The former government-owned Metropole Buildings on Whitehall are to be transformed into a hotel.

CBRE Hotels is to sell the buildings for an estimated £100m on behalf of the Crown Estate, the current owner. “We are expecting major interest from international hotel developers and operators, in anticipation of the rapid market expansion associated with the forthcoming London 2012 Olympic Games,” said a spokesperson for CBRE hotels.

The Metropole was originally built as a hotel in 1883 but was transformed to accomodate civil servants during World War I, before returning to being a hotel in the inter-war years. Since the Second World War, it has remained in government hands.