Luxury Hotels

Licence to Thrill: Meet the Irish woman marketing London hotel that inspired Ian Fleming’s Bond

For Jill O’Hare, exploring the history of the Old War Office, now a luxury hotel where rooms start at £1,100 per night, has been a source of fascination

Jill O'Hare, director of sales and marketing at Raffles London at the OWO. Picture: Daniel Lynch

Few tourists come to London dreaming of spending a night in a former government office block. Now, one hotel is hoping to change that.

Granted, that ambition is perhaps easier if you're selling rooms in the opulent Old War Office. Opened in 1906, the warren-like Whitehall building was home to a succession of major figures from Winston Churchill to Lloyd George, as well as an army of spies, secretaries and civil servants.

Some 120 years ...