Dorset Square Hotel

Marylebone, London, United Kingdom Book from

Reviewed by Nadine Mellor
Elegant Georgian townhouse hotel featuring Kit Kemp's superb interiors and a brasserie restaurant, close to Regent's Park and Baker Street
Opposite leafy Dorset Square, the site of the original Lord's cricket ground, you'll find the discreet entrance of the Dorset Square Hotel. Originally the first hotel in the Firmdale group, then re-acquired and revamped in 2012, this is the latest player selected for this winning team.

Bowl inside to fall under the spell of Kit Kemp and her singular design vision. Eclectic and witty sculptures, art installations and cricket bats enliven the ground-floor drawing room and basement restaurant. Quirky, bijou and supremely comfortable bedrooms are arranged over 2 18th-century townhouses and 4 floors. Each of the 38 rooms has been swagged, draped, trimmed, covered and swathed in fabrics, yet the effect is surprisingly pared down and utilitarian. It all feels very smart and somehow post-modern British. Carpets have been hand-woven. The wallpaper was custom-made. Your shower will be piping hot. The lighting is good. There's 24-hour room service. All terribly civilised. Howzat!


  • Beautifully upholstered, individually designed and immaculate rooms, with very high-quality furnishings, fixtures and finishes
  • First-class and well-priced cuisine and cocktails in the Potting Shed restaurant and bar; big breakfasts
  • Quieter locale than the West End but conveniently close to Baker Street and Marylebone tube stations, Regent's Park and Mayfair
  • Charming helpful staff
  • Range of rooms to suit single sightseers, business travellers, romantic couples and families alike


  • The cheaper rooms are very small, and most rooms aren't spacious; front desk can look after suitcases for you if more elbow room is required, and every room is beautifully presented
  • Mainly shower-only bathrooms; ask if you need a bath
  • Common areas are not extensive: one lovely drawing room plus a cosy bar with stools and sofas attached to the restaurant; and no gym onsite but you can get a day pass to LA Fitness nearby
  • A relatively busy road runs along one side and busier roads (Marylebone, Baker Street) are pretty close - hard to avoid in central London!

Best time to go

London is a year-round destination: whatever the season there'll be a festival, an opening, an event, a sale, a show, a hip club, an exhibition, a theatrical spectacular, a pageant or dozen, plus the panoply of permanent attractions to choose from.

Our top tips

  • Try the cocktails in the bar - delicious!
  • Be sure to access Dorset Square itself, only open to locals and hotel residents.
  • Stroll the streets of Marylebone, Regent's Park and Paddington. London's quirky heritage is writ large here, with plenty of blue plaques to spot, and handsome squares to explore. Shoppers will love Marylebone High Street and St Christopher's Place for more individual boutiques.
  • Great for...

    City Style
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 38
    • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Concierge Service
    • Lift


    Formed from 2 adjoining townhouses, Dorset Square Hotel feels like a well-to-do friend's (very stylish) residence. There's a carefully curated drawing room with honesty bar on the ground floor - but that's it for common rooms outside the restaurant.

    So the rooms are, despite some being compact, very carefully designed to be havens of comfort, charm and character. From the smallest category (officially known as Single rooms although they can easily take a cosy couple in standard double beds), to the largest (the ground-floor Dorset Square and Marylebone rooms have living areas), all have been beautifully finished in fabrics of the highest quality.

    Not only are well-sprung beds dressed in high-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, the carpets, curtains, cushions, coverlets and chairs all display Kit Kemp's clever combinations of colours and patterns, along with witty details - we loved the miniature cricket ball door handles on our cupboards in the smart grey Marylebone Room. Headboards and tailor's dummies are all part of the game, upholstered in matching textiles.

    Some of the Luxury and Deluxe rooms look out opposite to Dorset Square itself, while the 2 largest rooms (Dorset Square and Marylebone, more like junior suites) are best for families as these have sofabeds. Rooms on the top floor have sloping ceilings and feel almost Parisian.

    All have black-out curtains, wide-screen TVs with satellite channels, a helpful hotel directory, radios, slippers and laundry bag. Some rooms have iPod docking stations, but you can also request them if booking one of the other categories. Granite and glass bathrooms have heated towel rails, Frette bathrobes, complimentary Kit Kemp toiletries, sewing kit and hairdryer.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Cots Available
    • DVD player (on request)
    • Extra beds
    • Hairdryer
    • Honesty bar
    • Hotel directory
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Phone
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • Satellite tv
    • Slippers
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi
    • Wifi internet


    In the basement you'll find The Potting Shed and bar. Skylights in the ceiling provide natural light (and a view of passers by). An intriguing bespoke installation by Martha Freud fills one wall; it features different cricketing quotes as porcelain tealights are illuminated in turn. Walls are a soft fresh green enlivened by plaster mouldings and further cricketing memorabilia.

    Open all week and all day and evening, the restaurant serves a no-nonsense English brasserie-style menu (with plenty of vegetarian options). The top order includes a classic Dish of the Day: on Tuesdays chicken, ham & leek pie; Wednesdays, haddock and salmon fishcakes; Saturdays it's Lobster Thermidor! My husband bowled at the crab & chilli linguine followed by lamb cutlets, I caught the crab cakes and a divine beet and goat's cheese tart with watercress and hazelnuts. We were almost stumped by a treacle tart and a gooseberry fool, but managed to drive them both to cover.

