One of London’s most iconic buildings, Admiralty Arch is to become a luxury hotel, according to reports.
The landmark, bow-shaped building that incorporates a road and pedestrian access between the Mall to its southwest, and Trafalgar Square to its northeast, has been leased to an investment company for 99 years by the British government. The company, Prime Investors Capital, headed by Spanish developer, Rafael Serrano, expects to see a return on the £60m that it has paid for the building by developing it into a 100-bedroom hotel with a ballroom, a spa and high-end dining options.
The Grade 1 listed building, which until recently had been used by the British government as office space, was designed by Sir Aston Webb and constructed by John Mowlem & Co, after being commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother, Queen Victoria. It was completed 100 years ago this year, after the death of King Edward. Its name is derived from the fact that it adjoins the Old Admiralty Building.
Serrano was also responsible for the development of the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, London, considered to be the most expensive hotel in Britain with room rates commencing at £850 per night.
The redevelopment of the building is to incorporate royal and presidential suites and a number of residential apartments, although the developer has stated that it does not have a ‘concrete time’ for when the new hotel will open. The BBC has reported that the costly conversion is still dependant on the granting of planning permission by Westminster City Council.