In a city that, this year, has become home to more high end hotels than you can shake a stick at, you might question the need for one more.
However a stay at Firmdale’s Ham Yard Hotel – the new 91 boutique hotel located on Soho’s last undeveloped Blitz bomb site - should put that thought to rest. Building began on the development (which takes its name a neighbouring18th century pub called The Ham), more than three years ago. But trust Haute Time: Ham Yard Hotel is most definitely worth the wait.
Chances are you’ll arrive at the £100 million hotel a little later than you planned. For Ham Yard Hotel is accessed via a tree filled pedestrianised public thorough-fare that’s lined with 13 individual specialist stores – including Brazilian beach brand Frescobol Carioca and luxury Australian home ware store, Dinosaur Designs – whose shiny wares are sure to lure you in. “We wanted an urban village feel, and for people to stop and have a coffee or browse in one of the little independent shops,” says interior designer, Kit Kemp.
Should you manage to make it to your suite, further wave of happiness will wash over you. Despite being individually designed – no two rooms are alike – all are a riot of colour, pattern, texture and art for which Kemp is world renowned. They’re also luxurious and comfortable: think large elegant headboards, full length curtains and generously sized marble bathrooms stocked with Kemp’s new range of bath products, Rik Rak.
Beyond the bedrooms, there’s the Soholistic Spa (with its shell mirrors sourced from one of Kit Kemp’s favourite dealers in France) and gym – complete with a hypoxic chamber for altitude training – for those looking to shape up for summer.
The rest of us can hang out in the buzzy, Ham Yard Bar & Restaurant and enjoydishes such as Seared scallops with tempura courgette flower and Glazed candy beets with goat’s curd, mustard, orange and walnuts washed down with a Black Margarita.
Make the most of the balmy temperatures by eating and drinking al fresco – either on the hotel’s terrace or up on the charming roof top garden that offers sweeping views of the London skyline.
However if the weather refuses to play ball and reverts to type, panic not. Simply curl up in the lovely ground floor library with its honesty bar, oversized Chesterfield sofas and shelves stocked with carefully curated books by literary expert, Philip Blackwell. Or watch a film in the 190 seat theatre – we love the tangerine orange leather seats – before retiring to the Dive bar (named in honour of a 3ft neon lit lady diver that hangs on the far wall) for a nightcap under neon signs evoking a rock ‘n’ roll vibe.
But Ham Yard Hotel’s biggest headline grabber has to the bijoux 1950s bowling alley – imported pin-by-pin from Texas… Bottom line? With so much on offer, you might be booking your next stay before your first has even finished…