Hidden haunts: Ham Yard Hotel
If you’ve ever wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of London, it is probable that the last place you’d think to go is Piccadilly Circus. Imagine our surprise then when we visited Ham Yard Hotel, an urban village in the heart of Soho, and found ourselves feeling well and truly rejuvenated.
Set on a three-quarter acre site that revolves around the tree filled Ham Yard and Denman Place, Ham Yard Hotel is deceptively sizeable comprising 98 individually designed suites, an airy restaurant and bar with outdoor dining, a sumptuous drawing room and library with an ‘honesty bar’, a 190 seat theatre and a ’50s style bowling alley imported all the way from Texas. Phew!
Co-owner and Creative Director for Firmdale Hotels, Kit Kemp, has absorbed the buzz of Soho to create vibrant and distinctive rooms, suites and apartments that well and truly sing. Think huge, printed headboards, crisp white linen and patterned curtains that open on a floor to ceiling view of the Ham Yard and its collection of 13 independent shops.
In keeping with the rest of Ham Yard Hotel, there are extraordinary details in every corner including driftwood crocodiles, fabric-covered walls for tactility, a beautifully back-lit bathroom and, of course, a well-stocked bar with everything from Vita Coco to Berocca for a touch of wellness. Though the Ham Yard Hotel is decidedly a 5* hotel in every sense of the word, there is no pretence or pomp and it is a pleasure to visit.
With an extensive breakfast menu that gives guests the opportunity to create and combine, think chilli beans on toast, house-glazed ham and rarebit poached eggs, the menu at Ham Yard Hotel focuses on fresh, clean flavours to complement a rich continental buffet of pastries (gluten-free also available), parfaits and fruit. We let go to our impulses and enjoyed freshly baked banana bread from the table followed by a deconstructed smoked salmon and avocado bagel.
With floor to ceiling doors and a terrace offering a further 50 seats, it’s ever so easy to while away the hours at Ham Yard Hotel over a coffee and the Sunday newspapers.
Find yourself at Ham Yard Hotel in the evening, pay a visit to the Dive Bar for a drink at the zinc-topped bar beside the baby grand piano, neon signs and specially commissioned 30ft tall orange squeezer.
Ham Yard Hotel is home to Firmdale’s first SOHOLISTIC spa. A calm whitewashed space, it offers three treatment rooms including a luxury nail salon, a steam room made of white marble with fibre optic lights and a relaxation area.
Stamped with Kit Kemp’s signature style, the Soholistic Nail Bar brings Firmdale’s trademark use of colour to nails using the latest range from our favourites, Opi. Opt for an express 30-minute manicure for just £30 and leave feeling anything but rushed.
Located one floor beneath Ham Yard, it’s easy to forget you’re in London at all with the addition of pebbles, shell-mirrors sources from France and an elephant-shaped water fountain all the way from India.