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Lancashire Times
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Phil Hopkins
Group Travel Editor & Theatre Correspondent
@philhopkinsuk
7:00 AM 14th December 2021
travel

Britain’s Old War Office Reborn As Hotel

One of the most famous hotels in the world, ‘Raffles’, has announced the opening of its first property in London.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Hinduja Group is opening ‘Raffles London at The OWO’ late next year, a grand new hotel in the landmark Grade II listed former Old War Office on Whitehall.

The building will open to the public for the first time following a monumental transformation that will see the creation of 120 rooms and suites, 85 unique branded residences and 11 destination restaurants and bars.

Located at one of London’s most historically significant addresses, the UK’s first Raffles hotel will have an extensive wellness space featuring world leading spa and fitness partners and will be home to a rooftop restaurant and bar with panoramic 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.

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.

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.