19 JUNE 2017
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London’s Old War Office building is to become a luxury hotel and residences complex under the Raffles Hotels & Resorts banner. Conversion work is expected to be completed in three years.
The first Raffles Hotel, named after the British statesman and founder of Singapore Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, opened in 1887 in Singapore. The group is now part of AccorHotels.
The Grade II-listed Old War Office, with 1,100 rooms across seven floors and two miles of corridors, was completed in 1906 and was the office to many of the UK’s most important and influential political and military leaders of the 20th century.
They included Sir Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Lord Kitchener, Herbert Asquith and T E Lawrence. The building also housed the British Secret Service, which had its own discreet entrance.
The building, close to 10 Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, was bought by the multinationals Hinduja and Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD) in December 2014 following a public bid.
Planning permission was subsequently granted for a multi-purpose development including a hotel of 125 rooms of which 40% are suites, 88 private residences, restaurants and other amenities.
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