Dorset Square Hotel

Rooms 38   Interior Design Kit Kemp
The Original Kit Kemp

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Design Kit Kemp
The Original Kit Kemp

Kit Kemp

Return Engagement

With the reacquired and redone Dorset Square Hotel, Kit Kemp proves that you can go home again.

By now, the story of how the eclectic and always-surprising design star Kit Kemp transformed whimsy, passion, and brilliance into beloved hotels across London and New York is the stuff of legend. But how many legends who are at the top of their game decide to hit rewind? 

Hotels should be living things, not stuffy institutions.


Hotels should be living things, not stuffy institutions.


Following the stunning 2009 success of the Crosby Street Hotel—the New York City upstart in SoHo showcasing the bold colors, contrasting patterns and one-off art pieces that make up the mélange that has become her signature look—Kemp turned back the clock. The doyenne of Firmdale Hotels—a company she founded with her husband and business partner Tim—set her sights on their very first property, the Dorset Square Hotel, which they originally bought in the 1980s. The couple has always had an affinity for this property, which led to the birth of Firmdale. The company now boasts eight boutique properties: seven in London and one in New York.

Reacquiring the property was a chance to confront a new challenge on familiar ground. Located in London’s Marylebone, an exciting residential area within easy reach of the city’s theater and financial districts, and surrounded by shops, restaurants, and world-class galleries, the hotel embodied the traditional English country style one could find throughout the city. Enter Kemp, who is fearless when it comes to bucking tradition. Gone is the safe styling, and in its place, 38 individually designed bedrooms, each with its own color scheme, and each adorned with items that Kemp has gathered from around the globe. The hotel surely possesses the only bar in London featuring specially commissioned wallpapers and hand-woven carpets. Says Kemp of such bold and personal touches, “Hotels should be living things, not stuffy institutions.”

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