Skip to main content

Ham Yard Hotel

1 Ham Yard, London; firmdalehotels.com; 91 rooms from $599 (£318).

The details matter at the Ham Yard, a luxury boutique hotel near Piccadilly Circus. Built on a site that has been little used since the destruction of the London Blitz, the 91-room Ham Yard has the feel of a sophisticated urban resort, with many inviting spaces. These include a lively ground-level restaurant and bar, a private cinema, four-lane bowling alley and a gym with a “hypoxic” studio to help condition the body for mountain-climbing. Notably, a Zen-like spa also offers a full menu of massages and treatments from which to recover from said workouts.

DESIGN

The design by co-owner Kit Kemp, who is a decorator by trade, is chic yet comfortable: Bright fabrics, artwork and lighting are inspired by Morocco and other world cultures to contrast with traditional English furniture and bathroom fixtures. The unusually spacious (by London’s shoebox standard) guest rooms are lit by floor-to-ceiling windows and feature granite or marble-lined bathrooms with heated towel racks and glass-walled stall showers.

LOCATION, LOCATION

The Ham Yard is steps away from the Piccadilly Circus stop on the London Underground, yet mostly cocooned from the attendant crowds, thanks to its placement within its own, greenery-infused courtyard. The location is within a 15-minute stroll of the National Gallery of Art, the Church of St. Martin and the West End theatre district. On weekend nights, a raucous party scene erupts on the streets around the property, but it didn’t interfere with my sound sleep.

EAT IN OR EAT OUT?

The restaurant’s seasonally driven, small-plates menu offers dishes that are flavourful without being fussy, such as sea bream with cider-steamed mussels, cabbage and bacon, and sirloin steak paired with a kale pesto. For breakfast, you can opt for fruit, cereal and breads, or something cooked, such as the protein-rich slow-roasted Sicilian sausage, beans, tomato and basil. The convivial bar scene flows easily into the restaurant, so those seeking a more intimate setting might want to find a table in the adjacent conservatory-like space.

There's even a bowling alley at this 'urban resort.'

BEST AMENITY

The ground floor library lounge, with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, overstuffed sofas and inviting wing chairs, conjures a more tranquil mood away from the bustling public spaces. I relaxed there post-theatre with a single-malt scotch from the honesty bar, marking down what I’d imbibed, so it could be billed to my room.

WHOM YOU’LL MEET

The Ham Yard attracts an international set that’s dressed in smart designer duds, but doesn’t flash its success. The restaurant-bar scene on a weekend night was dominated by bright young things in their 20s and 30s, while the private spaces of the hotel skewed a little older and included some families.

IF I COULD CHANGE ONE THING

This new-construction hotel gets almost every detail right on the inside and should be applauded for not mimicking London’s traditional architecture. But compared with the sophistication of its interior spaces, the shopping mall-like blandness of Ham Yard’s ho-hum brick exterior is disappointing.

The writer was a guest of the hotel.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.