The UK’s first Six Senses hotel is to debut at the former Whiteleys department store in London’s Bayswater in 2023.
The hotel will comprise 110 guest rooms and suites and a Six Senses Spa, with 14 branded residences available to buy, a lobby bar and lounge, and an all-day dining restaurant with an open kitchen.
As well as being “reminiscent of an old-fashioned London underground station”, the spa will include 3,500 metres dedicated to fitness, a 20-metre indoor swimming pool, an Alchemy bar and a relaxation room with vaulted ceilings. On the second floor will be a social and wellness club with a bar and lounge, coworking spaces, a restaurant and wellness rooms.
The announcement comes following the acquisition of the luxury brand in February by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for £232m from Pegasus Capital Advisors.
Whiteleys, which first opened as a drapery shop in Westbourne Grove in 1863, was redeveloped in the 1980s into a shopping centre with a cinema and bowling alley but closed in December 2018. The redevelopment of Whiteleys is being headed by a Meyer Bergman-advised fund, with the residential real estate developer Finchatton as development manager.
In collaboration with British architectural firm Foster + Partners, the site is being restored to become a mixed-use development. The original Grade II facade, central courtyard and dome will be preserved, as will the internal staircase (modelled on the La Scala opera house in Milan), which will be the centrepiece on the ground floor of the hotel.
The interiors of Six Senses London will be designed by AvroKO in conjunction with executive architects EPR and will feature both classical detailing and art deco details. Contemporary art from British artists will be showcased throughout the hotel.
Six Senses chief executive Neil Jacobs said: “I grew up in the neighbourhood and my parents used to bring me here. It is a wonderful opportunity to pay homage to this heritage and bring our brand values to life in this part of town, while celebrating our first port of call for Six Senses in the UK.”
Marcus Meijer, chief executive of Meyer Bergman, said: “We are very excited to announce the partnership with Six Senses. It’s a key element in the transformation of Whiteleys as well as the wider Queensway regeneration plan.”
Finchatton co-founder Alex Michelin added: “Six Senses London will be a first, not only having best-in-class spa and amenities, but also a new kind of social and wellness club unlike anything we have seen in London or for that matter, in a new development.”
Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas manages 18 hotels and resorts and 30 spas in 21 countries.
Photo credit: Lightfield for Foster + Partners