The OWO and the Raffles London are finally opening their doors after a wait of more than eight years, offering a new hospitality landmark in the heart of the British capital.
Whitehall, the heart of British politics, is now home to the first customers of the OWO, described as "a legendary building with an incomparably rich history" by Sanjay Hinduja of the Hinduja Group.
He adds that "as soon as the project was launched, we did everything we could to ensure that this jewel of Whitehall would be restored in the finest possible way, to its former splendour, and that this heritage would benefit future generations".
At the heart of this ambitious project is the long-awaited Raffles London at The OWO, the first Raffles Hotels & Resorts property to open in the UK. In addition to the hotel, The OWO is home to The OWO Residences by Raffles.
The hotel has 120 rooms and suites, restaurants designed by Mauro Colagreco, event spaces including a large function room, and a vast spa, the result of a partnership between Guerlain and Pillar Wellbeing.
The Hinduja and Onex groups, custodians of the building, have committed themselves to restoring the former British War Office in keeping with its past, using the skills of hundreds of craftsmen. The rooms are located in the former State Rooms, while the Haldane Suite is in the former offices of Winston Churchill, John Profumo and Sir Richard Haldane.
In addition, the 8 Corner Suites are named after famous women and spies linked to the history of the OWO, including Viscountess Astor, Clementine Churchill, agent Christian Lamb and British spy Vera May Atkins.
On the F&B side, head chef Mauro Colagreco has teamed up with Raffles London to offer three exclusive dining experiences. In his signature restaurant, Mauro Colagreco at Raffles London at The OWO, guests will discover the chef's sustainable cuisine based on local and seasonal produce. The adjacent Mauro's Table offers a more private setting, set against the backdrop of chef Leonel Aguirre's open kitchen.
The third culinary concept, called La Saison, serves Mediterranean cuisine throughout the day in a more relaxed and contemporary atmosphere. However, it occupies a historic library in the former War Office. The Raffles London is also home to two bars, the Guards Bar and the Drawing Room.
Wellness is also at the heart of the hotel, with a state-of-the-art Guerlain spa spanning 2,500 square metres over four floors. It includes a fitness room, a 20-metre indoor swimming pool, a vitality pool, saunas and steam rooms, 9 treatment rooms, including three spacious VIP suites and L'Atelier Guerlain, and a private area dedicated to beauty and hair styling.
Finally, the Whitehall Ballroom, the vast lobby and the two more private meeting rooms complete the hotel's offer, providing a variety of event spaces.
We are delighted to offer our guests the personal and attentive service for which Raffles is renowned around the world, in a setting that is second to none. We have been fortunate to work with some of the world's leading partners to bring this new destination to life: talented designers, renowned chefs and visionary restaurateurs, as well as some of the biggest names in fragrance, beauty and wellness. I am honoured and privileged to have contributed to this historic project, which exceeds all expectations. The OWO is a legend in the making.
Philippe Leboeuf, General Manager, Raffles London at The OWO
The project has brought together some of the world's most talented architects and designers around a masterplan that brings together a selection of magnificent restaurants and bars, the UK's first Raffles hotel, the Guerlain spa and 85 private residences. There really is nothing like it in London.
Abdellah Belhadh Hamlili, Member of the Onex Group Board of Directors