Raffles London at The OWO announces autumn opening date

The OWO, in the heart of London’s Whitehall, will officially open on Friday September 29


By Wendy Golledge

06 September 2023

Raffles London at The OWO is set to open in London this September, with 120 rooms and suites, 85 Raffles Residences, The Guerlain Spa and a health club offering by Pillar Wellbeing.

The first Raffles hotel in the UK, the opening marks the rebirth of a London landmark.

Formerly Britain’s iconic Old War Office, September 29, will be the first time OWO has opened its doors to the public since its conception in 1906.

A grand hotel building
Raffles at The OWO

Raffles London’s Guerlain Spa

The Guerlain Spa at Raffles London is set to be one of the largest luxury hotel spas in the capital, spanning 2,500sqm over four floors – three of them subterranean.

It will have a 20m swimming pool, nine treatment suites and an extensive gym as well the Pillar Kitchen and L’Atelier Guerlain. Here guests can experience personalised Guerlain make-up and perfumery services or express treatments. Towels, robes and spa linens are provided by BC SoftWear.

The OWO spa space will also offer a vitality pool as well as steam and sauna rooms.

Forming one of the key areas of this storied building, interior designers Goddard Littlefair have created a timeless spa concept that cocoons guests with a sense of calm and serenity.

As well as three spacious VIP spa suites, there will be a private hair and beauty treatment space. The spa will offer a holistic combination of advanced beauty, restorative wellness and active training.

Couples treatment room in a spa
One of The Guerlain Spa's VIP couple's treatment suites

Bespoke Guerlain spa treatments

Guerlain has designed unique spa treatments exclusively for Raffles London at the OWO, capturing the essence of England.

Coastal Escape, for example, is a sensorial treatment to reset the mind and find inner peace, whilst the Spirit of London treatment targets tensions related to travel, environmental stressors and a busy lifestyle.

Robert Jeffers, director of wellbeing at Raffles London at The OWO, says: “Raffles London will bring an elevated new beauty and wellness offering to the capital. We are delighted to partner with Guerlain and Pillar Wellbeing – two industry leaders who represent the best in wellness innovation.

“We have worked very closely with these teams to ensure that every aspect of the space, treatments and practitioners all live up to the very high expectations of Londoners and international guests.”

“For Raffles London at The OWO we have created exclusive experiences that capture the essence of this dynamic metropolis. Our three exclusive rituals are meticulously designed to deliver transformative results."

Amelie Demange

International spa aesthetic creation director at Guerlain

Pillar Wellbeing

Movement, recovery and nutrition experts, Pillar Wellbeing, will enable members to reach their full potential through personalised, innovative training and nutrition.

Founded by elite performance coach Harry Jameson, Pillar Wellbeing focus on the three core pillars of movement, nourishment and recovery.

Dedicated and personalised programmes delivered by expert trainers will focus on strength and stress relief.

In addition, practitioners will offer a comprehensive range of recovery experiences, and a tailored nutritional offering created by Pillar chef Joey O’Hare.

Priced at £6,250 per annum, Pillar Wellbeing membership will also allow access to all the spa and wellness facilities, unlimited group exercise classes, access to the hotel’s concierge team and the Pillar Wellbeing app.

Hotel spa reception
The Guerlain Spa reception area

High tech wellness

In addition to enjoying the spa space, health-conscious guests can book to stay in one of the two dedicated Lifestyle Suites for a discrete, high-technology wellness experience.

The living areas of the suites provide space  for an intimate, private workout area with a fitness mirror. In-room equipment will include yoga blocks, mats and a TRX suspension trainer. There is also space for a Peloton Bike upon request.

Additional offerings include in-room Normatec recovery boots and a menu of Guerlain treatments to be delivered on a mobile treatment bed.

There will be a fragrance activated technology in each room, timed to release calming aromas at night and energising scents in the morning.

A headshot of Emlyn Brown, Global vice president Wellbeing, Accor

"Our guests are increasingly motivated by the possibilities of maintaining and improving their wellbeing as part of their travels. Our signature spa and wellbeing centres aim to create environments that nurture wellbeing holistically, through harmonious design, nutrition for pleasure, serene rituals and the world's best wellness experiences.”

Emlyn Brown

Senior vice president of wellbeing, strategy, design, development at Accor

Raffles London at The OWO will feature 120 guest rooms and suites, signature dining experiences by chef Mauro Colagreco, and a grand ballroom.

The OWO will also feature 85 Residences by Raffles and will debut of nine restaurants and three bars, including a rooftop with panoramic views across St James’s Park and The Mall.

In a restoration spanning eight years, The OWO has been restored by the family-run Hinduja Group and Accor.

Hundreds of artisans have been involved in the process of restoring historic interior elements, including delicate hand-laid mosaic floors, oak panelling, chandeliers and a marble staircase.

The hotel was the vision of famed designer, the late Thierry Despont.

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