This west London high street is getting a swanky £3 billion glow-up

For too long, Queensway has had a rep for being Notting Hill’s less glamourous sister. Whilst nearby Hyde Park and Kensington have gotten even more glam and been converted into some of London’s chicest nabes, Queensway has been left untouched – until now. 

It’s been revealed that the neighbourhood is finally getting a much-needed facelift. The old Whiteley department store, which was at one point the neighbourhood’s centre of attention, is set to be transformed into an all-inclusive luxury wellness hotel, Everyman cinema, and shopping centre complete with twenty additional stores.

All that’ll remain of the original Whiteleys structure is its façade and motto, which once promised guests everything ‘from a pin to an elephant.’ Which is, in fact, not far from the scope of this upcoming refurb.

Whiteleys department store opened on Bayswater Road in 1911, and quickly became iconic for its art deco appearance and vast size. In the following years, the shop became one of the area’s most beloved stores, and remained so until shuttering its doors in 1981. The iconic facade remains the same, despite being bombed in WWII and rebuilt in 1989.

The hotel will be part of a chain called Six Senses, and it’ll be the first UK outlet of a brand known for its holistic and wellness-focused stays. Alongside 110 guest rooms will be 14 ‘branded residences’ ranging in price from £1.5 to £50 million – with amenities including everything from ‘bespoke interior design’ and ‘concierge service’ to ‘housekeeping and wellness programming.’ The hotel will also include a Kevin McCallister-cannonball worthy 20-metre swimming pool.

In total, the neighbourhood’s face-lift is estimated to cost about £3 billion, and will include seven additional buildings built over the course of the next few years. Here are a couple of preview renders of the project.

Image of Six Senses London, new hotel and spa
Image: Six Senses London
Image of Six Senses London, new hotel and spa
Image: Six Senses London

Finchatton, MARK, and CC Land are footing the bill for Queensway’s cosmetic surgery in the hopes that, when all renovations are complete, both old and new Londoners will no longer recognise the area. ‘In another three years’ time we expect people walking down this street to be saying, “wow this is totally different to what it was”,’ said Finchatton co-founder Alex Michelin.

With the new hotel slated to open late this year, it certainly looks like Queensway won’t be Notting Hill’s run-down neighbour for much longer! Keen to find out more about the upgrade? Find out more here.

Ever-changing London

London’s a massive and ever-shifting metropolis and we at Time Out have plenty more updates on what’s changing and where. Read more about the Slab, which is the South Bank’s latest mega project, get the lowdown on Oxford Street’s M&S and check out how the former Heinz headquarters in northwest London is being turned into flats.

Did you see that Fenwick’s old West End store could be getting a controversial makeover?

ICYMI: Why are Liverpool Street station’s redevelopment plans so controversial?

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