AccorHotels Group luxury brand Raffles Hotels & Resorts has announced the signing of a partnership with the Hinduja Group and Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD) to transform the iconic Old War Office building in London’s Whitehall into a hotel and deluxe residences.
The first Raffles Hotel was opened in 1887 in Singapore, named after the British statesman and founder of Singapore, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Un 1915 Singapore’s most famous cocktail, the Singapore Sling, was created at the hotel.
The Grade II* listed Old War Office, with its 1,100 rooms across seven floors, and two miles of corridors, was completed in 1906. It was also the haunt of the British Secret Service, who had their own, secret entrance.
The Old War Office was bought by Hinduja Group and Spanish real estate and construction group 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.”
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.”
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.”