NRI entrepreneur converts old Scotland Yard HQ into luxury UK hotel

PTI, Dec 6, 2019, 1:50 PM IST

London: Kerala-born NRI entrepreneur M A Yusuff Ali’s LuLu Group has completed investments of 300-million pounds in the UK with the launch of its new Great Scotland Yard Hotel in London, within the premises of the old headquarters of the Metropolitan Police.

The group had acquired the property, in the heart of London’s Whitehall area near Trafalgar Square and Downing Street, in 2015 for Rs 1,025 crores and further invested Rs 512 crores towards its makeover into a luxury hotel.

The boutique offering has been created by LuLu’s hospitality investment arm, Twenty14 Holdings, which says it has chosen a dcor that stays true to the iconic building’s Edwardian and Victorian architecture and is an ode to his history.

“London is one of the world’s greatest cities and the Great Scotland Yard Hotel represents its illustrious past as well as its modern significance, said Yusuff Ali, the UAE-based Chairman and Managing Director of LuLu Group International.

“The hotel spotlights the city’s vibrant history, its several celebrated aspects and its status as a global melting pot. In essence, we have curated an unmatched experience for every guest while recreating the historic premises into a symbol of ultimate hospitality and a landmark hotel in London, he said.

The hotel, where room tariffs start at 430 pounds a night, will formally open for business from Monday but had its official launch this week with a formal ribbon-cutting by UK secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport Nicky Morgan and the Indian high commissioner to the UK, Ruchi Ghanashyam, among others.

“One of the government’s straplines in this election is unleashing Britain’s potential’ and here, it is this building’s potential that has been unleashed. It will become a very important part of London, said Morgan, as she took time out from the election campaign for the ceremony on Thursday.

Her fellow Cabinet member, investment minister Graham Stuart, hailed the fantastic investment on an iconic site as a sign of the UK’s attraction as an investment destination.

The Great Scotland Yard building was once used as a dwelling for visiting kings of Scotland during the Tudor period in 15th-16th century England. It then went on to become the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service in London until it was sold a few years ago.

“The Great Scotland Yard Hotel is a dream come true for us transforming one of the world’s most historic addresses into an iconic hotel. This is a building that holds more tales than ever told and our approach has been multi-layered, with an emphasis on stories that are unheard, the hotel is a tribute to the intrinsic spirit of London, said Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director of Twenty14 Holdings.

The hotel, to be managed under the Hyatt Group’s Unbound Collection brand, is spread over seven floors with 152 rooms, 15 suites, a standalone two-story townhouse as its presidential suite and four restaurants serving international and British modern food.

I could not think of a better London home for this brand, which is all about creating unique stays and story-worthy experiences, said Peter Fulton of Hyatt Hotels.

In keeping with a law enforcement theme, the hotel has partnered with the Koestler Trust, the UK prison arts charity, to showcase some of the award-winning pictures, ceramics, and sculptures created by prisoners from the Trust’s annual competition.

Shafeena Yusuff Ali, Director of Twenty14 Holdings and daughter of the LuLu Group Chairman, has overseen the artistic side of the themed luxury hotel, which is replete with secret doors, hidden rooms, curated artwork, shields, emblems, and historic details etched into glass and metalwork.

We wanted to create a hotel that will inspire and ignite your senses and also your soul, she said.

The Great Scotland Yard Hotel marks the second luxury offering in the UK for Twenty14 Holdings, which owns the historic Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh The Caledonian in Scotland.

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