Client story

The UK’s first ‘Urban Resort’

Transforming a restricted site into a world-class destination hotel


 BREEAM Excellent

A major new development in the heart of London’s West-End

Opened in 2021, the Londoner is a major new development which has transformed a previously very restricted site measuring less than 50m x 50m into a world-class destination hotel in the heart of London’s Leicester Square. This 5-star hotel comprises of 350 rooms including 14 luxurious suites with one penthouse, six bars – two VIP – including a rooftop bar, two restaurants and one café eatery, a 612-person ballroom, seven meeting room suites, pool and spa including treatment rooms.

The vision

Our client’s vision was to create a hotel that would offer immersive experiences and a sense of retreat; despite the urban setting.  The project brief was to maximise the value of the location and make The Londoner a destination in its own right.

Bringing the vision to life

JLL partnered with the Edwardian Group from the outset; assisting our client in assessing the development possibilities for the site, which was being put together from numerous holdings.  We went on from there to provide cost management, capital allowances, town planning, neighbourly matters and valuation (bank and leisure) services. Our joined-up approach enabled our client to achieve their goal – to make a lasting contribution to the quality of the city.

Several planning issues needed to be resolved, including heritage, loss of residential, construction impacts and views from Trafalgar Square across the top of the National Gallery.  At 30m deep, with six levels below ground and a further eleven levels above ground, at the time of it’s opening, this was the deepest habitable-grade commercial building basement in London, and among the deepest in the world. The excavation itself produced enough soil to fill 26 Olympic swimming pools! The development represents a significant engineering and design achievement which has required innovative and agile solutions. Given the prominent location of the site, the construction activities, particularly during the excavation works, required a co-ordinated logistics plan and traffic management system to ensure this operation was completed successfully, and to programme and budget.

Delivering an award-winning hotel

The Londoner has been awarded four prestigious AHEAD awards - for Best Event Spaces, Best Hotel Newbuild, 2022 Hotel of the Year and the Ultimate Accolade. Lauded by the judges as “a true visionary project”, The Londoner has been cited as “a worthy winner”, with potential to “compete on a global scale".

Contact Nick Winter

UK Head of Project, Design and NZ Consulting