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Six Senses London to open in former Art Deco department store

Slated to open in 2023, the brand’s first foray into the United Kingdom will pay homage to the iconic West London building’s unique heritage.

With its proximity to Hyde Park and Kensington Palace, Bayswater in West London is recognised for its streets lined with grand terraces of white stucco houses and garden squares. Among them is an iconic building and former department store – Whiteleys – soon to become home to Six Senses London.

The hotel marks the brand’s entry into the United Kingdom and will open with 110 guest rooms and suites, starting from 33 square metres and celebrating the building’s origins. There will also be 14 branded residences inclusive of concierge service, dining, housekeeping and wellness programming.

Preserving the heritage

Whiteleys takes its name from visionary entrepreneur, William Whiteley, who opened his first drapery shop in Westbourne Grove in 1863. A little over a decade later, the shop had grown to a department store and vibrant destination that formed the focus for the surrounding residential neighbourhood. Whiteleys was then redeveloped in the 1980s into a shopping centre with a cinema and bowling alley. It subsequently closed its doors in December 2018 as its popularity diminished.

The historic landmark will become a sensitively restored mixed-use development. The original Grade II façade, central courtyard and dome will all be preserved, as will the majestic internal staircase (modelled on the La Scala opera house in Milan), which features as the centrepiece on the ground floor of the hotel.

Art Deco meeds modern touches

Designed by internationally celebrated AvroKO in conjunction with executive architects EPR, the interiors will combine classic detailing with modern touches. Contemporary art from British artists will be showcased throughout the hotel and the ground floor will feature 1,300 square metres of public space, including a cosy lobby bar and lounge, all-day dining restaurant with an open kitchen and seating area in the courtyard.

The luxury property will feature a Six Senses Spa in a space reminiscent of an old-fashioned London underground station. Highlights include a 325 square-metre space dedicated to fitness, a 20-metre indoor swimming pool, an Alchemy Bar and a relaxation room with vaulted ceilings.

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