Raffles London At The OWO Was Certainly Worth The Wait

By Lauren Ho

4 weeks ago

Lauren Ho checks into a much anticipated opening

Many years in the making, London’s new hospitality destination, Raffles London At The OWO has finally opened its doors. Lauren Ho steps inside.

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Hotel Review: Raffles London At The OWO

Exterior of Raffles London at the OWO


Occupying Britain’s iconic Old War Office, which dates from 1906, this handsome Grade II listed Edwardian Baroque pile has been given a top-to-toe overhaul, but it retains original heritage details such as the delicate hand-laid mosaic floors, oak panelling, glittering chandeliers, and the magnificent sweeping marble staircase, which takes centre stage.

Alongside a collection of nine restaurants and three bars, there are 85 residences as well as 120 rooms and suites, which are managed under the Raffles banner. Most of these are dressed in neutral tones with customised carpets, fabrics, furnishings and artwork that come together in a classic, somewhat understated offering.

Churchill Suite Bedroom

Churchill Suite Bedroom

For an extra special experience, the Heritage Suites – which are the former offices of bigwig political and military leaders – have soaring, double height ceilings and are layered with rich architectural details like ornate stucco work, handsome wall panelling, and antique fireplaces.


Steps from Trafalgar Square, St. James’ Park and Buckingham Palace, you are perfectly placed to explore the best of what London has to offer, while the West End theatres and the nightlife of Covent Garden are a heartbeat away.

The spa pool at Raffles London

Spa Vitality

But for those who want to stay in and soak up the building’s rich history, there are daily heritage tours – including one that concludes with afternoon tea – alongside the sprawling Guerlain Spa, which spans 2,500 square metres over four floors. Here, find a show-stopping 20-metre indoor swimming pool that sits under double height ceilings, and a thermal spa suite with a vitality pool, sauna and steam room. There are also nine suites from which to indulge in a range of massages and facials alongside exclusive experiences such as The Spirit of London, which uses LED Light Therapy to target tensions related to travel, or the three-hour spa journey which is tailored to your desires.


Finding time to explore London’s vibrant dining scene will be a tough task, given Raffles London At The OWO has nine restaurants (five of which are operated by Raffles) and three bars (two of which are operated by Raffles) onsite.

Among these, chef Mauro Colegreco holds court with a signature fine dining restaurant, alongside being behind the gorgeous light-filled all-day dining restaurant Saison, which serves a Mediterranean-inspired menu with seasonal produce such as the white asparagus with blood orange and bottarga, or the lobster ragu.

Exterior courtyard at night

Exterior Courtyard

Also on offer is an outpost of Milan’s much-loved seafood institution, Langosteria, while chef Endo Kazutoshi is behind Paper Moon, a Japanese restaurant and sake bar on the roof, with panoramic views across Whitehall, The Mall, and Buckingham Palace.

All this, along with lots of cosy bars to hunker down in – most notably The Guards Bar, where a glass of champagne by a window seat is the best spot to watch the world go by on a rainy London day.


A much-anticipated opening that has been in the works for a long time, Raffles London At The OWO has certainly been worth the wait. While the guestrooms are not as lavish as one would expect, they are well-appointed, comfortable and make for a calming counterbalance to the hotel’s extensive food and beverage offering, as well as the sprawling spa, which is the star of the show.

Exterior of Raffles London at the OWO at dusk


The starting rate for Raffles London At The OWO is £1,000 per night. raffles.com

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