Most London hotels can’t claim to have a bowling alley in the basement. But then Ham Yard isn’t most hotels. The new address, opened in June 2014, also features a 190-seat cinema with Dolby surround sound, a spa with its own Hypoxic Studio for high-altitude training, a roof terrace with a full vegetable garden, and a karaoke bar curated by Lucky Voice. Ham Yard is the eighth opening for Firmdale Hotels, the chain run by husband-and-wife team Tim and Kit Kemp. Tim brings business brains to the partnership, while Kit handles the interior design. It’s this aspect for which the brand is best known, and Ham Yard is the most exuberant of Kit’s colorful creations. Kit has filled the space with her trademark mismatched fabrics and art works sourced from the likes of Shilo Engelbrecht. Curious touches, such as light installations from cult-creator Gods Own Junkyard, lend the hotel an idiosyncratic edge. The unusual name derives from the Soho square in which the hotel stands. Ham Yard’s emergence has not only created London’s hottest new opening, but also a courtyard space where locals come to sit and linger at the hotel’s partner shops, including Brazilian beachwear brand Frescobol Carioca and a Press London juice bar.

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