An NCP car park isn’t the first location you or I would choose to site a new hip hotel. However, you or I aren’t successful hotel owners. Luckily, the people at Firmdale are, and as a result this former giant garage is now a fantastic modern hotel.
Situated near Soho Square in a quiet street between Wardour and Dean Streets – right in the heart of London's entertainment and creative community and surrounded by some of London's best restaurants and bars – the first thing you notice is the size and the vibrant colours behind the design.
Actually, that’s not strictly accurate. The first thing you notice is the 10 foot high bronze cat by Botero that guards the entrance. Once beyond the metal kitten, you enter a large lobby filled with tastefully arranged wood, metal, glass and stone, followed by two large drawing rooms with log burning fireplaces.
There are 85 bedrooms and suites as well as 6 private apartments. Needless to say, the four 5th floor penthouses with tree-lined terraces and views across London, are not cheap. However, if your budget doesn’t stretch to such luxury, you’ll be glad to hear that all bedrooms are individually designed in a contemporary English style. This style is Kit Kemp's, and all rooms are equipped with all the facilities you’ve come to expect from hotels of this level: high speed internet access, flat screen LCD TVs and DVD/CD players.
The bathrooms are lined in granite and oak, with walk-in showers, double basins and exclusive bath products by London perfumer Miller Harris.
The hotel's ground floor bar and restaurant, Refuel, features a long pewter bar and, curiously, a specially commissioned mural illustrating the site’s previous life as a multi level car park.
The restaurant serves modern international cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal and organic produce and produces a selection of nibbles such as Italian or Moroccan food platters to graze upon whilst you prop up the bar.
Kit Kemp has done a fantastic job with the interior and when combined with the atmosphere, I have no hesitation in recommending a stay here.