There can’t be a better way to kick-start the week than with a little luxury I thought, as I admired the perfectly manicured hedges leading up to The Savoy hotel’s iconic entrance. Alas, I wasn’t on my way to actually stay the night at The Savoy (we can but dream), but I was about to be given a tour of its newly renovated luxury interior. The world-famous hotel, which has been a favourite resting spot of royalty, political leaders and movie stars since opening its doors in 1889, has recently reopened after a major three-year renovation project and with my ACHICA About Town hat on, I was keen to see what delights lay inside…
A little history…
When it opened in 1889, The Savoy was the first luxury hotel this side of the Atlantic to boast electricity, lifts (known as ‘ascending rooms’) and private en-suite bathrooms, whose cascading showers quickly became the talk of the town. Among the gloriously affluent guests who began to flock to the lavish rooms were Marilyn Monroe, Monet, Oscar Wilde, Katharine Hepburn and Coco Chanel; Princess Elizabeth was first seen in public with Philip Mountbatten at a Savoy reception. It was a place to see and be seen, the province of the famous and beautiful, to whom the hotel now pays homage in a new museum space curated by James Sherwood.
A dual design…
The Savoy was originally designed around two key concepts: Edwardian and Art Deco, to which Pierre-Yves Rochon, the designer behind the refurbishments, has remained faithful. Many original features, such as Bertram Pegram’s frieze in the lobby, the fittings, and much of the furniture, have been carefully re-painted and restored to maintain as much as the hotel’s history as possible.
The guestrooms are designed to offer the latest discreet technology combined with the finest luxury materials, to give the guest a true home-from-home experience. Those lucky enough to stay in a suite will be able to recline on Mascioni bed linen and enjoy luxury bathroom products specially created by Miller Harris, whilst being entertained by Meridian Audio iPod docking stations, high-speed wireless internet access and a personal 24 hour butler service!
Edwardian River View Suite (above and below)
Dining in style…
The Savoy boasts some of the top restaurants and bars in London, beloved for the quality of their food, drinks and unrivalled service. The River Restaurant, which closed in 2004, is now an elegant Art Deco restaurant with stunning views of the Embankment and a world-class modern French menu.
To up the glamour and follow in the footsteps of Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra, guests will never fail to be disappointed by the splendour of the Savoy Grill. Designer Russell Sage has restored original features from the restaurant’s 1920’s glory days, and Gordon Ramsey’s chefs serve sumptuous dishes such as charcoal grilled Chateaubriand. Iced Peach Melba is also on the menu, in homage to a dish created for Dame Nellie Melba by leading chef Escoffier in the hotel’s early days.
From the archives: Coco Chanel at The Savoy
The Savoy offers guests two choices for their evening tipples; the classic American bar, serving iconic cocktails that pay tribute to its legendary bartenders, and the new Beaufort Bar, an undeniably theatrical space decorated in black and burnished gold that offers guests decadent Champagne cocktails and ‘absinthe fountains’.
The Beaufort Bar
Two for tea…
Teatime in The Savoy’s Thames Foyer is a major event. Newly illuminated by a beautiful glass dome, inspired by a guest’s drawing from 1910, you can relax by the pagoda and select your favourite from a range of mouth-watering gourmet delights, while being serenaded by the hotel pianist.
If it’s classic elegance, luxury, and a first-class experience you’re after, The Savoy has it all. I wonder if Kate and Prince William are tempted to spend their wedding night there…I highly recommend a visit, if not just to have a sneaky peek around!
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From the archives; Charles and Diana at The Savoy in 1984:
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