You might wonder how many super-chic, five-star hotels one family-run company could sustain in London, but for Tim and Kit Kemp, owners of Firmdale Hotels, the market is still hot. They’ve just opened their seventh property, the 50-bedroom Haymarket, in the West End, and they’re back out there hunting for more sites.
“It’s hugely vibrant in London,” Tim says. “We’re looking at two or three sites at the moment, including another West End site for 110 rooms.”
With the £55m-annual turnover company enjoying such steady growth, it’s perhaps no surprise that they also recently announced plans to open a hotel in New York next year.
Their strategy to date has been to develop one hotel at a time, so work on the New York site didn’t start until 1 May – the day that the Haymarket opened. The New York hotel is expected to open in November 2008 (see page 24) – as always, Tim will do the number-crunching and development while Kit works her magic on the interior design.