Raffles Hotel London | escape.com.au
The most British of hotels gets its first English outpost
Ever since Raffles Singapore opened its doors in 1887, the name has been synonymous with a particular type of far-flung British elegance. Amid the palm courts, G&Ts and dressing for dinner – even though it was steamy outside – Raffles itself became a colonial outpost of sorts.
Now, 135 years later, London gets its own Raffles. The site is suitably historic of course, occupying the Old War Office in Whitehall. What was once the stomping ground of everyone from Winston Churchill to Ian Fleming, this previously restricted catacomb of secrets will now offer 120 rooms and suites. And as is the way these days, you can actually live there in one of 85 residences.
Diningwise, the options are staggering with 11 bars and restaurants planned for the space. No word yet on whether there will be a take on the iconic Long Bar at the Singapore version complete with peanut shells on the floor and ever flowing Singapore Sling cocktails.
On the inside, expect meticulously restored hand-laid mosaic floors, oak panelling, chandeliers for days and magnificent marble staircase. It was a process that took five years to complete. The interiors are under the stewardship of Thierry Despont and while the name might not be familiar his resume includes the like of Maison Cartier, The Carlyle and the Statue of Liberty.
The suites will be drenched in history as they are situated in the building’s most storied rooms – formerly offices of Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George and John Profumo. The pick of the crop (by which mean poshest and most expensive) 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 hotel is set to open in late 2022. For more information, go to theowo.london.