In a city like London, it's easy for the grandeur of history and tradition to get a bit diluted. After all, it is a city loaded with prestige and status, but there are certainly several standout properties that continue to impress even the most jaded of visitors. One such property is the Royal Horseguards, a hotel that has become an enduring icon along the banks of the Thames.
Originally built as a block of luxury apartments in 1884, it officially opened as a hotel in 1971. Many of its early investors had close ties to the British military - more specifically the Household Cavalry, the most prestigious unit of the British Army and the Queens official bodyguard. Indeed, during both world wars, the hotel was taken over by the Ministry of Defense and was used as a base of operations by MI5 and MI6, Britain's most secretive and powerful spy organizations.
In 1985, the hotel acquired the upper floors of the adjoining National Liberal Club at 1 Whitehall Place, an expansion that upped the total number of guestrooms and suites by 140. Because of its prime location, the hotel has long been a top choice for governmental meetings and operations, run by the Houses of Parliament and the Foreign Office.