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If you thought London’s new Ham Yard Hotel was all about the pretty looks, you’d be wrong. Or rather, it’s now there to make you pretty as well as itself, with the opening of the Soholistic Nail Bar in Ham Yard Village, the shop-filled courtyard inside the hotel.
As well as manis and pedis, Soholistic will also sell Kit Kemp’s own bath and body line, Rik Rak, which was created to celebrate the opening of the hotel. From shampoo to body lotion and linen mist to candles, here’s where to stock up for Christmas.
And if you want to shape up as well as stock up, the gym is now open to non-guests, including the hypoxic chamber, which trains you at altitude. Personal training sessions cost £60 for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you could spend that on a Kit Kemp candle and just take it easy over Christmas. That’s what’s lovely about Ham Yard – the choice is yours.
Having shown you around the public spaces at Firmdale Hotels’ new flagship Ham Yard Hotel, we’ll take the elevator up and peek inside a few of the 91 bedrooms and suites, all of which come with very individual, but very Kit Kemp, design.
As you make your way to your room, you’ll notice how the hotel twists and turns to fit in with the existing buildings around it. Hallways share the French wallpaper of flowerless plants that we saw at Dorset Square Hotel a few years ago.
Rooms range from entry-level Superior to Deluxe, with Suites continuing on from Luxury Junior to Terrace Suites. The above shot is from one of a small number of apartments that are also available. All rooms have the lovely floor-to-ceiling warehouse-style windows that led light flood in.
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.
Firmdale Hotels is so close to being ready to let us into its new flagship Ham Yard Hotel that the British Union Jack has already been raised above the entrance, in the quiet courtyard a block behind much less quiet Piccadilly Circus.
Having just walked by the hotel, things really are looking good for opening on June 1: we spotted some seating already out next to the entrance, as well as a glimpse of the Tony Cragg bronze sculpture that will be just in front (head over to Facebook to see more photos).
When we walked past Ham Yard Hotel last week, we could spot furniture behind the large factory-style windows, signalling Firmdale’s future flagship is making good progress. From the fabric on the chairs to the bold patterned curtains, there was no mistaking Kit Kemp’s style even from a distance, and now we have a whole set of images to back that up.
They come alongside a planned opening on June 1, which means we’re in the homestretch until the time we can check out the 91 bedrooms and suites, eat in the restaurant, drink at the bar, and knock over some pins in that bowling alley. Images show a number of different designs: from bold blue / yellow / white and a rich chocolate brown with gold and cream (above), to vibrant pink and purple and a more subdued grey (below). Reservations have also opened.
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Kemp states that the new 90-room property will be "all-new build similar in style to Crosby Street Hotel, with the large, warehouse-style windows rising to 15 stories". Some suites will have private terraces and facilities will include another screening room (there's already one at Crosby Street.)
We've loved the Crosby Street Hotel pretty much since it first opened back in 2010 so when we heard that London-based Firmdale Hotels was working on a second hotel for New York City, we got crazy excited.
Detes are scant but we do know that the hotel is already under construction at 20 West 56th Street, just off Fifth Avenue and just a few blocks from Central Park, not to mention Bergdorf Goodman, FAO Schwartz and The Plaza.
The Real Deal reported on hoteliers Kit and Tim Kemp's lease signing for the property back in February yet we're still waiting on more details about the rooms (how many?), the amenities (will there be an uptown screening room and film club?) and most importantly, the opening date (late 2014?)
However big or small the hotel will be, no doubt Kit Kemp will use her signature accents of "bold colours and textures" to do up the guest rooms. Embrace tasteful floral patterns, Midtown! The hotel, like all other Firmdale hotels, will also have its own logo. For example, Crosby Street features a girl in purple boots walking her dog. With Central Park so close by, the new hotel should have no problem drawing from it for inspiration. Perhaps something to do with The Pond?
Last week, we promised you a closer look at Dorset Square, the newest of Firmdale Hotels. How would the return of Tim and Kit Kemp to this property after a decade of absence (they previously owned the hotel) stack up against the group's perennially popular Covent Garden and Soho Hotels?
Like we said, we're pretty confident that fans of Kit Kemp's style will feel at home here. If you prefer your hotel to be a stark vision of white-on-white and concrete floors, or need facilities like a spa or fitness centre, go elsewhere, but for a modern British townhouse with a twist, Dorset Square might be just the address.
Set on the leafy square from which it takes its name, the hotel is close to Marylebone High Street, just north of Oxford Street and the famous West End. Being the site of Thomas Lord's first cricket ground, cricket is a theme you will see throughout the hotel, including the logo of two cricket bats and a ball.
With only 38 rooms spread over the floors of a Regency-era townhouse, Dorset Square is very much that: a townhouse hotel, which you'll experience from the airy ground floor drawing room to the twisting hallways and individual rooms upstairs.
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Well, lookie here. Another new hotel opening in London just in time for the Summer Olympics.
The hotel itself has actually been around for a while but it recently got a renovation from fairy godmother (and Firmdale's owner) Kit Kemp. Kemp has integrated her signature accents of "bold colours and textures" as well as pretty-looking fabric patterns (she makes floral look not just acceptable but desirable) and original art.