Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Hinduja Group have announced that Raffles London at The OWO will debut in late 2022. The former Old War Office on Whitehall has undergone a "monumental" transformation to create 120 rooms and suites, 85 branded residences and 11 restaurants and bars. Located at one of London’s most historically significant addresses, the U.K.’s first Raffles hotel will have an extensive wellness space and will be home to a rooftop restaurant and bar with views across Whitehall, The Mall and on to Buckingham Palace.
The Old War Office, originally completed in 1906 and designed by British architect William Young, has stood witness to many world-shaping events. Grand in size and stature, the interior proportions reflect classic Edwardian architecture. During the ongoing five-year renovation, the building’s key features have been restored whilst respecting its legacy. Hundreds of artisan craftspeople have been commissioned to restore the historic interior elements including delicate hand-laid mosaic floors, oak paneling, chandeliers and a magnificent marble staircase. The design team includes interior designer Thierry Despont, who has transformed such landmark buildings as The Getty Centre, Maison Cartier, The Carlyle and the Statue of Liberty.
Key suites at Raffles London will be situated in the building’s most storied rooms—formerly offices of influential political and military leaders including John Profumo, David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. Some of the most sought-after suites will be located in the building’s corner turrets, from which guests will enjoy views over Horse Guards and the 57 acres of St. James’s Park. The Old War Office inspired Ian Fleming to write the famous James Bond series after working as key liaison officer between the War Office and Britain’s Naval Intelligence Service. The building went on to feature in various Bond films, including “Skyfall,” “Spectre,” “License to Kill,” “A View to a Kill,” “Octopussy,” and, most recently, “No Time To Die”.
The OWO will have a collection of 11 restaurants and bars led by world-famous chefs and restaurateurs. Drawn from dynamic culinary hubs across the globe, each has been invited to create a unique dining experience. At the helm of the opening is Managing Director Philippe Leboeuf, a French national who is returning to the capital bringing expertise from some of the world’s most notable and historic hotels.