London has more than its fair share of world-famous hotels, but imagine staying at Admiralty Arch, one of the most iconic buildings in London – used by Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Ian Fleming and Lord Mountbatten
Admiralty Arch, built in 1910 as a working monument to the British Navy and a memorial to Queen Victoria, is to become a luxury hotel and spa, and 12 top hotel operators are interested in managing the property.
Located on The Mall in St. James’s, and regarded as the gatehouse to Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch was designed by the leading architect of the period, Sir Aston Webb, who was also responsible for renovating the façade of Buckingham Palace itself. Admiralty Arch helped to link Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Trafalgar Square.
Admiralty Arch, a Grade 1 listed building, is now being restored by Prime Investors Capital which has been awarded a 250-year lease by the UK Government to convert the building into a 100 bedroom hotel, spa, private residences and private members’ club.
Up to four exclusive serviced residences are being created and available for sale. Owners will enjoy an exclusive piece of British history (great political and naval leaders including Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Mountbatten, Lord Carrington and Lord Hailsham lived and worked there), as well as prime property. Each residence comprises several suites, 6-metre high ceilings, intricate crests, original fireplaces and fittings from the Edwardian era, as well as views of The Mall, Trafalgar Square, St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace.
Residents will have access to the luxury amenities offered by the hotel inside Admiralty Arch, including a 24-hour concierge service and security, valet parking and a lifetime membership to the private members’ club. Each serviced residence will include several suites and owners will be able to influence superficial design aspects and interior aesthetics. Net internal areas for each residence range from 1,700 sq ft to 7,100 sq ft. There’s even talk of a 15,000 sq ft serviced apartment with 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, which estate agents estimate could sell for around £150 million.
Residents will have access to the luxury amenities offered by the hotel inside Admiralty Arch, including a 24-hour concierge service, valet parking and a lifetime membership to the private members’ club
Overseeing the restoration is renowned interior decorator David Mlinaric (who has worked on the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum and British Embassies in Paris and Washington) and architect Michael Blair of Blair Associates, responsible for the renovation of luxury hotels The Connaught and Claridges.
‘The intention behind the interior design is to answer and enhance Sir Aston Webb’s distinguished, Edwardian, classical architecture and, in so doing, to present a series of traditional, English rooms,’ says David Mlinaric. ‘The decorations are more colourful and more in keeping with late 20th Century and early 21st Century taste. The furnishings are a mixture of antique and contemporary for reasons of styling and comfort. In this way, it will be quite unlike any other London hotel.’
The operator of the hotel is expected to be chosen in 2017, now that building work and the restoration of Admiralty Arch is underway.