Image by pit van meeffe from the Londonist Flickr pool
André Balazs, who already owns several high-end hotels around the world, has put in a planning application to Westminster council to turn an old fire station into a 33-room designer stopover for the rich and famous. Located on Chiltern Street off Baker Street, in an area stubbornly and preciously referred to as St Marylebone by some, we can't help but indulge in what it could be like inside...
Morning wake-up call could be the alarms going off. Express check out could be done by sliding down a pole straight into the foyer with a handy chip and PIN machine at the bottom. Room service could be delivered to your window on an extending ladder. Each room would have the ultimate jet-spray showers from the fire engines, offering not so much a reviving massage but more like a re-setting of all your bones in one super-charged whoosh. The honeymoon suite could be kept very private and special in a penthouse at the top of the training staircase. And for the guests who have overdone it in town and need help getting up the stairs, a fireman's lift could be offered for a small supplement.
Of course, it's bound to be done up in tasteful, designer boutique style if it goes ahead, with little if nothing remaining of the fire service. But have you ever set off a fire extinguisher? Do you know how much fun that is? We hold out hope that at least part of a fire engine is installed somewhere so that all those high-paying guests get to enjoy turning on the siren and unfurling a hose for their money.