Following the success of Crosby Street Hotel which opened in downtown SoHo in 2009, husband-and-wife-team Tim and Kit Kemp have opened their second New York hotel. The Whitby, set in the heart of upper Midtown Manhattan on West 56th Street at 5th Avenue, is surrounded by some of New York’s leading galleries, museums and restaurants as well as international designer shopping and first-class department stores. The LuxPad takes a look around…
Kit Kemp has brought her distinctive oasis of color, curiosity and calm into the interiors of The Whitby. With a mix of pattern, color and texture, every floor offers a vibrant, uplifting adventure through handcraftsmanship, art and bespoke detailing. “I have always loved handcrafted things – with each piece, the touch of the human hand adds to and completes its story. I’ve also found craftsmen often do things with a better finish than some artists” says Kemp.
In celebration of contemporary art and design, The Whitby offers 86 individually designed rooms and suites, each with floor to ceiling windows and many with a private terrace and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Giving an intimate, enveloping mood of comfort, the bedrooms are enhanced with fabric lined walls and Kit’s signature touches such as oversized headboards, some beautifully embroidered and embellished by artists such as Kumi. Kit’s own fabric designs, including Ozone, Travelling Light and Tea Leaf, have been used throughout alongside elegant rugs, ceramics, artwork and pillows.
In a bid to engage the senses and create a sense of movement, the ground floor, from the lobby to the bar through to the small courtyard garden, was designed specifically with changing ceiling heights, colors and patterns. On arrival, guests are greeted by artist Stephen Cox RA’s alabaster plinths as well as Hermione Skye’s vast rainbow-hued loom woven above the reception desk.
The Whitby Bar is a rich, colorful, airy room with high ceilings, an impressive 30 foot pewter bar and beautifully upholstered banquettes. Above the bar hang a collection of baskets originating from different areas of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and include baskets for collecting oysters, fish and potatoes, for selling flowers or encouraging ducks into their nests. Each one is tagged with information of its origin, echoing a time and place in the history of the UK.
Offering all-day dining from a frequently changing menu, The Whitby Bar’s Head Chef, Anthony Paris, has curated a menu that revolves around seasonal ingredients, offering a playful twist and a new take on classic dishes. Breakfast and brunch menus give guests the opportunity to start the day with something extra-special. Dishes include burrata scrambled egg with grilled tomato, arugula and truffle vinaigrette; baked Jonah Gold apple pancakes; and an egg white crab, avocado, tofu and herb whole wheat wrap.
For lunch and dinner, starters include grilled octopus with borlotti beans and marcona almond soup with bacon-chilli oil. At lunch these are complemented with dishes such as Maine lobster BLT, smashed green chickpea hummus and The Whitby’s grass fed burger with red wine braised onions and gruyere. For dinner, guests will find dishes such as fresh squid ink pasta Nicoise and grilled double cut pork chop complemented by a selection of desserts including chocolate lapsang cake and honey yoghurt parfait.
Connecting The Whitby Bar and The Drawing Room is the Orangery. With a vaulted glass ceiling, this light and airy space features a spectacular wall of 40 beautifully crafted illuminated porcelain vessels by Martha Freud, each etched with a different landmark New York building or bridge.
The Whitby’s other amenities include a library, 130 seat state-of-the-art cinema, a fully equipped gym and 24 hour room service. The three private event and meeting rooms can be accessed through a stairwell lined with Kate Blee’s joyous Tribe print, with artworks by pop-art icons Joe Tilson and Jim Dine continuing the hotel’s celebration of contemporary art and design.