Tuesday, August 21, 2007

London Rocks

On one trip to London with my mom and sister, when I was a kid – circa 1981 – I remember seeing a group of teenagers walking down the street. One of them wore tight black pants and his hair stood straight up, like a porcupine, with purple on the tips. Another had on dark black eyeliner – a guy, I might add. And, this girl had on a red plaid skirt with steel toe boots, laced up to her knees.

I had not yet heard of punk rock, and it certainly hadn’t hit Santa Fe, where our family lived at the time. Intrigued and a little appalled, I could only stare.

As proven by the Beatles, the punks and the British version of The Office, the English are drenched in forward-thinking style. Just take a peek at The Haymarket Hotel, open since May 2007.

Centrally located in Piccadilly Circus, the Haymarket is in the heart of London’s theatre district. The master architect, John Nash, is the same designer behind Buckingham Palace and this hotel’s adjoining Haymarket Theatre Royal.

The interior of the hotel reflects an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic, exotic and traditional, ornate and simple.

Gold couches, the indoor pool bar, the "honesty bar" in the living room lounge (where guests help themselves to everything from mini Bombay Sapphire bottles to splits of Krug) are unusual touches and constant reminders of the uniqueness of the space.

Interior Designer, Kit Kemp - also one of the owners - has left her stylish fingerprint throughout the property. Everything from the refreshingly happy wallpaper to the mini bar inside a huge walk-in closet suggest attention to detail. At once playful and sophisticated, this boutique hotel leaves both the corporate traveler and touring Rockstar feeling like they’ve found a home away from home.

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