After raising the bar in India with 11 luxury hotels, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group has chosen London for its first overseas property
UPDATE: LALIT LONDON NOW OPEN
This year discerning Londoners will be heading back to school, as The Lalit Group transforms the former St Olave’s Grammar school in Tower Bridge into a sumptuous, five-star hotel.
Originally designed by Edward Mountford, the architect of the Old Bailey, the Grade II-listed building will house 70 lavish guestrooms and suites, each with their own unique layout and design. Who would have predicted that the headmaster’s office – set to become a prize suite – would be the most sought-after destination in town?
The centrepiece of the project will be the former Great Hall; the timber panelling, vaulted ceiling and gallery are being restored to their former glory, which will also provide a backdrop for Indian restaurant, Baluchi.
There will also be a cocktail bar in what was once the governor’s room, as well as an outdoor terrace, spa and gym.
The property is currently being redeveloped and renovated by the multi-award winning EPR Architects, previously responsible for The In & Out and Fortnum & Mason. The exterior of the hotel will be decorated with dramatic topiary creations and Indian stone sculptures by The Lalit Group’s long-time collaborator, Parisian landscape artist Olivier Vecchierini.
Opening Lalit London has been a long-held ambition by Keshav Suri, executive director of The Lalit Group, but it hasn’t come cheap; Suri bought the property at auction three years ago for £15million and the conversion is set to cost approximately £40million. Suri hopes to blend the best Indian culture, hospitality and cuisine with the finest Victorian architecture in London.
The Lalit Group opened its first hotel in New Delhi in 1988 and is now India’s largest and fastest growing privately owned hotel group, with a portfolio of 11 deluxe properties across India including Delhi, Mumbai, Goa and Jaipur.
The hotel is set to open this autumn, just in time for the new school year.