City council gives Robert De Niro go-ahead to open Covent Garden hotel
American actor Robert De Niro has been granted planning permission to open a hotel in London's Covent Garden.
The boutique Wellington Hotel has been given the go-ahead by Westminster City Council.
Goodfellas actor De Niro, 73, already owns the luxury Greenwich Hotel in downtown Manhattan in New York.
The five-star hotel attracts an A-List clientele including Heidi Klum, Reese Witherspoon, Lea Michele and Bradley Cooper.
Commenting on the plans in May, De Niro told The Caterer: "London is one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
"It makes perfect sense to develop a hotel that represents all of that in the heart of this city in Covent Garden.
"The Wellington Hotel would honour the heritage of the area, while bringing the best of what we've done in New York to London."
Writing in support of the application, the nearby London Film Museum's chief executive, Jonathan Sands, said: "The association with one of the most famous actors in the world will also add interest to the film and theatre offering, helping to ensure Covent Garden remains on the to do list of every visitor to our capital."
The 83-room hotel will include a spa, a restaurant, a private members' club and retail space.
It will occupy six existing buildings, three of which are Grade II-listed, in Wellington Street, Tavistock Street, Exeter Street and Burleigh Street.
Additions to the site will include a new terrace area and courtyard.
Councillor Robert Davis, Westminster City Council deputy leader, cabinet member for the built environment and chairman of planning, said the hotel could revitalise a "largely forgotten" area of the West End.
He said: "This is one of the finest schemes we have considered for Covent Garden in years. The design is of the highest quality and it fits the bill as a Covent Garden building that meshes the new with the old. The hotel will attract visitors from all over the world.
"It will be a brand new destination on the 'mean streets' of this largely forgotten part of Covent Garden, and so I am sure that taxi drivers across London will soon need to add the Wellington Hotel to their A-Zs."