Take a closer look at Raffles London at The OWO, an exciting new property set to open in the landmark Grade II* listed former Old War Office on Whitehall next year
Mark your diary – Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Hinduja Group has announced the upcoming opening of ‘Raffles London at The OWO’, welcoming travellers from late 2022 in the landmark Grade II* listed former Old War Office on Whitehall.
This new launch is especially exciting as the property will not only be Raffles’ inaugural UK hotel, but this will be the first time the iconic building will be open to the public. The former HQ has undergone a monumental five-year transformation to become a hotel offering 120 rooms and suites, 85 unique branded residences and an impressive 11 destination restaurants and bars.
Located at one of London’s most historically significant addresses, guests can also enjoy an extensive wellness space featuring world leading spa and fitness partners – plus a rooftop restaurant and bar with panoramic views across Whitehall, The Mall and on to Buckingham Palace for the chance of Queen spotting.
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 both size and stature, the interior proportions reflect classic Edwardian architecture. During the careful and sensitive ongoing five-year renovation, the building’s key features have been completely restored whilst respecting its legacy.
Key suites at Raffles London will be situated in the building’s most storied rooms – formerly offices of influential political and military leaders including Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George and John Profumo. Some of the most sought-after suites will be located in the building’s corner turrets, from which guests will enjoy unparalleled views over Horse Guards and the stunning 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.
There’s plenty more than just history buff material – foodies can delight in the eclectic collection of 11 restaurants and bars led by world-class chefs and restaurateurs. Drawn from dynamic culinary hubs across the globe, each has been invited to create a dining experience like no other.
The family run Hinduja Group, at the helm of the redevelopment, has been passionately committed to the meticulous restoration of the heritage features of the building since its acquisition in 2016. Hundreds of artisan craftspeople have been commissioned to restore the historic interior elements including delicate hand-laid mosaic floors, oak panelling, chandeliers, and a magnificent marble staircase.
Raffles and Hinduja Group have brought together a team of exceptional industry talent including interior design by famed designer Thierry Despont who brings an impeccable pedigree for transforming landmark buildings including The Getty Centre, Maison Cartier, The Carlyle and the Statue of Liberty. Despont is known for his sensitive reimagining of spaces with history and heritage at their core. 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.
Stephen Alden, CEO of Raffles Hotels & Orient Express commented: “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.”
One of the UK’s most anticipated openings, Raffles London at The OWO is bound to become one of the capital’s hottest new hotels.