The June 18 opening of Dorset Square Hotel, Design Hotels™’ new member hotel in London, signifies an emotional homecoming for Tim and Kit Kemp, the husband and wife team behind Firmdale Hotels.
The elegant town-house situated on a leafy square in London’s Marylebone was originally purchased by the couple in 1985, marking their first venture into the boutique hotel market, but was later sold to allow for other projects. The Kemps have recently reacquired Dorset Square Hotel, which has undergone extensive refurbishment. The original country house style has been replaced by Kit’s signature design stamp: bold colours, contrasting fabrics, and one-off art pieces and furnishings. The self-taught designer believes that “hotels should be living things, not stuffy institutions”. This mantra is illustrated clearly in the 38 individually designed bedrooms; each follows a different colour scheme and is adorned with items gathered from around the globe.
Inspiring Interiors Kit Kemp has a special affinity for Dorset Square Hotel and has thus infused her design concept with lots of personalized touches. The interiors are an eclectic mix of colour, texture and stylistic elements, including exclusive fabrics from her new collection with Christopher Farr, as well as an exquisite selection of hand-woven carpets from Argentina. From the sumptuous drawing room with an open fireplace to the intimate Potting Shed bar and restaurant featuring specially commissioned wallpaper, the engaging public spaces are the epitome of Kemp’s particular brand of organic English contemporary design.
Many of the guest rooms look out onto the tranquil private gardens of Dorset Square, which were incidentally the original site of Thomas Lord’s cricket ground. Each room features a striking marble and oak bathroom with free-standing showers.