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The Savoy General Information

Publish Date: 20-Jan-2011

London Thursday, January 20, 2011

Overview: One of the world's iconic hotels, The Savoy has just completed the most ambitious hotel restoration in British history.  Originally opened in 1889, The Savoy has played host to royalty, world leaders and legends of the stage and screen.  It boasts some of the most well known bars and restaurants in London including the American Bar and Savoy Grill.  Many of the 268 rooms and suites offer stunning views over the Thames and the city of London.

Location: Located on the banks of the River Thames, in the heart of one of London’s most cosmopolitan areas, The Savoy is ideally placed for those travelling on business or pleasure.  World class museums, theatres and opera houses are just steps away while the City is a short taxi ride from the hotel.

A Brief History
Back in 1246, a stretch of land between the Strand and the Thames was presented by King Henry III to Peter, Count of Savoy, uncle and consort to the King’s wife. Peter built his Savoy Palace on the river, and the name has been associated with the place ever since.

Over 600 years later, impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte chose the location for a new theatre to stage the famous operettas written by his friends Gilbert and Sullivan. He decided to call his new building the Savoy Theatre, and the productions were known henceforth as the Savoy Operas.D’Oyly Carte spent a lot of time producing their shows in America. He was so impressed with the new hotels he stayed in there, that he decided to build his own hotel back in London. The new Savoy on the river took five years to build and opened on August 6, 1889. It caused a sensation.

The first true luxury hotel in London, The Savoy was the first to be lit by electricity. It had the first electric lifts, known as ‘ascending rooms’. Guest rooms were connected by speaking tubes 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.

D’Oyly Carte tempted the well-known hotel manager César Ritz to join his new wonder hotel. He brought in Auguste Escoffier, leading ‘celebrity chef’ of his day, to run the kitchens. In the early years, Savoy guests included Sarah Bernhardt and Dame Nellie Melba, for whom Escoffier famously created Melba Toast when she was on a diet and Pêches Melba when she was not. Artists Whistler and Monet both used views from Savoy windows in their work. Oscar Wilde stayed with his friend Lord Alfred Douglas. The Prince of Wales and his coterie were frequent visitors.

By 1904 the hotel was such a hit that the blocks on the Strand were added, designed by Thomas Collcutt, and the American Bar and Savoy Grill moved into this new part of the hotel. The new Art Deco style was introduced, and the iconic stainless-steel sign over Savoy Court erected in 1929.

The stars of stage and screen loved The Savoy. England’s own Vivien Leigh was first introduced to her future husband Laurence Olivier in the hotel. From America came Hollywood greats such as Al Jolson, Errol Flynn and Katharine Hepburn and from France, Josephine Baker and Coco Chanel. Winston Churchill frequently lunched with his cabinet at the hotel during World War II, and attended his Savoy dining club, The Other Club, until his death in 1965. Princess Elizabeth was first seen with Lt. Philip Mountbatten in public at a Savoy reception. When the Princess became the Queen a few years later, The Savoy threw quite the largest and most lavish Coronation Ball in London.

The new Elizabethan age saw a fresh generation of actors, film stars and politicians at The Savoy. Among the most glamorous: Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe. The Savoy swung into the 1960s with guests ranging from Louis Armstrong, Marlon Brando and Jane Fonda to The Beatles and Bob Dylan.

On 15th December 2007, The Savoy closed its doors for the first time in history to undergo a complete restoration and reopened its doors on 10th October 2010 (10.10.10).

Savoy Museum: The hotel’s rich history has been preserved in one of the largest hotel archives in the world.  For the first time, these archives are now on show in the new museum space that has been curated by James Sherwood.  The showcases and photography are designed to give guests a taste of The Savoy’s past with original guest cards, menus, photographs and objets on display.  Highlights include a first edition of Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book, Noel Coward’s lighter and cigarette case and Marlene Dietrich’s guest card showing her request that 12 pink roses and a bottle of Dom Perignon be in her room when she arrived.

The Savoy’s two original design aesthetics are Edwardian and Art Deco and designer, Pierre-Yves Rochon has honoured these in his new designs for the interiors of the hotel. He felt it was important to work with both styles and respect their distinct qualities. In addition, Rochon has incorporated both the history of the building and the location.  As he says, “each hotel has its own distinct identity, based on the building (either new or old), the location, the owner and the guests. I help reveal this. A luxury hotel is an exceptional place, with a vitality that is specific to itself”.

