Piccadilly scheme involves digging five-storey basement 

Sir Robert McAlpine is understood to be working on the deal for a massive five-storey basement extension at London’s Ritz Hotel featuring a two-level spa, 20m swimming pool and a gym.

The £300m-plus scheme, the biggest refurbishment in the world-famous hotel’s near 120-year history, will also add 53 new rooms and has been codenamed Project Picnic.

Designed by EPR Architects, it will see a neighbouring building demolished and replaced with a new structure, while a roof extension is also set to be added to the grade II*-listed main building, bringing the total number of rooms to 191.


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The revamp will be the biggest at the hotel since it opened in 1906

Turner & Townsend is also on the project team as cost consultant and project manager.

The five-star hotel on Piccadilly, which serves up £72 afternoon teas five times a day, is carrying out the overhaul to counter increasing competition from other upmarket rivals in the capital.

The aim is to modernise the luxury destination, and comes after Qatari investor Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri purchased the Mayfair hotel overlooking Green Park from the Barclay family three years ago for an estimated £700m.

Steam and sauna facilities will also be housed within the new mega-basement along with treatment rooms, a juice bar, a beauty salon, while another level will contain a secure parking lot for high-profile guests such as royalty or heads of state.

McAlpine, which declined to comment, has also been working on the five-star Peninsula Hotel at Hyde Park Corner which includes apartments designed by US firm Peter Marino Architects.