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