This project has above all been a restoration rather than a refurbishment.  Much of the ‘old’ Savoy has been retained in the ‘new’ Savoy. For example, in the Front Hall the original mahogany panelling has been stripped back and repolished to show the natural beauty of the grain while the details of Bertram Pegram’s frieze, An Idyll of a Golden Age, shine through now that is has been painted white against a celadon background. Throughout the building, original features such as mouldings, fixtures and fittings have been retained and incorporated into Rochon’s design. Over 400 pieces of furniture have been taken away, restored and reinstalled in The Savoy.

The Savoy offers a total of 268 guestrooms and suites consisting of 206 rooms and 62 suites.  38 of these rooms and suites are directly on the River Thames and enjoy stunning views up and down the river. Elegant, comfortable and very much a home from home, The Savoy’s guestrooms and suites are the perfect luxury accommodation in the heart of London.  Honouring the hotel’s two main aesthetics, English Edwardian and Art Deco, the guestrooms and suites seamlessly blend the traditional with the latest in discreet technology. Designer, Pierre Yves Rochon has used the finest materials from Murano glass chandeliers and silk wall coverings to Italian linens and marble floors. Bathrooms are spacious and offer The Savoy’s famous rain showerheads and signature toiletries by Miller Harris. No two rooms or suites are the same with many boasting original features, such as fireplaces, and views over the River Thames and the city of London.

Personality Suites – 9 Personality Suites have been created at The Savoy to honour just a few of the more high-profile figures who made The Savoy their London home.  These personalities are all true icons and represent the worlds of politics, art, film, theatre and opera, all of which The Savoy has always had close ties to. These suites are in either Art Deco or Edwardian styles and have been furnished with special pieces, artwork and antiques associated with their namesake. The wit of Noel Coward, beauty of Marlene Dietrich, style of Frank Sinatra and charisma of Richard Harris are embodied in the 4 Personality Art Deco Suites.  The 5 Personality Edwardian Suites offer the same, stunning, panoramic River Thames views that have been enjoyed by Maria Callas, Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin and Katharine Hepburn and were Monet’s inspiration to paint.

The Royal Suite - Refurbished at a cost of over £2.5 million, The Savoy’s Royal Suite is one of the capital’s finest and most well-appointed accommodations. Spread over the front of the entire 5th floor, the suite’s enfilade arrangement makes the most of the dramatic views over the River Thames. From each of the 8 windows, guests can enjoy a magnificent London vista stretching from Canary Wharf to the Houses of Parliament and beyond with 7 of London’s bridges visible.

The elegant proportions and stately procession of rooms complement the sumptuous furnishings and beautiful artwork of the Edwardian interior to create a Royal Suite that is quite literally fit for a king. Guests enter through a marble foyer, off which opens a beautiful wood-panelled office with inspiring views of London and stylish office equipment. Guests then proceed through to a comfortable sitting room and a separate dining room that seats up to 8 people and has a light, airy interior influenced by English formal gardens. The master bedroom is positioned adjacent to a large, walk-in dressing room with cedar-lined wardrobes including a ventilated shoe closet and a spacious, ensuite, his and hers bathroom with a deep, soaking tub and a steam shower.

The suite also includes a service kitchen – ideal for those travelling with a personal chef. For those travelling without staff, a Savoy butler is on hand 24 hours a day exclusively for guests staying in The Royal Suite. Combining the skills of a traditional private butler with the efficiency and knowledge of a 21st century personal assistant, the Savoy butler will ensure seamless, dedicated, personalised service. The latest in entertainment technology is provided by a bespoke multi-room media system. The suite has a second, generously-proportioned guestroom with ensuite bathroom and the same stunning London views.

Guestroom Amenities:

  • Mascioni bed linen
  • Twice daily Housekeeping service including evening turndown service
    Individually controlled air conditioning
  • High quality LCD digital television entertainment with a selection of UK and international TV channels
  • Vita Audio ipod docking station & digital radio
  • Daily newspapers and a selection of magazines
  • UK & USA modems
  • Personalised wake-up calls
  • Alarm Clock
  • Two smart two-line telephones
  • Leather desk set made exclusively for The
  • Savoy by Bill Amberg
  • Private Bar stocked with a selection of cold beverages and snacks
  • 24–hour in-room dining
  • English luxury bathroom amenities by Miller Harris
  • Hairdryer
  • Savoy Bathrobe & Slippers
  • Shaving/Make-up mirror
  • Complimentary shoeshine service
  • High Speed Broadband Internet Access – wired and wireless
  • In-room personal safe

