August 27, 2013, 2:40 pm -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Admiralty Arch, the famous and historic London landmark which separates Trafalgar Square from Buckingham Palace , will be turned into a luxury hotel, flats and a private members' club after Westminster City Council gave plans the green light. The new 100-bedroom five-star hotel will be one of the more expensive places to stay in the city when it opens in 2016 adding an exciting new venue to the choice of high end hotels in London already available in the heart of the city.
The Portland stone structure, completed in 1912, was designed by Sir Aston Webb as part of a masterplan to turn the Mall into a stately boulevard with the arch serving as a grand barrier between the crowded Trafalgar Square and the more distinguished area around Buckingham Palace . It has been part of many celebrations, including the Queen's Diamond Jubilee procession and the marathon event during the Olympics last year.
Now it is to be converted into a luxury hotel by Spanish developer Rafael Serrano's company Prime Investors Capital (PIC) which has been given permission to convert the space in a move that will raise £60 million for the Treasury. Serrano is the man behind the glitzy Bulgari hotel in Knightsbridge which has rooms at £850 a night making it the UK 's most expensive hotel.
London-based Blair Associates Architecture, the firm which worked on the restoration of the Connaught hotel, will transform the Grade I listed landmark into a five star 100-bedroom hotel with a basement ballroom, 25-metre pool, a spa, three restaurants and a brasserie on the first bridging floor over the Sovereign Arch.
For those who can't afford the estimated £400 it will cost to stay at one of the hotel's rooms, the bars and restaurants, which will be open to the public, will be the easiest way to access the building which has been closed to the public until now.
The plans, which also include a private 16,856sq ft apartment that is estimated to sell for over £120 million, will see the Grade I listed building renovated in keeping with architect Sir Aston Webb's original drawings from around 1910 with many lost designs restored, returning the building to its former glory.
Construction will begin early next year and the hotel is expected to open its doors to the public in 2016. It will join other new London hotels planned for 2016 including The International Quarter, Stratford City, an 18-storey hotel complex with up to 500 bedrooms overlooking the former London 2012 Athletes' Village. And Manhattan Loft Gardens, a 42-storey double-cantilevered tower being developed in Stratford by the Manhattan Loft Corporation which will have residential flats, three sky gardens and a design hotel.
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