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One Day In, We Look Around Firmdale's London Ham Yard Hotel

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  Site Where: 1 Ham Yard, London, United Kingdom, W1D 7DT
June 2, 2014 at 9:55 AM | by | ()

True to its word, Firmdale Hotels opened its new Ham Yard Hotel yesterday, and just 24 hours later we stepped through the front door to get a closer look at the group’s latest London – and overall flagship – hotel.

We’re still digesting everything we saw mere hours ago, from a number of the 91 bedrooms and suites to Ham Yard restaurant, the screening room and the pretty awesome underground bowling alley. We’ll start with a tour of the public spaces, which, like the entire hotel, are filled to the brim with Kit Kemp’s eclectic collection of art, objets, fabrics, patterns, and furniture.

Main access to the hotel is just off of Great Windmill Street, which indeed has a small driveway for cars and taxis to pull up to the front entrance. We love that a bit of green was introduced to this tightly packed area, with the courtyard being surprisingly quiet given that Piccadilly Circus’ neon extravaganza is just a block away.

Light hardwood floors flow throughout the ground floor areas, with reception to your right as you walk in, opposite an ornamental fireplace flanked by these two bold blue and yellow high-backed chairs.

Turn right and walk past reception for the guest-only Library, which – like a library should be – is filled with a hand-selected range of books that are not just for show: guests are encouraged to browse and read. An honesty bar enables you to make your own coffee or mix your own cocktail.

An immediate left as you walk in takes you through a short hallway into Ham Yard Restaurant and Bar, with the restaurant spilling out onto a terrace in the courtyard.

The menu will change with the seasons and focus on fresh British produce.

If you’ve been to the Soho Hotel or the Crosby Street Hotel, you’ll recognize the bar design; though we think this might be the largest of them all.

It’s a large space, but cleverly separated into distinct areas to make it feel cozy, with some beautiful art displayed throughout. Work on the Orangerie was still ongoing.

At the far end is the entrance to the Drawing Room, which is another space for hotel guests to relax (there’s an honesty bar here too), but as a non-guest you can have afternoon tea. Though it might not look that way from a distance, or in a photograph for that matter, the walls and pillar are covered in fabric. We loved the lighting fixture of the three sailboats.

As much as there is to see on the ground floor, a whole world is hiding underneath. This is a shot from the balcony that opens up to the bar area that serves the 188-seater screening room and meeting rooms. And yes, that is a giant 8-loop slide filled with oranges on the left. Fresh juice anyone?

Maybe our favorite part was the four-lane bowling alley, complete with bowling balls imported from Texas. Predominantly a private event space, it comes with a large bar area and even a dance floor. We’re just hoping there will be the possibility to book a few lanes separately as well; we’d be first in line.

Next up, we’ll take you upstairs into the bedrooms and out to the roof terrace.

Rates at Ham Yard start around 380 GBP a night but that does include WiFi, thank you very much. [Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]

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