    Breakfast is both buffet and a la carte, with plenty of choice. I had the Potting Shed breakfast which meant any cooked item (Eggs Royale in my case) plus a sweep on the buffet; my husband was more restrained, opting for the fruit plate followed by smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. Our baby son wolfed down the porridge, our daughter was only just defeated by the stack of pancakes, bacon and maple syrup.

    Afternoon tea is served on request. Rare and speciality teas are on offer, as well as Champagnes, and there's a good choice of dainty dishes including Victoria sponge, chocolate tiffin, roulette scones and sandwiches. The hotel has its own blend of English Breakfast tea created by The Rare Tea Company.

    Room service is 24 hour. Food options are in the same brasserie style as the restaurant: crab cakes, grilled halloumi, aubergine and pepper panini, Potting Shed burgers and club sandwiches, and creme brûlée.

    There's an extensive wine list, featuring some British labels as well as French and New World wines. And we started our evening meal at the bar, managing to forego the enticing bar snacks, but succumbing to the Silly Mid Off and Bodyliner cocktails.

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Children meals
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Organic produce
    • Restaurant
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Room service
    • Vegetarian menu


    • Run round leafy Regent's Park before breakfast, or take a constitutional stroll there during the day
    • Amble to the West End along the byways of Marylebone and Mayfair, taking in the elegant 18th-century townhouses; go blue plaque hunting around Wigmore Street, Wimpole Street and Harley Street
    • En route check out the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square, one of Europe's finest collections of works of art, paintings, furniture, arms & armour and porcelain
    • Take in a classical or jazz recital at the beautiful turn-of-the-century Renaissance style Wigmore Hall
    • Shop far from Oxford Street's madding crowd in the charming boutiques of Marylebone High Street and St Christopher's Place, or on Regent Street for the bigger stores
    • If you're after the top designer labels, they're found around Mayfair, as are the world-class tailors around Savile Row; aim for Bond Street tube station and turn south
    • Mayfair also hosts the cream of London's dining scene - splash out at Gordon Ramsay's at Claridges - and the most famous private art galleries in London
    • For London's thriving gay scene and a host of bars, clubs, restaurants and great people-watching, head across Regent Street to Soho

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Historical sites
    • Live music
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Private guided tours
    • Shopping / markets


    London is a terrific place to bring children all year round - plentiful public transport, heaps of things to do and see, (mostly) helpful locals, organised facilities and amenities. Dorset Square Hotel is ideally suited for families with a plethora of fun places to go (the zoo! Madame Tussauds!) and a lovely park on the doorstep. The helpful front desk staff can make bookings and organise everything from babysitters to special meal requests. There's a children's menu available and the breakfast buffet has plenty of kid-friendly options. Children also get the luxury of their own bathrobes and kids' toiletries are placed in the bathroom. The gift you score for booking through i-escape can be individually tailored for the guest - for us a box of branded pencils for example, designed for our daughter to enjoy. She also received a welcome pack of a princess drawing book and coloured pencils, which kept her happy with the babysitter while we enjoyed a delightful dinner in The Potting Shed.

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    The 2 biggest rooms - Dorset Square and Marylebone - are more like junior suites in layout, and good for families with more than one child as they have space for a cot and have a sofabed. All Deluxe rooms can fit an extra bed or a cot; all Luxury rooms can have a cot added. Two Deluxe rooms and 2 Luxury rooms have baths.

    There are adjacent rooms which can be taken together for larger family groups but do not interconnect as such - there's a Single (Room 107) and a Luxury (Room 108) off a landing which can create a family only space when the outer door is closed.


    Available on request

    Baby listening:

    Available on request

    Baby equipment:

    • Children's books
    • Extra beds
    • Cots
    • Children's bathrobes
    • Children's toiletries

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Children's meals:

    • Highchairs
    • Children's menu
    • Children's cutlery
    • 24-hour room service
    • Bottle warming

    Kids Activities on site:

    • Children's DVDs available on request

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • The zoo at Regent's Park
    • Boating lake in Regent's Park
    • Madame Tussauds' waxworks
    • The Sherlock Holmes Museum is round the corner on Baker Street
    • Lords cricket ground
    • Beatles shop
    • Arguably the entertainment capital of Europe, London always has children's shows and concerts to see
    • Not so close but guaranteed entertainment: take the tube to South Kensington for the Natural History Museum (dinosaurs!), the Science Museum (rockets!) and the Victoria & Albert Museum (design your own wallpaper!)
    • There are 3 competing red bus tour companies in London; all are family friendly and a couple have embarkation points nearby - ask the concierge for details
    • Kensington Gardens is the other side of Paddington; find the statue of Peter Pan and splash in the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

    Families Should Know:

    A relatively busy road is next door to the hotel


    • Airport: 1 hour
    • Doctor: 10 minutes
    • Nearest shop: 5 minutes
    Kid Friendly:

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