well-designed hotel with memorable guest rooms.

4

The Prince Akatoki London Hotel

The Prince Akatoki hotel in London, England

Ben Carpenter

The Prince Akatoki London set its sights on transforming the British hotel experience. The London property, previously The Arch London, was purchased by Japan's Prince Hotels group in 2018 and has since re-opened as a stylish, modern hotel that embraces Japanese values and aesthetics. Set on a quieter side street near Marble Arch, Hyde Park, and Oxford Street, the hotel is comprised of seven Georgian Grade-II-listed townhouses and two mews homes (which are stables or carriage houses with accommodations above). The new look was crafted by B3 Designers, founded by Mark Bithrey, and the team has given this building a sleek and contemporary facelift that pays homage to Japanese design. The atmosphere is airy and tranquil, as seen in the minimalist style of the lobby and the guest rooms.

The Prince Akatoki's super power is its private location and intimate atmosphere. Secluded yet within walking distance to numerous attractions, there's a sense of respite once you step inside. The chic decor and Japanese restaurant are likely best suited to adult travelers, but overall it's a great addition to the London hotel scene.

The lobby of the Prince Akatoki hotel in London, England

Courtesy of The Prince Akatoki

The Lobby

Entering The Prince Akatoki is like stepping into another world. The lobby space is relatively compact, but it's quiet, relaxing, and smells like a spa. The Japanese influence is apparent as soon as guests check-in at one of three desks, and there is a comfortable sitting area located adjacent to the check-in area. While the lobby wasn't busy during my stay, it's easy to imagine guests wanting to spend time there. Opposite the check-in desks is a workspace with a large communal table. The space is intended to provide guests with somewhere to work outside their room, and it's well-equipped with outlets and good lighting. The front desk team is very responsive to requests— they delivered a toothbrush to my room in less than five minutes—however there was sometimes a lack of friendliness that might be off-putting.

Other Public Spaces

The hotel gym, located on the lower floor, is small but well-equipped, with an abundance of weights and cardio machines. Guests can help themselves to towels, free bottled water and juice, and there's a stretching area that feels like a mini yoga studio. The gym is open 24 hours a day, which is ideal for travelers who are jet-lagged or on a busy schedule. There are unfortunately no spa services on-site, as one might expect in a Japanese-style hotel, but the gym is a great find in a central London property.

Guest room at the Prince Akatoki hotel in London, England

Courtesy of The Prince Akatoki

Rooms

In a city where hotel rooms can be cramped and dark, The Prince Akatoki's 82 guest rooms and suites are a welcome departure from the norm. The smallest category of rooms, a Superior room, is 226 square feet (21 square meters), but feels larger thanks to the pale wood and white decor. I stayed in an Executive Junior Suite, which features a sitting area and a more expansive floor plan, but all the rooms have a similar style. Several of the bigger suites can be found on the basement level, but are surprisingly bright and have a quiet patio attached (a very unique feature in a London hotel room). Many of the suites can be connected, which is a nice touch for families traveling together.

The rooms are stocked with amenities, including a coffee maker, tea kettle, Bluetooth audio speaker, yoga mat, slippers, and a smart TV equipped with casting abilities. The evening turndown service offers an additional touch, where guests are presented with chamomile tea and Japanese yukata robes. The fridge and mini bar include snacks, bottled water, soft drinks, juice, and alcoholic options, and the non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary. The free Wi-Fi is fast and easy to access and each side of the bed has electrical outlets and reading lamps located conveniently for guests.

Because the hotel is located on a neighborhood street, there are unfortunately no real views from the guest rooms. However, the room design helps make up for that with clever touches like a row of panels behind the bed showcasing a sun rising over a mountain. In general, the guest rooms are the best aspect of The Prince Akatoki and are very pleasant to spend time in.

Bathroom

While the guest rooms have been completely renovated, the bathrooms are a hold-over from The Arch. Decorated with dark wood paneling and black marble, the bathrooms feel upscale, if a little dated. Guests will welcome the rain showers and large bathtubs, which have built-in TVs, and the suites have their own TOTO Washlet toilet to complete the Japanese theme (the other guest rooms will get similar toilets in the coming year). The best perk of the bathroom is the toiletry selection of Malin + Goetz, a chic product line I am always thrilled to discover in a hotel room. Fluffy robes hang on the back of the door, and there is a large, well-lit makeup mirror at the ready.

The Malt Bar in The Prince Akatoki in London, England

Courtesy of The Prince Akatoki

Food & Drink

In keeping with the Japanese aesthetic, The Prince Akatoki's restaurant, TOKii, serves a selection of Japanese dishes for lunch and dinner. The menu includes sushi and sashimi, made by hand by the chef at their sushi bar, as well as hot stone wagyu, and grilled skewers. I went for dinner and ordered a large selection of dishes, including sushi, which was notably good. The prices are comparable to other Japanese restaurants around London. Dinner for two came to 177 pounds for food and hot tea. The restaurant's atmosphere and design are very nice, but the service has issues. Despite being only one of three tables seated in the entire restaurant, we constantly had to flag down servers and were frequently left with dirty dishes sitting on our table. At the end of the meal, it took more than 20 minutes to get the bill. However, at breakfast the next morning, the service was much better, so it seems to be hit or miss depending on who is on shift when you dine.

Down the hall from TOKii, guests will discover The Malt Lounge & Bar, a cozy, well-appointed bar with a fireplace and comfortable seating. The bar focuses on premium Japanese and international whisky, as well as Japanese sake, and those looking for something rare will likely find it on the shelves. The cocktail menu is creative, but it lacks any non-alcoholic cocktail options, which can feel exclusionary for guests. During the day, the bar transforms into a tearoom, where afternoon tea is offered daily. The afternoon tea menu features Japanese-inspired treats and sandwiches alongside a very good selection of tea, including several types of green tea from Jing. When I went in after dinner the bartender was very polite and made me a custom non-alcoholic cocktail, even though it wasn't on the menu.

Fees & Other Info

Breakfast at TOKii is included in the room rate, which is a nice perk. Visitors can select between several menu options, including a traditional Japanese breakfast. The hotel charges 65 pounds for an extra cot bed and 15 pounds for a baby cot.

TOKii offers a sushi masterclass on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 3 p.m. For two people, the experience costs 150 pounds.

I would stay here again!

The Prince Akatoki's rooms are a relaxing respite away from the busy streets of London, and the amenities are very good. For a central location that doesn't feel overwhelming, the hotel is an excellent pick, particularly for solo travelers and couples.

Specs

  • Price $650.00
  • Color The Prince Akatoki London Hotel
  • Address 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London, UK, W1H 7FD
  • Number of Rooms 82
  • Security Deposit (Upon Check-In) 100 pounds
  • Neighborhood Marble Arch
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