Alongside Haymarket Theatre, a short walk to either Piccadilly Circus or Trafalgar Square, the Haymarket has a great central location. Haymarket itself is a busy road, unpleasant with traffic, but little noise makes it through the thick walls of this Regency edifice.
The Haymarket is so big Firmdale are able to rent out an entire townhouse within the premises! Mere mortals will have to settle for big double rooms with granite and oak en suites, and the typical décor from co-owner Kit Kemp: oversize headboards, decorative mannequins and bold combinations of modern colours with old-fashioned floral and stripe motifs. The rooms are spacious and well-appointed (Tivoli radios, internet, TVs with DVD, plenty of cupboard space).
The fiercely colourful Brumus restaurant and bar are on the busy Haymarket side of the building, with the main reception opening from quiet Suffolk Place. Inside the hotel proper, public areas have plump sofas and easy chairs to flop into and winningly incongruous modern art: I liked the giant light-bulb over the chessboard in the quiet library, and the morbid papercut over the sofas where complimentary afternoon canapés are served.
Eating and drinking
Served amid the bright colours of Brumus, breakfast is expensive (Brumus Breakfast, combining cooked, fruit, cereal and pastries, £24.50; eggs Benedict, £10.50) but wonderful, and fine cocktails (pineapple, pear and ginger martini, £10.50) are served in the bar area beside the entrance. There’s another bar in the bling swimming pool area downstairs.
Head into the basement for a fun - if, for Firmdale, uncharacteristically Hollywood-style - swimming pool and bar. Here the loungers are shiny and the roof glitters with lights. The pool is sometimes closed to guests for private events.
On the ball and smartly turned out, without being too formal.
Who stays there
A cross-section of business, media and fashion types, with some older theatre fans here to see a musical.
If your stay includes a Sunday, that night’s room is available at a bargain half price.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Lovely, comfy public spaces
- Handsomely designed rooms
- Glittery basement swimming pool
- Additional costs (internet, pricey breakfast)