Firmdale Hotels


020 7581 4045


Firmdale Hotels is the owner/leaseholder and operator of a collection of individually-designed hotels in London and the USA. Founded in 1985 by Kit and Tim Kemp, the company was an early pioneer of the boutique hotel concept.

The Kemps have been credited with redefining the concept of the luxury London hotel with their stylish yet affordable properties. When they opened their first hotel, Dorset Square, the only other boutique property in London was Anouska Hempel’s Blake’s hotel.

In common with other pioneers of the boutique concept, the Kemps had some problems convincing the money men and were turned down by 14 banks before they secured the necessary funds. But by early 2005, the couple had made an estimated £60m from the hotels, which ran at nearly 100% occupancy throughout the year.

Kit, a self-taught designer, is responsible for the style of the hotels, which are all rebuilt and designed from scratch.

All of the hotels (except for the two bijou B&Bs) have in-house destination restaurants along with a mix of facilities that can include events/meeting rooms, cinemas, Soholistic gyms with treatment rooms, and swimming pools.

The group has won a number of accolades, including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2000, 2006 and 2009.

Key People:

Chairman, managing director and owner Tim Kemp
Design director and owner Kit Kemp
Operations director Carrie Wicks
Sales, marketing and public relations director Craig Markham
Finance director Malcolm Soden
Property director Ron Cheles
Non-executive director  Rod Taylor



“Our mission at Firmdale Hotels is, like most hotel groups, to ensure that we are the first choice for international business and leisure travellers and to exceed targeted occupancy, revenues and average room rates. But our main aim is to grow, constantly changing and evolving our product so that we are always wanting to be way ahead of our competitors. Our aim is to be the leader, a benchmark in the industry rather than a follower. 

“Firmdale Hotels has a strong global reputation but it is the individual profile of each property that stands out. We stand for value and quality as well as high standards of personal service and loyalty.”

Source: company statement, June 2005

Operating Data:

Number of hotels eight - seven in London and one in the USA

London hotels
Dorset Square hotel (38 bedrooms, Potting Shed bar and restaurant)
Covent Garden hotel, Monmouth Street (58 bedrooms, Brasserie Max restaurant)
Charlotte Street hotel (52 bedrooms, Oscar restaurant)
Haymarket hotel, Suffolk Place (50 bedrooms, Brumus restaurant)
Number Sixteen, Sumner Place (44 bedrooms, B&B)
Knightsbridge hotel, Beaufort Gardens (44 bedrooms, B&B)
Soho hotel, Richmond Mews (91 bedrooms, four private apartments, Refuel restaurant)
An eighth flagship UK hotel is set to open in Ham Yard, Soho, in 2013.

US hotels
Crosby Street hotel, New York (86 bedrooms and suites, Crosby Bar & Terrace)
A second is due to open in Manhattan Midtown

Financial Snapshot:

Year to 31 January 2012

Turnover £74.4m (+7.1%)
*Underlying group operating profit £14.3 (+11.1%)
Average room rate £312 (+4%)
Average occupancy 89%

* before depreciation, interest, tax and pre-opening project costs


21 Golden Square