Answers from Our Experts (1)
If nothing house, luxury The Royal Horseguards Hotel is steeped in history. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you walk the halls of this unique London structure:
1. It was a former spy headquarters. According to the hotel, Sir George Mansfield Smith-Cumming led the Secret Intelligence Service (commonly known as MI6) on the eighth floor of the structure during World War I.
2. It’s a shared space. The London hotel’s structure was built in the late 1880s and was designed by Archer & Green in the style of a French chateau. The building plays host to the National Liberal Club (designed by famed architect Alfred Waterhouse), One Whitehall Place (a luxury meeting and events facility run by The Royal Horseguards Hotel), various commercial and charitable organizations, and residential units.
3. It suffered World War II damage. In May of 1941, the Germans bombed the adjoining National Liberal Club, during the London Blitz, causing considerable damage to the building. One item damaged in the blast was a portrait of Winston Churchill, a former member of the club.
4. It wasn’t transformed into a hotel until 1971. The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel opened in 1971 and operated out of 1-2 Whitehall Court. In 1985, the hotel acquired 140 bedrooms, ballrooms and other space from the adjoining National Liberal Club. In 2008, Guoman Hotels purchased the hotel and spent millions of dollars refurbishing it to its original Victorian splendor.
5. The luxury hotel’s One Twenty One Two Restaurant is named for the Scotland Yard. Scotland Yard was once located adjacent the hotel, and the restaurant is named after the internationally famed telephone number of Scotland Yard, Whitehall 1212.