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Rishi Sunak: Churchill’s Old War Office inaugurated as Hinduja’s luxury hotel; Rishi Sunak attends ceremony

NEW DELHI: In 1931, Winston Churchill had famously described Mahatma Gandhi as a “half naked fakir.” Less than a century later, an Indian origin business family — Hindujas — on Wednesday opened the world war II era PM’s Old War Office (OWO) in the heart of central London’s Whitehall as a group hotel with the inauguration event being attended, among others, by Rishi Sunak– Britain’s Indian origin PM.Princess Anne, the princess royal and sister of King Charles III, unveiled the plaque for The OWO after a tour of the hotel withHinduja Group chairman GP Hinduja.
The new hotel is a collaborative venture between the 109-year-old Hinduja Group and French hospitality major Raffles Hotels & Resorts. The hotel’s website shows daily tariff ranging from Rs 1.2 lakh (for room) to Rs 5.8 lakh (for suite) for next week.
Hinduja Group chairman GP Hinduja said: “We have always been working to see what best we can do between India and the UK because we believe our responsibility is to act as a bridge between the host country and the motherland. It took us eight years and in these eight years we had a lot to do, but finally this iconic building has been converted into a symbol of peace and solace and not World Wars. The OWO will represent the legacy of the Hinduja Group and emerge as London’s iconic destination. Everyone who lands in London will first come here to see what it is.”British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak “made a quick stopover, along with parliamentarians, entrepreneurs, hoteliers and stars of film and television,” the group said in a statement. There was a musical performances by musicians Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Andrea Bocelli. The hotel will welcome its first guests starting from Friday (Sept 29).
“When we came to Whitehall, the team were blown away by the size and beauty of this majestic building. No expense has been spared in bringing it back to its former glory and paying homage to its heritage, whilst breathing new life into it. Along with Raffles London at The OWO, we hope to create a legacy that is both timeless and unsurpassed,” said Sanjay Hinduja, who has overseen the project.
“The OWO’s grand inauguration ceremony welcomed distinguished guests, including Princess Beatrice, Sadiq Khan – mayor of London, Adil Ray- British Actor and Comedian, Natalie Pinkman – British TV presenter, Richard Caring – British businessman and Actor Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna,” the group’s statement added.
The transformed OWO houses 85 Residences by Raffles “as part of the building’s reimagining as a new culinary district for London, complete with nine new restaurants and three bars, including a rooftop with views of Buckingham Palace.”

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