Raffles London Opens in a History-Laden Former War Office

The Grade II–listed landmark that once housed Winston Churchill is reborn as a sumptuous hotel, spa, and dining destination that pays homage to its historic environs and immediately emerges as one of London’s most rarefied new stays.

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Location: London

Designers: Cordélia de Castellane & DaeWha Kang Design; Goddard Littlefield (Guerlain Spa and Lifestyle Suites); Thierry W Despont; 1508 London 

On Offer: The Grade II–listed Edwardian Old War Office in London’s Whitehall has long been among the city’s most storied buildings, home to Winston Churchill and John Profumo and an inspiration for novelist Ian Fleming when creating James Bond. This fall, the building has been reborn as Raffles London at The OWO, a massive undertaking comprising the city’s first Raffles hotel, a spa, and a dozen new food and beverage destinations. What’s more, The OWO also contains the first Raffles residences in Europe, 85 homes with amenities including a garden, private dining room, lounges, a gym, and cinema.

Standout Features: The late Thierry Despont lent his flair for sensitively refreshing landmark properties to the five floors of guest rooms with 39 suites tucked into turrets with views of Whitehall, every last one named after a famous (or, in the case of several spies, infamous) historical woman. Goddard Littlefield conceived the Guerlain Spa, with nine treatment suites and a 66-foot-long indoor pool, and Pillar Wellbeing nutrition and recovery program spaces. Historic features including hand-laid mosaic floors and a monumental marble staircase have been restored. Triple Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco has whipped up a trio of restaurants: an eponymous local and seasonal produce-focused destination; Mauro’s Table, offering private dining with a view of the kitchen; and the more casual Salon. And a pair of bars keeps things lubricated, including the intoxicating Spy Bar located in an underground former interrogation room.

(All images courtesy of Raffles London.)

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