Six Senses London to open in former Whiteleys Department Store

IHG's Six Senses London is to bring an arts, wellness and community focus to its first London home, close to Hyde Park and Kensington Palace in Bayswater, West London.

Six Senses London, which is slated to open in 2023, will be situated in the iconic building and former department store, Whiteleys.

The hotel, wellness club and spa mark the brand’s entry into the UK and will open with 110 guest rooms and suites, starting from 355 sq ft (33 sq m) and celebrating the building’s origins, while making space for modern living.

There will also be 14 branded residences, with owners able to tap into all the privileges that come with a Six Senses home, including bespoke interior design, concierge service, dining, housekeeping and wellness programming.

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 described as “an immense symposium of the arts and industries of the nation and of the world”.

Once a vibrant destination that formed the focus for the surrounding residential neighborhood, Whiteleys was then redeveloped in the 1980s into a shopping center with a cinema and bowling alley. It subsequently closed its doors in December 2018 as its popularity diminished.

The redevelopment of Whiteleys is headed by a Meyer Bergman-advised fund, with the preeminent residential real estate developer Finchatton as development manager. In collaboration with the British architectural firm, Foster + Partners, renowned for its eco credentials and responsible design approach, this 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 (modeled on the La Scala opera house in Milan), which features as the centerpiece on the ground floor of the hotel.

On the ground floor, there will be a cosy lobby bar and lounge, an all-day dining restaurant with an open kitchen and seating area in the courtyard.

Chief Executive Officer, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Neil Jacobs, said, “I feel nostalgic when talking about Whiteleys. I grew up in the neighborhood 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.”

Six Senses Spa will include 3,500 square feet (325 square meters) dedicated to fitness, a 65-foot (20-meter) indoor swimming pool, an Alchemy Bar and a relaxation room with vaulted ceilings.

On the second floor, residents and members will access a new kind of social and wellness club. Away from the density and intensity of the city, this space will feature a central bar and lounge, co-working spaces, a restaurant and wellness rooms, and offer pioneering programming to encourage growth, reflection and reconnection.

Marcus Meijer, chief executive officer of Meyer Bergman, commented, “We are very excited to announce the agreement with Six Senses. It’s a key element in the transformation of Whiteleys as well as the wider Queensway regeneration plan. The Six Senses brand stands for luxury, design, wellness and sustainability, values that form the keystone of our vision for this vibrant part of London.”