London olympic luxury

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I am sitting here in Sydney full of Olympic Spirit …. no not in London !!! Tickets scarce and crowds crazy, so very happy to travel when London returns to normal. However should I be over there, I have decided that the Firmdale Hotel Group do have the most exciting properties to choose from …. and in all the right locations …. Covent Garden, Haymarket, Soho, Knightsbridge, South Kensington and my favourite Dorset Square.  What could be more divine than this Regency terrace overlooking a leafy square.

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Kit Kemp loves colour and plays with fabric in a very adventurous way.  Each property is unique … in fact, each guestroom is unique, from what I can see. She combines slick contemporary with traditional pieces and details, very brave indeed.

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Firmdale call it ‘fresh contemporary English style”.  I have to say that I have not always been sure that it all works but looking at the newest addition in Dorset Square I have been won over.  Either my taste has changed or I have taken time to ‘just get it’.

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I acknowledge they are quirky, however the attention to detail is exceptional, the furniture and furnishings are beautiful and I am sure the experience would be pure 5 star.

Dorset Square is where I would be staying … just a short walk to Marylebone High Street, an area I love with its gorgeous shops and cafes … oh so civilised compared to the rat race of Oxford Street not so far away.

Would love some feedback on any of the Firmdale properties ….

French style …. hotel lancaster, paris

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The Hotel Lancaster in Paris is without doubt the prettiest hotel in Paris.  An extremely chic boutique hotel …. is this not just exactly what one would expect when we think of Parisian style.

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I adore the simple, pared back elegance which allows the architecture to shine.

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This is the most sophisticated use of colour …. so subtle, yet only for the brave.  Shades of lavender, lilac and aubergine teamed with shades of grey, crisp white and hint of gold …. how divine !  Not as easy as it looks to achieve the perfect balance.

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I have always loved the tile and marble combination in a bathroom … somehow it creates character.  It is so much more interesting than head to toe marble which is an easier option by far.  How decadent to have your own dressing table and in the bathroom… only in Paris !!

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This interior is timeless … classic and contemorary all rolled into one. Their collection of artworks and antiques complimented graciously by the sumptuous colour palette and subtle attention to detail.

Having said all that, how inviting does that sofa look. Perfect for putting your feet up after a day shopping in Galeries Lafayette.

I knew I was going to fall in love with this hotel when I spotted those lavender grey striped awnings and gorgeous flower boxes.

Hotel plaza athenee, paris …. a stylists dream

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I fell in love with these images as soon as I saw them however just couldn’t help but wish all hotel rooms felt this inviting.  It seems that no matter how much money one pays for that touch of luxury, hotel rooms do seem a little lacklustre. Yes it is the finishing touches …. flowers, candles, magazines and the extra scatter cushions …. and yes I have spoken about it before.  For any number of reasons this is the area that seems to have been eliminated from either the brief or the budget or both.  Therefore it is the boutique hotel with the fastidious attention to this sort of detail that we seek out …. the hotels that appear in glossy magazines and coffee table books.

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These images show the beautiful Plaza Athenee in Paris …. a stylists dream ….miles of silk curtaining, elegant panelling and architectural detail, glamorous chandelier and sumptuous furniture.  Why aren’t all hotel rooms filled with armfuls of fully blown roses, french champagne on ice and fragrant room candles !!!!

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Home away from home at the greenwich hotel new york

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There is something rather special about boutique hotels like The Greenwich Hotel in New York…..they are so much more homely and inviting than the larger hotel chains….even if they are 5 star !!  The attention to detail during the design process is one thing but the concept of the smaller hotel offering a little more is what really makes the difference to its clientele.

The additional decorative items that you don’t see in the bigger hotels such as the occasional throw rug, coffee table books, magazines….the sort of decorative pieces that you would have in your own home or would like to have, are generously incorporated into both guestrooms and public spaces.

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Having spent a number of years working on the interior design of large hotels and small, there is only so far the big hotels are prepared to go when it comes to individualizing either the guestrooms, lobbies, restaurants or bars.  Yes it is a staffing issue…..after all straightening books and decorative items does take time!!!

The reason I don’t go back to hotels I have worked on is that I have been known to plump up cushions or reposition a collection of items on a coffee table !! I have to say that a large part of the thought process when incorporating all the gorgeous extras is how it will stand the test of time …. and the general public.

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Wonderful boutique hotels like The Greenwich have no two guestrooms alike.  They are elegantly eclectic …. incorporating delicate silk rugs, interesting art collections, glamorous mirrors and libraries of books…and are truly a luxurious home away from home.

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