Matt Vines

Ham Yard Hotel

London

by: Matt Vines

  • Why

    Work

  • When

    December 2015

  • Who

    My partner, who was also coincidently in town for work.

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Highs + Lows

  • The public spaces. There are so many and they all have a buzzy tranquility about them. The library and the drawing room are the places for chilling out and reading, and the conservatory for getting some work done in natural daylight.

  • The overall generosity and warmth. Order a coffee, they bring you a mince pie (it was December or that might have been a bit strange). All the bathroom amenities are very generous sizes. There is nothing at all stingey about this hotel.

  • The attention to detail. The service and quality is a big thing that separates the luxury hotels from the new explosion of ‘cool’ hotels. Small things, such as a box of Ham Yard drawing pencils left in the room accompanied by a note about an art exhibition you might like to check out, or at turn down time how the the chamber maids left a little atomizer containing the hotels signature room scent for you to take home, made the hotel and the experience feel special.

  • All the other extras. As well as a bowling alley and a cinema, the hotel is home to a small number of great little boutiques, notably the flagship London outposts of two of Australia’s home grown luxury brands, Jac + Jack and Dinosaur Designs.

  • No real fires. The hotel has some really beautiful fireplaces, but there was no wood burning when I was there. It was winter, it was almost Christmas – I wanted fire.

  • The London weather meant the hotel’s roof top terrace, which has amazing views over Soho (which I was 100% planning to Instagram) was off limits.

: 47/50
  • Design

  • Website

  • Life Changing

  • Environmental Consciousness

  • Overall Value

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Stealable Stuff

  • Refer a Friend

Important Bits

  • Type

    Boutique luxury.

  • Vibe

    Like being at the home of a successful and welcoming interior designer friend. It’s full on colour clashing prints everywhere you look, which is not my normal vibe, but it works here.

  • Location

    Could not be a more central location, situated down a very quiet side street that I didn’t know existed until the hotel opened there.

  • Rooms

    91 hotel rooms & suites and 24 hotel apartments.

  • Music

    Nothing noticeable – which is a good thing.

  • Year Opened

    Early 2015

  • Designed By

    The very colorful ‘more is more’ aesthetic of Ham Yard is the work of its co-owner Kit Kemp, who is an internationally acclaimed interiors expert and designer. She’s designed everything from the fabrics to the wallpaper, and also found the time to write a couple of books on the subject.

  • Pool/Gym

    The hotel has a full spa and treatment center, plus great little gym with personal trainers available on request and a special ‘Hypoxic’ studio – a space that advances stamina by simulating the lack of oxygen experienced training at high altitude. Or more appropriately given the hotel’s location, the London Underground…

  • Restaurant

    There is a restaurant and it was always pumping. I didn’t make dinner but ate breakfast in the hotel twice and it was delicious, with all the subtle differences you notice in luxury hotels vs other hotels. A small example that stood out being that ’fruit’ for breakfast at Ham Yard meant generous bowls of all different berries, fresh mango, figs etc. ‘Fruit’ in a lot of hotel’s usually means a bowl of chopped up apple and melon in some kind of cold sugary liquid. They also asked how well scrambled I wanted my scrambled eggs scrambled. No one has ever asked me that before.

  • Bar

    There is definitely a bar, I counted at least three. The ceiling-high orange juicer that rollercoasters down two levels to the basement bar is probably the worlds most instagram’d juicer, and for good reason.

  • Minibar

    A very thoughtfully curated selection of high quality booze and snacks, as well as some of the hotel’s own brand of ‘Rik Rak’ products such as the scented candles, that fill the hotel with an aroma best described as both ‘expensive and relaxing.’

  • Wifi

    Yes, fast and free in rooms and public spaces.

  • Children

    Leave them at home.

  • Price

    It’s not cheap, but London isn’t cheap. Rooms start about 380 (UK pounds per night). We had room number 316, which is the luxury junior suite category (around 550 UK pounds a night) and was such a nice room that we canceled dinner plans and had room-service cheeseburgers in bed instead.

In the Area

The first time I visited the hotel earlier this year was to bring my mum there for afternoon tea for her birthday, followed by dinner at one of my favorite Italians, Bocca di Lupo, which is just across the street. She told my Godmother how much she enjoyed both places, so on this trip I got the Godmother over for her birthday with the same itinerary, which she also loved. Killing it.

Invite guests to the hotel, and then take them for classy Italian

12 Archer St, Soho, London W1D 7BB, UK

The first time I visited the hotel earlier this year was to bring my mum there for afternoon tea for her birthday, followed by dinner at one of my favorite Italians, Bocca di Lupo, which is just across the street. She told my Godmother how much she enjoyed both places, so on this trip I got the Godmother over for her birthday with the same itinerary, which she also loved. Killing it.

Nowhere outside of India does Indian food like London, and nowhere in London does Indian food like Dishoom, hence the massive queues. Go early, go with friends, and go hungry. The food is exceptional, as are their cocktails. Try the 1948 sour, a very good new take on a classic whisky sour.

Go to dinner at Dishoom

12 Upper St Martin's Ln, London WC2H 9FB, UK

Nowhere outside of India does Indian food like London, and nowhere in London does Indian food like Dishoom, hence the massive queues. Go early, go with friends, and go hungry. The food is exceptional, as are their cocktails. Try the 1948 sour, a very good new take on a classic whisky sour.

One of the best small independent galleries in London, known for nurturing the careers of new and interesting artists and exhibiting them alongside acknowledged nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century photographic masters.

Visit the Michael Hoppen Gallery in Chelsea

3 Jubilee Pl, Chelsea, London SW3 3TD, UK

One of the best small independent galleries in London, known for nurturing the careers of new and interesting artists and exhibiting them alongside acknowledged nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century photographic masters.

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Ham Yard Hotel

1 Ham Yard, Soho, London, UK

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