This iconic London landmark is being turned into a hotel in €329m deal

There’s high hopes a revolving restaurant will reopen in the Grade II-listed tower, one of the pointiest landmarks on London’s skyline.


An imposing 189 metres up in the sky, London’s BT Tower doesn’t look like the most hospitable place to rest your head.

But the iconic British landmark is set to be turned into a hotel, it was announced last week.

Current owner BT Group – the multinational telecommunications company formerly known as British Telecom – has agreed to sell the tower to American hotel giant MCR Hotels for £275 million (around €321 million).

“This deal with MCR will enable BT Tower to take on a new purpose, preserving this iconic building for decades to come,” said Brent Mathews, property director at BT Group.

What is the history of the BT Tower?

The 177-metre structure, originally called the Post Office Tower, was completed in 1964 and was London’s tallest building until 1980.

A further section of aerial rigging brought the total height to 189 meters.

The tower was covered in microwave aerials that carried communications across the UK and also housed a rotating restaurant with panoramic views across London.

The restaurant was closed after a 1971 bombing, claimed both by anarchists and the Irish Republican Army (IRA). It never fully reopened to the public, apart from special events and occasional tours.

Technological changes have gradually rendered the tower’s original role in Britain’s telecommunications network obsolete. Its microwave aerials were removed more than a decade ago.

“It’s played a vital role in carrying the nation’s calls, messages and TV signals, but increasingly we’re delivering content and communication via other means,” said Mathews.

When will the BT Tower reopen as a hotel?

MCR Hotels owns about 150 hotels, including the New Yorker Hotel and the modernist TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK airport.

The company said it would work with British architect Thomas Heatherwick on the hotel’s design. The once-futuristic building was given Grade II listed status in 2003.

However, travellers shouldn’t plan on making reservations just yet. The hotel firm said it will “take a number of years” for BT to move out due to the complex equipment on site.

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