Accor has set a tentative opening date of late 2022 for its hotly anticipated Raffles property within the former Old War Office at the junction of Horse Guards Parade and Whitehall.
Plans for the UK’s first Raffles hotel and residences were first announced in 2017, but this is the first time Accor has committed to an opening date for the property.
Raffles London at the OWO will offer 120 rooms and 85 branded residences, as well as extensive wellness facilities and 11 destination F&B venues including a rooftop restaurant and bar.
Completed in 1906, the seven-floor property served as the office of political and military leaders including Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Lord Kitchener, Herbert Asquith and T.E. Lawrence.
Accor said that the five-year renovation programme would see key features of the building restored, including hand-laid mosaic floors, oak panelling, chandeliers and a marble staircase.
French-born architect Thierry Despont – responsible for renovation projects including The Ritz Paris, Claridge’s and more recently The Beaumont in London’s Mayfair – has been brought in to transform the property’s interiors.
Selected suites will be located in the building’s corner turrets, which will offer “unparalleled views over Horse Guards and the stunning 57-acres of St James’s Park”.
Commenting on the news Stephen Alden, CEO of Raffles Hotels and Orient Express, said:
“The launch of Raffles London at The OWO is a singular moment for the London hospitality scene as the Raffles brand arrives in the city.
“We are so proud to be part of the magnificent five-year transformation of the historic Old War Office building.
“We have a world-class team to oversee the opening, in whose hands I’m confident that the Raffles experience of London, for our residents, guests and visitors alike, will be unforgettable.”
For our look at new and forthcoming hotels in London – published earlier this year – see: