Raffles Hotels & Resorts has announced the signing of an historic partnership with the Hinduja Group and Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD) to transform the iconic Old War Office building in Whitehall into the most unique hotel and deluxe residences in London.
The Raffles Hotel in London will be the heart and soul of this exciting landmark destination. Raffles Hotels & Resorts, the top luxury brand of AccorHotels Group has an illustrious history dating back to 1887 when the world-renowned Raffles hotel first opened its doors in Singapore.Raffles was celebrated by Nobel Prize winner, Rudyard Kipling in his 1889 book, From Sea To Sea and in 1915 Singapore’s most famous cocktail, the Singapore Sling was created at the hotel. Today, the remarkable collection includes eleven extraordinary properties in many of the world’s best cities and top holiday destinations including favourites such as Paris, Istanbul, and the Seychelles.
The Grade II listed Old War Office, with its 1100 rooms across seven floors, and two miles of corridors, was completed in 1906. It was the office to many of the United Kingdom’s most important and influential political and military leaders of the twentieth century, notably Sir Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Lord Kitchener, Herbert Asquith and T.E. Lawrence. It was also the haunt of the British Secret Service who had their own, more discreet entrance.
Close to 10 Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, the Old War Office was bought by Hinduja Group and OHLD in December 2014 following a public bid. Planning permission was granted for a multi-purpose development including 125 rooms (of which 40% are suites), 88 private residences, restaurants and other amenities. Completion is expected in just over three years.
Commenting on the new partnership, Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels said: “I am delighted to announce this long-term management contract with the Hinduja Group and OHLD. This is the start of an important partnership for Raffles Hotels & Resorts and will create a new and vibrant landmark for London. This is a significant step for Raffles and a strategic addition to the Group’s Luxury portfolio. We remain committed to providing guests with unparalleled service and experience.”
Gopichand P. Hinduja, the Hinduja Group’s Co-Chairman said: “Our new partnership with Raffles Hotels and Resorts is a significant milestone in our vision to transform the Old War Office into London’s finest luxury destination. Raffles brings a unique understanding of British heritage and tradition that will help revive this great British landmark.”
Sanjay G Hinduja, President of the Hinduja Group, said: “We are delighted that after the completion of the Grade I listed building in Carlton House Terrace, we can now apply this valuable experience to a greater challenge and create what will become the most iconic place in London.”
Juan Villar-Mir de Fuentes, Chairman of Grupo OHL said: “The OHL Group is extremely proud to be part of, in partnership with the Hinduja Group, this exciting project which, reinforced with the Raffles brand, is now fully aligned with OHL Desarrollos’s strong commitment and strategy to develop unique projects around the world.”