The former St Olave’s Grammar School has been transformed into a luxury hotel on London's South Bank, offering a deluxe education in five-star living
Lalit London officially opens its doors this month in Tower Bridge; an Indian boutique hotel owned by the Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, India’s largest privately owned hotelier, with a portfolio of 11 deluxe properties across India.
Set in a Grade II listed property, the hotel is the company's first overseas venture and brings together Indian culture and hospitality with iconic Victorian architecture. The building was originally designed by Edward Mountford, architect of the Old Bailey, and was built in two phases in 1893 and 1896. It originally housed St Olave’s Grammar School and, more recently, Lambeth College.
The £50 million redevelopment was carried out by EPR Architects (previously responsible for Fortnum & Mason), whilst Archer Humphryes (Chiltern Firehouse) and Dr Jyotsna Suri, the group’s managing director, were jointly responsible for the interior design, which pairs state-of-the-art technology with traditional Indian décor.
Dine out at the Naanery, a dedicated a naan bread and wine bar within the Great Hall
The centrepiece of the project is the Great Hall, which has been restored to its former glory featuring timber panelling, a soaring vaulted ceiling, original parquet flooring and a gallery that will host afternoon tea overlooking the dining room. The Great Hall provides the backdrop for pan-Indian restaurant, Baluchi, which offers a vast selection of contemporary regional dishes.
Guests can also prop up at the ‘Naanery’, a dedicated a naan bread and wine bar where artisan breads are cooked in a cast-iron tandoor and served straight from the oven with dip and drinks, or head to the Governors’ Room for cocktails.
The hotel features 70 (class) rooms, each one unique in layout and décor. The unlikely star stay is the former Headmaster’s Office, now an opulent, three-bedroom Legacy Suite. The building’s scholarly history flickers throughout the hotel, from the archival photography that characterises the Teacher’s Bar to the original windows and cornicing in the bedrooms, many of which have soaring 30-foot high ceilings and windows overlooking London’s iconic skyline.