The OWO, a magnificent new destination, opens today at one of the most powerful addresses in London. Set in a building of epic proportions, The OWO is home to the first Raffles hotel in London, The OWO Residences by Raffles, and a collection of independent restaurants and bars drawn from dynamic culinary hubs across the globe. The OWO heralds a new chapter for Whitehall, an area synonymous with politics, as an exciting place to drink and dine, celebrate, be entertained, rest and recharge, stay and live.
“The OWO is a legendary building with a storied history. From the outset of the project, we have gone above and beyond to ensure that this jewel in the heart of Whitehall is restored, curated and revived in the most appropriate way to deliver a heritage site for the next generations,” said Sanjay Hinduja from Hinduja Group.
The highly anticipated Raffles London at The OWO is the first property in the UK for Raffles Hotels & Resorts, and features 120 spacious guest rooms and suites, signature dining experiences by chef Mauro Colagreco, impressive entertainment spaces including a grand ballroom, and an extensive spa in partnership with Guerlain and Pillar Wellbeing.
“We are honoured to be part of this monumental project. Opening Raffles London at The OWO within this historical building is an incredible highlight and marks one of the most important moments in the history of the Raffles brand which has long been synonymous with legendary service, glamour, art, and storied destinations,” said Omer Acar, CEO of Raffles & Orient Express.
From the dazzling beauty of the Grand Staircase, elegantly wrapped around a breath-taking chandelier, to the mosaic-tiled floors and oak-panelled walls, Raffles London pays homage to the building’s history whilst providing a sense of timeless luxury. Guests can retrace the steps of some of the most influential leaders of the 20th century and reflect on the pivotal decisions made within its storied walls. Custodians of the building, Hinduja Group and Onex Group have been passionately committed to the revival of the former Old War Office’s heritage features, employing the expertise of hundreds of craftsmen throughout its comprehensive eight-year restoration.
“We are excited to provide guests with the highly personalised and intuitive service for which Raffles is known the world over, in an unparalleled setting. We have been very fortunate to work with world-class partners in delivering this new destination, talented designers, world-class chefs and visionary restaurateurs alongside the preeminent names in the world of fragrance, beauty and wellness. I am both honoured and privileged to have been part of this historic project that has surpassed all expectations. It is truly a legend in the making,” said Philippe Leboeuf, Managing Director of Raffles London at The OWO.
At Raffles London, handsome State Rooms and grand spaces have been transformed into 120 guest rooms and suites by famed designer, the late Thierry Despont. Situated in the historically significant areas of the building are the Heritage Suites, former offices of influential political and military leaders. The Haldane suite, formerly the office of Winston Churchill, John Profumo and Sir Richard Haldane can be combined to create a six-bedroom, 500 sq. ft suite. Known as The Whitehall Wing, this can accommodate up to twelve guests – one of the largest luxury hotel wings available in London.
Also highlighted are eight Corner Suites which are named after notable women and female spies connected with the history of The OWO. Situated in the rounded pavilion corners of the building these honour influential women such as Viscountess Astor and Clementine Churchill as well as WWII operatives such as Christian Lamb and British female spy Vera May Atkins.
Renowned chef Mauro Colagreco has partnered exclusively with Raffles London to lead three unique dining experiences at the property. These three diverse concepts will showcase the beauty of the UK’s best seasonal produce, sourced from local farms, fields and shores across the country.
At his signature restaurant, Mauro Colagreco at Raffles London at The OWO, diners will witness Mauro’s culinary innovation and passion for sustainability through his commitment to sourcing local, seasonal ingredients. Dishes here will highlight the rich diversity of native British vegetables, delivered through a series of tasting menus. Next door, Mauro’s Table is an intimate space centred around an impressive dining table for up to 23 guests. Backed by a dramatic show kitchen, head chef Leonel Aguirre will take diners on a sensory journey through English gardens.
Mauro’s relaxed dining restaurant, Saison, will put a contemporary spin on the traditional hotel restaurant. Serving seasonal Mediterranean cuisine throughout the day including breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, this elegant space occupies a former historic library of the Old War Office. True to its name, Saison will reflect chef Colagreco’s philosophy and commitment to seasonal cuisine.
Raffles London also debuts two atmospheric bars in settings like no other. The Guards Bar and Lounge honours The OWO’s long association and historic connections with the Household Cavalry. Featuring a thoughtful menu of 16 drinks, with a focus on British ingredients intertwined with flavours from the East, The Guards Bar and Lounge will feature its own signature ‘London Sling’. Further outlets at the hotel include The Drawing Room, a relaxed all-day lounge overlooking Horse Guards, and Pillar Kitchen, a well-being-focused outlet that will go beyond healthy food.
Well-being is integral to Raffles London at The OWO, with a state-of-the-art Guerlain Spa spanning 27,000 sq ft over four floors. Designed by Goddard Littlefair, the spa space offers an impressive range of facilities and services to provide guests with a truly indulgent spa experience. These include a cutting-edge gym and movement studio, a stunning 20m swimming pool surrounded by luxurious loungers, a vitality pool, and steam and sauna rooms. Nine exquisitely designed treatment suites are also available, including three spacious VIP Spa Suites and L’Atelier Guerlain, a private beauty and hair treatment space.
Movement, recovery and nutrition experts, Pillar Wellbeing, founded by elite performance coach Harry Jameson, will enable members to reach their full potential through personalised, innovative training and nutrition. The spa will be open to guests at Raffles London, residents of The OWO Residences by Raffles, Raffles Wellbeing members and day guests.
Raffles London will be the new venue of choice for the city’s most important occasions – from glamorous weddings and history-making state dinners to larger-than-life business events and launches. With access via the exceptional Grand Staircase, the extraordinary Whitehall Ballroom offers capacity for up to 600 guests, complemented by an extensive pre-function space and dedicated meeting rooms, named Morse and Code, making Raffles London a spectacular stage for the most dazzling celebrations.
“The project has brought together some of the world’s most talented architects and designers with a master plan that includes an incredible collection of restaurants and bars, the UK’s first Raffles hotel, The Guerlain Spa, and 85 private residences. There truly is nowhere else like it in London,” added Abdellah Belhadh Hamlili, Board Member Onex Group.