Matt Vines

Ham Yard Hotel

  • Where:
  • Why:Work
  • When:December 2015
  • Who:My partner, who was also coincidently in town for work.
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Ham Yard Hotel The hotel is full of quiet nooks and corners like this.

The hotel is full of quiet nooks and corners like this.

Ham Yard Hotel The warm and welcoming library, next to reception. One of my favorite public spaces in the hotel.

The warm and welcoming library, next to reception. One of my favorite public spaces in the hotel.

Ham Yard Hotel Art in the hotel lobby. I only noticed when captioning these iPhone photos that this is actually a clock…

Art in the hotel lobby. I only noticed when captioning these iPhone photos that this is actually a clock…

Ham Yard Hotel The conservatory off the main bar – a really bright and light space, even on a grey London day, aka 95% of the time.

The conservatory off the main bar – a really bright and light space, even on a grey London day, aka 95% of the time.

Ham Yard Hotel The downstairs bar and the famous juicer – which holds 398 oranges at a time.

The downstairs bar and the famous juicer – which holds 398 oranges at a time.

Ham Yard Hotel Tasteful furniture in our room – room 316.

Tasteful furniture in our room – room 316.

Ham Yard Hotel You can’t really tell by the picture, but the bed was actually super high off the floor, which was awesome.

You can’t really tell by the picture, but the bed was actually super high off the floor, which was awesome.

Ham Yard Hotel A very boring picture that shows the care factor and attention to detail – they must have used a ruler to do that. I never thought a towel rail could make me so happy.

A very boring picture that shows the care factor and attention to detail – they must have used a ruler to do that. I never thought a towel rail could make me so happy.

Ham Yard Hotel The hotel has a two-lane bowling alley.

The hotel has a two-lane bowling alley.

Ham Yard Hotel Jolly wallpaper in the hotel corridors.

Jolly wallpaper in the hotel corridors.

Ham Yard Hotel Bronze sculpture in the hotel courtyard by British artist Tony Cragg.

Bronze sculpture in the hotel courtyard by British artist Tony Cragg.

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.

The Barometer

  • Design

  • Website

  • Environmental Consciousness

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Takeable Treats

  • Refer a Friend

  • Overall Value

  • Life Changing

Total: 47/50

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.

  • Health & Wellness

    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.’

  • 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.

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