The Escape | The Whitby Hotel, New York

The Whitby Hotel, New York, Contemporary Art, British Design
Courtesy of The Whitby Hotel, New York
An interior view of the Whitby Bar
The beloved Whitby Hotel in New York offers a heartening burst of British design and contemporary art

Located in Midtown Manhattan, a few steps away from Fifth Avenue, where eager shoppers can spend hours perusing the likes of Tiffany’s and Saks and then jet off to relax at The Plaza and Central Park, is The Whitby, a hotel with a heart-warming albeit luxurious ambience.

It’s modern, bright and spacious and is the second hotel in New York by British designer Kit Kemp, founder, along with her husband Tim, of Firmdale Hotels, the first being Crosby Street Hotel, which opened in 2009 in SoHo. What sets The Whitby apart is its warm ambience coupled with British eccentricity heightened by Kemp’s wonderfully colourful mix of colours, textures, design and art.


The Whitby Bar at the Whitby Hotel featuring an artwork by Carla Kranendonk

Courtesy of The Whitby Hotel, New York

Regulars of the hotel will be familiar with the Caribbean-style artwork of Dutch artist Carla Kranendonk hanging in the bar and lobby area. “My favourite painting at The Whitby is the standing lady in the Whitby bar,” says artist Carla Kranendonk.

“I made her because I wanted to make a strong African/Caribbean lady and she is standing in front of lots of photocopies of photos of musicians from Africa and the Caribbean. On her skirt is an image of Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), a Jamaican political activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur and orator. He had a dream to bring all the Black Americans back to Africa and this has inspired me.”


An interior view of the Whitby Suite living space

Courtesy of The Whitby Hotel, New York

The hotel’s 86 rooms and suites are dressed in beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows replete with marble-swathed bathrooms and sumptuous beds, which have you feeling immediately at home.

For food there’s The Whitby Bar that offers all-day dining and a Mediterranean-influenced menu and is headed up by chef Anthony Paris, who previously worked at the Crosby Street Hotel.


The interiors of the Whitby Suite

Courtesy of The Whitby Hotel, New York

For a more atmospheric, or shall we say romantic meal, head to the adjoining Orangery, a charming space where guests can enjoy an outdoor meal or a candlelit dinner at night. Lots of conversation starters can be in both spaces, including the bar’s bold installation of 52 hanging baskets brought over from the UK and the Orangery’s collection of 40 porcelain vessels covered in hand-etched New York landmarks.

And of course, there are Kranendonk’s strong African ladies that seem to preside over all with their vibrant attire and determined stances inspiring a sense of travel, freedom and creativity.

Approximately Dhs2,519 per night. firmdalehotels.com


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The Whitby Hotel, New York, Contemporary Art, British Design
Courtesy of The Whitby Hotel, New York
An interior view of the Whitby Bar