Dorset Square Hotel

Relaxed, dapper, residential

39 To 40 Dorset Square, London NW 1 6QN

(44) 20-7723-7874

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At a Glance

Those who would trade full-service grandeur for a charming pied-à-terre in an urbane residential neighborhood will feel right at home in this gracious Marylebone townhouse updated by chic London hoteliers.

Indagare Loves

  • The refined yet cozy feeling of the property
  • Proximity to Marylebone High Street’s independent shops and cafés
  • Afternoon tea at “The Potting Shed,” the hotel’s serene brasserie


For Tim and Kit Kemp, the reopening of the Dorset Square Hotel was a kind of homecoming. Back in 1985, the hotel was the couple’s first joint venture, and though they eventually let it go, it was the collaboration that led to the birth of a very stylish empire. Nearly thirty years later, the Kemps reacquired Dorset Square, and in June of 2012, saw it reincarnated as their company’s seventh contribution to the London hotel scene. With only 38 rooms, the handsome Marylebone townhouse is the most intimate property in the Firmdale portfolio.

Dorset Square has long been a haven from London’s tourist bustle, and the hotel, like the neighborhood, keeps a relatively low profile. In this sense it offers a clear counterpoint to bolder siblings like the sceney Soho and the fast-paced Haymarket. Its low-key facade blends harmoniously with the residential streetscape and foreshadows an equally low-key interior. There are no fitness, screening or treatment rooms – just a sensible drawing room and a friendly English-style brasserie.

Accommodations, while lovely, are generally on the small side, and travelers who tend to spread out should consider booking the Marylebone Room or the Dorset Square Room. The hotel’s two signature rooms have the same price-tag but different features; while the former, located on the ground level, has a proper sitting area encompassed by charming built-in bookshelves packed with colorful volumes, the latter has the advantage of privileged second-floor views of the leafy square.

Firmdale fanatics will be pleased to find that the hotel’s refreshing simplicity was achieved at no cost to the whimsical aesthetic with which the brand has become synonymous. Its hallways and stairwells are outfitted in custom wallpapers printed with horticultural diagrams from a vintage biology textbook, and a playful cricket motif pays tribute to the square’s legacy as birthplace of the venerable Marylebone Cricket Club, founded at Dorset Fields in 1787. If anything, Dorset Square is yet another (slightly more concise) expression of the incredible versatility of Kit Kemp’s unique design-language.

Who Should Stay

Couples or singles looking for a stylish hideaway with a residential vibe.

Written by Cabell Belk

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