When visiting a new destination, how do you choose a hotel to stay in? For most of us, two of the top considerations are price and location. But I would also add design to that list. Hotel stays are something I enjoy tremendously and I love finding the perfect place to call home sweet home, even if it’s just for a short time. And to me, design is a really big part of the overall hotel experience. I absolutely love stepping into a hotel and happening upon design details that make me gasp in delight and that elevate my stay from ordinary to extraordinary.
When I was introduced to the hotel booking service Mr. & Mrs. Smith, I knew I’d found something really special. If you’re looking for a hotel that is boutique, a stay that is unique and an experience that goes beyond the typical five-star experience, you can rest assured that Mr. and Mrs. Smith has already found it. The hotels that you’ll book through them are a carefully curated collection of what they deem to be the best, most beautiful, most unique and luxurious boutique hotels in the world. There’s nothing cookie cutter about their taste! They have personally (and anonymously) tested and reviewed each hotel in their collection of boutique luxury properties to ensure that the hotels they represent merge style with substance and service and really are the best in class.
So when my husband and I recently visited London, we were excited to check out a hotel that’s hand-picked by Mr. & Mrs. Smith to see what exactly they deem an exceptional property, worthy of being in their collection.
Ham Yard Hotel
London’s Ham Yard Hotel is in Soho and not far from Mayfair. Check and check for location – it was just a short walk to the Prince Edward Theatre where we were seeing Miss Saigon and there were plenty of restaurants along the way. It’s tucked away on a small street that our cab driver had a bit of trouble finding and its unassuming entrance belies all the delights inside. The lobby is minimal, light and bright and inviting. But any discerning visitor will start to notice the details immediately, from the adorable blue and white striped pencils at the check-in desk to the brightly coloured chairs flanking the lobby fireplace. I could barely concentrate on checking-in, opting to leave that tedious task to my husband as I was drawn, as though by a magnet, to the library just off the lobby. Take a look at some of the stunning public guest spaces in the hotel in the slideshow below. That library is everything!
Obviously, I’d perused the website before we’d arrived so knew that there were many different Kit Kemp-designed rooms. Which one would be ours? As we opened the door to our Deluxe room, I instantly fell in love. Bright citrus hues popped against the subdued wall-colours, creating a lovely contrast between sensible and sensational. The floor-to-ceiling windows bathed our room in natural light and we had a lovely view of the courtyard down below. The granite bathroom with a deep soaking tub and walk-in shower was a wonderful welcome after a long transatlantic flight.
Our room reflects just one of the many room designs you’ll find at the Ham Yard Hotel. Each of the hotel’s 91 rooms and suites are individually designed by Kit Kemp in her distinctive take on modern British style. Her fearless and fabulous mix of colour, pattern and texture combine to create spaces that are totally inspiring and whimsical. Her daring design decisions are what make the rooms remarkable and anything but ordinary and once we’d checked in, I never wanted to leave. Take a peek at some of the other stunning room designs here:
Incredible, right? The rooms are all kinds of delicious and are unlike anything I’ve ever seen at any other hotel – totally and completely unique, utterly inviting and luxurious with a completely individual and innovative sense of style. And is if all of this isn’t enough, there’s more.
The Bowling Alley
Yep. There’s a bowling alley inside the Ham Yard Hotel. And what a bowling alley! The Croc, as it’s called, is a private event venue with an original 1950s bowling alley, lounge, bar and dance floor, making it an incredible space for hosting events both large and small. When you enter, you’ll be greeted by a spectacular installation, a backlit wall of bowling balls, vintage bowling shoes and bowling pin lamps. And there’s even a silver baby grand piano tucked in the corner of the space for anyone who feels like tinkling the ivories.
One Night Was Definitely Not Enough!
Unfortunately, my husband and I only had one night to spend at this incredible hotel. But that’s all we needed to truly understand the essence of the kind of hotels Mr. and Mrs. Smith choose to include in their portfolio. Striving to stray from the usual and instead cherry picking properties that have a distinct sense of place, an unparalleled sense of style and of course an exceptional level of service is what is at the core of their philosophy and the Ham Yard Hotel is a shining example of just that. There’s so much more we didn’t have the chance to really experience but the next time we visit London, hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to dig a little deeper.
Take one last peek at some more of the stunning spaces inside the hotel, like the spa, dining areas and rooftop terrace:
Next time you visit London, consider staying at this truly special and memorable place. And next time you travel, period, peruse the properties curated by Mr. & Mrs. Smith to find something I think you’ll love.