Raffles confirms opening date for London hotel

Raffles Hotels & Resorts has confirmed its first UK property, Raffles London at The OWO, will open in late 2022 in the former Old War Office on Whitehall.

It will mark the first time the grade II listed building – originally completed in 1906 by British architect William Young and the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond series – has been open to the public.

The building has undergone an extensive five-year renovation in partnership with the Hinduja Group, restoring key features and adding 120 rooms and suites, 85 branded residences, a spa and fitness centre and 11 restaurants and bars – including a rooftop restaurant with views over The Mall and Buckingham Palace.

Original features include hand-laid mosaic floors, oak panelling, chandeliers and an elaborate marble staircase, with interiors designed by Thierry Despont, who has worked on the restoration of landmarks including Maison Cartier, The Carlyle and the Statue of Liberty.

Key suites will be in the building’s storied rooms, once used by the likes of Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George and John Profumo. Others will be in the building’s corner turrets, offering views over Horse Guards and St. James’s Park.

Stephen Alden, chief executive of Raffles Hotels & 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."

The new property is one of several flagship openings scheduled for the coming years, including in Boston, Bahrain, Macau, Doha and Jeddah in 2022 and Moscow in 2023. The brand also recently opened new properties in Udaipur and Dubai (The Palm). 

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