InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) has launched its boutique luxury brand Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants® in the UK with the opening of Kimpton Fitzroy London.
Kimpton Fitzroy London, the first UK hotel for the brand, has opened in London’s Bloomsbury neighbourhood in an iconic heritage building which originally opened in Russell Square in 1898. The hotel has been named after the original architect of the hotel, Charles Fitzroy Doll; a titan of British architecture in the Victorian and Edwardian eras who specialised in designing hotels. Today, the Kimpton Fitzroy London stands for vision and craft, history and modernity and luxury and timelessness. The hotel also further honours the name with Fitz’s bar, the hotels glamorous cocktail bar.
Earlier this year IHG and Covivio entered an agreement to rebrand and operate 12 hotels (and one pipeline hotel) currently operating under the Principal and De Vere brands. The Principal London is the first of these hotels to be rebranded as Kimpton Fitzroy London. Next year will see a continuation of the brands momentum with additional Kimpton hotels’ opening in highly desirable cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.
Kimpton first opened in Europe last year with the opening of Kimpton De Witt in Amsterdam and since then the brand has rapidly increased its global footprint following signings in Tokyo and Paris, both set to open in 2020, and Kimpton Frankfurt, due to open in 2023.
Founded in 1981, by Bill Kimpton, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants pioneered the concept of unique, distinctive, design-forward hotels in the United States. The boutique luxury brand was acquired by IHG in 2015 and currently operates 67 hotels and 82 restaurants, bars and lounges in the U.S, Caribbean and Europe.
For this project, Principal Hotels worked with Benjamin West London, who helped them to procure every item of FF&E throughout the property.
Premier Hospitality magazine spoke to Daniel Englender, owner of Benjamin West, about the Kimpton Fitzroy London project.
Tell us a bit about Benjamin West. What is it that you do?
“We are employed by hotel owners, investors and developers to procure every item of FF&E and OS&E within their projects. For this property, which launched as Kimpton Fitzroy London on 24 October, our team has purchased each item of furnishing and the majority of operational equipment throughout the building.”
What kind of things were you asked to procure?
“We were employed to purchase every single item within the hotel; each table, every chair, all fabrics, carpet, artworks, bar trolleys, glassware, china and cutlery to name a few – we helped to supply the entire property.”
Would you say it was a big project?
“This is an amazing property and great to work on with the design and project-delivery teams.”
Where there any difficulties or challenges with the project?
“When you work on a 300+ key, 19th century building and purchase tens of thousands of items there are always challenges, but we employ a great team and they rose to these challenges. We’ve managed to deliver a building that represents exactly what was designed, in accordance with the client’s budget.
How important is this project for you?
“Every project and every client is important to us, especially ones that we have acted for, such as this owner, multiple times over the past decade. This is probably our tenth or eleventh project with them and since finishing this, they have signed us up for three further projects, so they clearly value our team’s efforts and we greatly appreciate their continued confidence in our work.”
Contra Curtains Ltd
Established in 1985, Contra Curtains Ltd supply bespoke soft furnishings to the hospitality industry. Clients range from international hotel brands to individual bespoke properties, with works including nationwide refurbishments for Marriott Hotels & Resorts, IHG and GLH Hotels.
Recently completed projects include The Intercontinental London Park Lane, The Hard Rock Hotel, London and The Grand Hotel & Spa, York. More recently, Contra Curtains Ltd was involved with the work on Kimpton Fitzroy.
Contra Curtains Ltd Project Director, Chris Wicks, said:
“Over a three-year period we worked with the project team to bring this iconic property back to the forefront of the London hotel scene. Completing all 334 guestrooms over a fast moving, rolling programme, we worked tirelessly to complete all bedrooms on time and within budget.”
“We are immensely proud to have been involved on such a landmark project.”