The rumor mill has been turning for years and now it’s official: Raffles Hotels & Resorts has signed a partnership with the Hinduja Group and Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD) to open a London luxury hotel inside the Old War Office. (As we previously reported, the developers purchased the building at 57 Whitehall from the U.K. Ministry of Defence for $457 million in December 2014). Originally built in 1906 with 1,100 rooms on seven floors and two miles of hallways, the Old War Office is now a Grade II listed landmark—not far from 10 Downing Street, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Occupied by Winston Churchill during World War II, the building was also frequented by the British Secret Service.
The transformation project is expected to take three years and will result in 125 hotel rooms (40 percent will be suites), 88 private residences, restaurants and more.
The London hotel scene continues to nab the international spotlight with exciting new additions like the Four Seasons London at Trinity Square.
Now owned by the AccorHotels Group, the Raffles brand dates back to the 19th century when the landmark Raffles Singapore opened in 1887. The legendary hotel was named after the British founder of Singapore, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, and it’s where the famous Singapore Sling cocktail was created. Today the luxury hotel group comprises 11 properties around the world—including two others in Europe (Le Royal Monceau- Raffles in Paris and the Raffles Istanbul Zorlu Center). Other new hotels in the pipeline include destinations like Warsaw and Jeddah.