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LUXURY HOTELS: The Savoy 

Walk into the mahogany-lined lobby of the newly-opened Savoy and all you'll experience is the spectacle There is nothing so vulgar as a check-in, oh dear me no. In the new improved, and even swankier, hotel check-in is discreet and in-suite. The Savoy, now managed by Fairmont opened its door yesterday, on October 10, 2010 at precisely 10.10 am with all the fanfare that a British institution can manage without being in any way unseemly. Heaven forbid.

This has to have been one of the most ambitious hotel restorations in history and probably the most anticipated. Opening dates have been mooted, and then passed , on several occasions on the rocky road to restoration. Now finally three years, and over a £200 million later The Savoy once again takes its rightful place among the top hotels of the world. This The Luxury Travel Bible correspondent for one is glad to welcome it back, having fond memories of early evenings spent quaffing cocktails in the American Bar that few other hotel bars can live up to.

exterior
exterior
edwardian river view suite
art deco deluxe room
american bar
edwardian river view suite bedroom
art deco one bedroom suite

 
There have been queues along the Strand as the hoi polloi try and take a look at the grand dame of London hotels new facelift and opening night was of course booked out. Arch-tweeter Stephen Fry was first through the doors gushing about how lucky he was to be there, TLTB was through the doors soon after. Fry will be the hotel's resident blogger, illustrating just how much the world has changed since impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte first opened the theatre and then the hotel back in 1889.

The re-styling and restoration encompasses the entire building from the iconic entrance and the American Bar to Savoy Grill and the 268 guestrooms and suites. The re-styling has had to blends elements of the original and the new while remaining true to the original mix of English Edwardian and Art Deco.

The new interiors have been created by world-renowned designer and TLTB favourite Pierre Yves Rochon  who has won acclaim for his work on many other landmark hotels. A team of over 1000 craftsmen and women, artists and artisans helped create the new-look hotel.

The guestrooms and suites have new discreet technology, 38 River Suites and Guestrooms have stunning views over the River Thames. Nine 'signature suites' have been styled after some of The Savoy's most high profile guests while a newly created 2-bedroom Royal Suite .

The Savoy continues the tradition of culinary excellence started by Auguste Escoffier with the remodelling of the legendary River and the return of Gordon Ramsay to the Savoy Grill. Legendary bartender Harry Craddock's classic cocktails are still served in the newly renovated American Bar.

New to the hotel is The Beaufort Bar, a glamorous art deco bar that will offer what The Savoy believes to be ' one of the finest selections of Champagne in the city. There will also be cocktails and cabaret and Savoy Tea, a bijou teashop selling Savoy tea, accessories and fresh patisserie. Within the Thames Foyer, the re-introduction of a winter garden gazebo beneath an ornate glass dome will provide the perfect ambience for afternoon tea.

The Savoy has played host to many historic events, assorted royalty and a whole host of celebrities from Noel Coward to Marilyn Monroe. "We are very excited to reopen The Savoy", comments Kiaran MacDonald, General Manager. "It is fair to say that this project has not been without its challenges. We are very aware of the place that The Savoy holds in many people's affections and we firmly believe that the hotel will exceed people's expectations and reclaim its position as one of the world's great hotels."

D'Oyley Carte first opened the theatre to stage the famous operettas written by his friends Gilbert and Sullivan. He spent a lot of time producing their shows in America and was as so impressed by the hotels he stayed in there that he brought the innovations back to London. Hence the Savoy was the first true luxury hotel in London, the first to be lit by electricity and the first to have electric lifts, known as 'ascending rooms'

Guest rooms were connected by speaking tube to the valet, maid and floor waiter - and to other parts of the hotel. The Savoy later became the first hotel to provide most of its rooms with private bathrooms en suite. The 'Savoy bathroom' became famous for its cascading shower and quick filling bath.

After yesterday's re-opening It looks as if The Savoy will again be the hotel on every luxury traveller's 'Must Visit' list.

Address: The Savoy, Strand, London, United Kingdom WC2R 0EU.    Tel: +44 (0)207 420 2300
Email: savoy.reservations@fairmont.com
Luxury Hotels Link: www.the-savoy.com www.fairmont.com
11/10/10
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