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October 25, 2017

The Transformation of Admiralty Arch into a Luxury Hotel

By Lauren Jade Hill

This month it was announced that the first phase in transforming Admiralty Arch into a luxury hotel is now complete, giving new life to the historic gatehouse to Buckingham Palace. While the hotel’s opening is slated for 2020, it’s the building’s Mountbatten Suites that are first to have been restored, taking their name from the ties this landmark has to the British Navy and Lord Mountbatten.

Admiralty ArchFound within the southern wing of Admiralty Arch, this newly restored area comprises three suites and a palatial drawing room. To ensure the interior restoration recreates the splendor of the Grade I listed building, the project is led by architect Michael Blair who’s known for his restoration of buildings such as the Connaught and Claridge’s, along with the historic interiors expert Andrew Damonte and interior decorator David Mlinaric whose past projects have included London’s National Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Albert Hall.

Throughout the restoration, the design team has consulted National Archives to retrieve Sir Anton Webb’s original designs, making it possible to restore elements of the interior architecture that have been lost over time, reproducing them for modern use.

By working with British artisans on the furnishings for the Mountbatten Suites, the designers have brought together antique and contemporary pieces to recreate the historical feel of Admiralty Arch while bringing the building back to life. The understated interior design then complements the building’s classic Edwardian architecture with the use of materials such as hand-stitched brocades, silks and hand-cut marble.

It was in 2015 that Rafael Serrano, who previously led the development of the Bulgari Hotel & Residences in Knightsbridge, acquired Admiralty Arch on a 250-year lease through his company Prime Investors for around $85m. When it opens, it will be home to a hotel, private residences and a private members club, with three restaurants, a rooftop bar, and a state-of-the-art spa with indoor swimming pool.

Through careful restoration and major transformation of one of London’s most historically important buildings, Admiralty Arch is slated to be one of London’s most prominent luxury hotels.

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