Where to stay

You always remember your first time. For hoteliers Tim and Kit Kemp, it was 1985… with a pretty Regency building on Dorset Square in Marylebone. Until then the duo had been working in the rather less glamorous field of student accommodation. But then along came the Dorset Square property which they transformed into their first *'boutique hotel'… and so Firmdale Hotels was born.

Then in 2002 the Kemps sold their first baby. However when the property came back on the market last year, they leapt at the opportunity to buy it back.

Cut to last week and the freshly decorated Dorset Square hotel re-opened its double doors. The place is small in every way (from only 38 rooms to little marble bathrooms) but its formation is pretty perfect. It has the familiar cosy feel with hawk-eye attention to detail, that Kit (the decorator in the partnership) has made her trademark (from the Crosby Street in New York to The Soho Hotel in London). The corridors are lined with a bespoke wallpaper based on a 1950s botanical poster, the bedroom shelves are filled with old books, there's an honesty bar in the drawing room and Kit has used some of her own fabrics from a new collection available at Christopher Farr.

Look out too for the delicate light pendants and sculpture by Martha Freud in 'The Potting Shed' restaurant. And if you're wondering about the cricket references (bats on the walls, balls as door handles), they're in homage to the garden square, which was Thomas Lord's first cricket ground.

*'boutique hotel' - sorry, a horrid description


Firmdale Hotels offered all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win a 1 night stay at the Dorset Square hotel, based on 2 people sharing with breakfast included (worth £300). Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List