by Hannah Boland, The Telegraph, October 27, 2017
Admiralty Arch, the iconic monument regarded as the gatehouse to Buckingham Palace, will be home to a new Waldorf Astoria hotel by 2022.
The 96-room Hilton hotel, which is to take up part of the property, will sit alongside a private members club and residences. Plans for the site also include a rooftop bar, three restaurants and a spa.
Admiralty Arch, commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of Queen Victoria, once served as office space for the Royal Navy, including Sir Winston Churchill when he served as First Sea Lord of the Admiralty.
It is thought that the hotel’s suites will be named after different admirals with connections to the building.
The property was owned by the Government until 2012, when it was sold to Spanish investor Rafael Serrano, as part of wave of property sales to help cut costs.
Rumours surrounding its conversion into a hotel have swirled since the 2012 deal.
However, it wasn't until Prime Investors Capital bought the 250-year lease of the property in 2015 that efforts got underway to transform the building. The redesign is expected to cost as much as £135m.
The work has been focused on restoring the original features of the property, with the design team led by Michael Blair and David Mlinaric, who have worked on The Ritz, The Royal Opera House and Claridge's hotel.
More recently Prime Capital has been holding talks with 12 hotel brands over the operation and management of the site.
It said on Thursday it had chosen Waldorf Astoria to run the hotel given its reputation in protecting historical buildings.
Examples include the Waldorf Astoria New York, which dates back to 1893, and the Trianon Palace Versailles, built over a century ago and serving as an auxiliary hospital during the First World War.