London Calling

Our favorite Brits Tim and Kit Kemp, founders of Firmdale Hotels have now opened The Whitby, their second New York hotel.

Situated in the heart of upper midtown Manhattan on West 56th Street at 5th Avenue, The Whitby Hotel is a celebration of contemporary art and design.  www.firmdalehotels.com

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PROFILE :Kit Kemp, the boutique hotel Queen

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KIT KEMP, Design Director & Co-Owner of Firmdale Hotels

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SOHO HOTEL, London

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CROSBY HOTEL, NYC

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SOHO HOTEL, London

The Soho Hotel we have a 10 foot-high bronze Botero cat and at Haymarket Hotel there is a sensual silvery liquid sculpture by Tony Cragg.  Everyone falls instantly in love with the Justine Smith Beano-comic-covered dogs at Crosby Street Hotel, alongside the large-scale Jaume Plensa head made from letters of the alphabet. Installing pieces like this, which ooze a fabulous ‘wow’ factor, tells our guests how much we value them.

The Soho Hotel, London : I want to inspire and excite everyone who comes to our hotels, not just those who stay but even those who just pop in to have coffee or go to one of our film clubs. I also want our guests to know they are in London, not Bogota or Beijing and so we try to create a contemporary English feel with colour and pattern. Perhaps it is a wing chair, covered in a vibrantly embroidered Designers Guild print, in front of a fireplace or a series of salvaged oak benches sporting collections of hand-thrown ceramics and aged zinc pots. That way, when a jaded businessman with no interest in design at all walks through the door, it makes him perk up and notice his surroundings.  When this happens I feel like I have achieved something.