The BT Tower Is Becoming A Hotel

Last Updated 21 February 2024

The BT Tower Is Becoming A Hotel
The BT Tower
The futuristic landmark has been owned by BT since 1984.  Image: Londonist

The iconic BT Tower will be turned into a hotel, after the BT Group announced its sale to MCR Hotels.

Officially opened by Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1965, the futuristic-looking structure — sometimes compared to the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, and originally called the Post Office Tower — was designed to handle the perceived rapid increase in telephone calls at the time.

The Fitzrovia landmark soon opened to the public, with viewing galleries, and a revolving restaurant owned by Sir William "Billy" Butlin (of seaside resort fame). However, for many years now, the tower (which was bought by BT in 1984) has been largely off-limits to the hoi polloi, save the occasional Open House and charity stair walk.

BT Group says that most of the tower's tech is now obsolete (for example, its microwave aerials were removed more than a decade ago) — hence why it's selling the building to MCR Hotels for £275m. The company owns around 150 hotels, including the dreamy Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Hotel in New York City. We imagine they'll do something similarly spaced aged with the BT Tower — and maybe they can get some inspo from the Žižkov Television Tower in Prague, home to a one-room hotel.

Whatever MCR does with it, the hotel will boast some of the finest views of central London. And hopefully we'll finally get that revolving restaurant back too.

In recent years, a number of notable London landmarks have either been turned into hotels, or plan to, including Admiralty Arch, Great Scotland Yard and 55 Broadway, the former home of Transport for London.