Question: What do you get when you cross charismatic British flair with the desire to revitalise a section of Soho in London?
Answer: The super-stylish Ham Yard Hotel. The latest offering from the Firmdale Hotels Group (eight in London and 1 in New York) opened last June and is living up to the hype.
Owned by the creative pairing of Kit and Tim Kemp, the hotel is one of the most ambitious in their boutique hotel brand and has redeveloped an area that was largely neglected since bomb-damage in WW2. The complex also consists of 24 residential apartments, 13 retail stores, roof-top garden, theatre, private entertainment rooms, various dining & bar options, a spa and it's very own retro bowling alley!!! Why not?!
The interior design & decoration for all the Firmdale Hotels, is expertly conceived by Kit herself in her signature vibrant, rich, layered, and very British style. Kit is a great supporter of local Artists and Designers and has incorporated their work into the Hotel - textile artist Skye O'Hea who Kit discovered at her graduation show is a case in point. Additionally, Sculptor Tony Cragg was commissioned to create the striking work at the hotel's entrance and ceramist Robina Jack's pieces are used on the walls inside.
Kit's absolute love of fabric (she designs collections for Chelsea Textiles and Christopher Farr) is obvious throughout and especially in the bedrooms. Uniquely decorated they offer a seriously luxurious retreat with a seemingly uncontrived style as if they have just evolved over time, a skill that Kit is renowned for.
The rooms available for private events are equally sumptuous. The Fornasetti Nuvole wallpaper mural from Cole & Son is used to really add drama above.
Patterns, colour, art, fabric, and accessories are multi-layered to create a decorative harmony that makes other hotels seem bland and formulaic.
Another unique offering of this hotel is the inclusion of it's very own Bowling Alley - 'The Croc' (so called because of the crocs that decorate one of the walls). This is of course not just any old bowling alley, but an original Texan 1950's restored alley which has been incorporated into a lounge bar and dance floor.
This would have to be the coolest bowling alley in London and the icing on the cake for guests of the hotel.
Kit Kemp is one of our favourite designers and her ability to infuse both charm and bespoke luxury into her hotels is what makes them so infectiously appealing and quite unlike the rest. We're thinking a London trip might be needed.....