Do you like your boutique hotels decked out in art and designer patterns, in a supremely central location, with its own bowling alley and theatre? Welcome to the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho.
Assuming you’ve got pockets down to your ankles, we’d recommend booking into the Ham Yard Hotel for at least a month to truly get the most out of it. Not only is it situated in Soho, the buzziest bit of the West End, itself one of the buzziest bits of London, it’s also much more than a hotel. The Ham Yard Village complex comprises (deep breath) a bar, a restaurant, a nail bar, a spa, a theatre, a bowling alley and a handful of boutiquey shops. Trying to squeeze it all into a weekend just isn’t going to happen.
The whole place is basically an unofficial art gallery, too. Pieces are dotted here and there throughout common areas, all of them playful and engaging but not so out-there that they’d spook your mum if you brought her in for afternoon tea (which you definitely should). Like the Firmdale group’s other hotels, decor is colourful, quirky and eclectic, with interior designer and Firmdale co-owner Kit Kemp’s trademark patterned fabrics everywhere. In the bedrooms, even the walls are upholstered.
The spacious deluxe rooms are all individually designed with their own mix of art, pattern and bright bursts of colour. The elegant, two-bedroom Terrace Suite has a vast living room (as well as its own compact kitchen, handily stocked with Sipsmith spirits). It’s home to acres of terrific textiles, and two particularly impressive beds. The star attraction, though, is the terrace with views of the London skyline.
Bathrooms deserve a special mention. Even if you see the wall-embedded TV – and accompanying waterproof remote – as a bit of a novelty, there’s no denying the luxury of a shower that packs the force of a fireman’s hose, or a bath almost big enough to practice your breaststroke in.
Babysitting is available for £20 an hour (four hours minimum).
The special children’s menu consists of:
Mini burger and French fries
Penne, tomato sauce and Parmesan
Roast chicken, mixed greens and Jersey Royals
Chicken goujons, French fries and mixed leaf salad
Fish goujons, crushed garden peas and chips
Cumberland sausage, bubble and squeak and onion gravy
Special children’s cutlery is also available.
Extra things that make it special
There are the normal books and games (and the not so normal bowling alley) but it’s the mini robes, and milk and cookies available at bedtime that make it stand out in this parent’s opinion.
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