London-based Prime Investors Capital paid £60 million for a 250-year lease on the Admiralty Arch in 2015, and is spending £100 million to turn the building into London’s first Waldorf Astoria hotel. The Admiralty Arch Waldorf Astoria, London is expected to open in 2022.
Sense of History
Admiralty Arch was commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of Queen Victoria, and was designed by Sir Aston Webb, who was also responsible for The Mall and main facade at Buckingham Palace. In addition to housing the official residences of the First Sea Lords, Admiralty Arch has served as a center for clandestine wartime intelligence efforts, a Royal Navy outpost, and as a center for the UK Government's Cabinet Office.
Since construction of the building was completed in 1910, Admiralty Arch has hosted leading figures of state and society, from Sir Winston Churchill—whose office was based within the arch when he was First Sea Lord of the Admiralty—to Ian Fleming. Plans to turn the building into a hotel have been ongoing for about four years.
"Since 2015 when we acquired Admiralty Arch from the British Government, we have made many decisions that will impact not only the future of the building and the local area, but also the profile of the very heart of London,” Rafael Serrano, CEO of Prime Investors Capital said in a statement. “We have created a detailed plan to transform Admiralty Arch into an extraordinary hotel, residences and private members club.”
The New Hotel
Admiralty Arch Waldorf Astoria will have 96 guestrooms and suites and three restaurants. Plans include a rooftop bar, private meetings and event spaces and a spa.
Work is already underway to restore the building's original features, overseen by Michael Blair and David Mlinaric. Michael Blair's work includes the restoration and extension of The Ritz, The Connaught and Claridge's hotels. David Mlinaric's body of work includes The Royal Opera House, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The National Gallery and the British Residences in London and Paris. The team also includes historical interiors expert Andrew Damonte, who has worked alongside Mlinaric on the restoration of Dumfries House in Scotland for the Prince of Wales.