Qatar is turning the US embassy in London into a luxury hotel

It’s the end of an era for London’s miserably oppressive US embassy.

According to The Guardian, the Qatari royal family’s property company, Qatari Diar, has been given the go-ahead to turn the building into a luxury hotel.

The Grade II-listed building, in Mayfair’s very up-market Grosvenor Square, has nine floors, three of which are underground, and will house up to 137 hotel rooms, plus shops, restaurants and bars. Before it was made a listed building — which would have lowered its worth due to development restrictions — the embassy was reportedly valued at £500 million ($621 million).

Grosvenor Square has been home to the US embassy since 1938, and it moved to its current building, which is topped by a gilded bald eagle, in 1960. Its new digs, near south London’s Battersea power station, will open next spring.

Truly a sad day for all the poor souls who’ve spent hours in the building in search of visas. [The Guardian]