Suites at The Savoy also enjoy the following amenities:

  • Personal 24 hour Butler Service
  • Unpacking service on arrival and packing service on departure
  • In-suite check-in
  • Tea and coffee served in-suite upon arrival and daily with wake-up call
  • Two items pressed complimentary upon arrival
  • Daily seasonal amenity and mineral water
  • Fresh flowers
  • Meridian Audio ipod docking stations and DVD players
  • Liberty sewing kits

Savoy Butlers:
The Savoy has long had an ethos of ‘personal service naturally’ and was the first hotel to establish its own school to train hotel professionals.  We have reintroduced the unique Savoy Academy which has trained a new generation of butlers who combine the discretion of a traditional English butler with the efficiency of a 21st century personal assistant. Available to all guests staying in suites, The Savoy Butlers will exceed expectations whether it to be arranging dinner reservations, secretarial services, theatre tickets or a last minute request.
Butler services include . . .

  • In-Suite check-in and orientation
  • Welcome drink on arrival
  • Packing service
  • Complimentary pressing of 2 items
  • Personalised wake-up call with tea & coffee
  • Serving in-suite dining
  • Expense Compiling
  • Secretarial & Technological Services
  • Personal Shopper
  • Dressing Service
  • Travel Consultant including arranging appointments & itineraries
  • Facilitation and management of in-suite receptions or dinner parties
  • Airport transfer, printing boarding passes and on-line check-in
  • In-Suite check-out

Drink & Dine:
As part of the restoration, the familiar restaurants and bars that helped The Savoy make its name have been given a splendid new life.

Savoy Grill is without doubt one of London’s legendary restaurants. Frequented by celebrated diners such as Sir Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, Frank Sinatra and HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the original seating plan has been brought back for the reopening. Designer, Russell Sage, took inspiration from the restaurant’s heyday and original 1920’s Art Deco features have been restored. Chef Patron Stuart Gillies, of Gordon Ramsay Holdings, and Head Chef Andy Cook, oversee a menu that returns to the classic Escoffier-inspired grill rooms of old. Dishes include charcoal grilled Chateaubriand with pommes soufflés, king crab and prawn cocktail, lime and chocolate soufflé and iced Peach Melba.

The American Bar has long been one of London’s favourite meeting spots and is one of the most iconic cocktail bars in the world. It was home to legendary bartenders such as Ada ‘Coley’ Coleman and Harry Craddock, who wrote The Savoy Cocktail book (still regarded 80 years later as the bartenders’ bible). Daniel Baernreuther, the new American Bar Manager, is joined by an award-winning team of bartenders including Head Bartender, Erik Lorincz (Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2010) and Stefano Cossio (winner of the UKBG Akvinta National Cocktail Competition).

Together they have created a cocktail list that includes both classic cocktails with a twist, new creations and “tribute cocktails”, such as The Savoy Daisy, inspired by past American Bar Managers. Completing the vibrant ambience and timeless elegance, the bar features a live pianist seven days a week, playing American Jazz.

A new addition to The Savoy, the Beaufort Bar exudes an unashamedly old-fashioned glamour. In a theatrical, Art Deco interior of jet-black and burnished gold décor, the bar is all about champagne, cocktails and cabaret. The bar stands on the hotel’s former cabaret stage that was graced by luminaries such as Carol Gibbons, the Savoy Orpheans and George Gershwin. This tradition will be continued by nightly live entertainment with occasional appearances from cabaret legends and up and coming talent.

Beaufort Bar Manager, Shannon McCoy offers one of London’s most extensive choices of champagne by the glass and by the bottle including rare vintages from Louis Roederer and Cristal. These are accompanied by classic and new cocktails with decadent Champagne punches served in absinthe fountains at guests’ tables. Nightly live music and entertainment performances will complete the atmosphere.

The Thames Foyer is very much the heart of The Savoy. A guest’s drawing of 1910, which was found in the hotel’s archives, provided inspiration for the design of a stunning new glass dome. Flooding the space with natural light on even the darkest of winter days, it has transformed the Thames Foyer into a magnificently sociable spot. Beneath the dome, there stands a winter garden gazebo from where the hotel pianist serenades guests enjoying the hotel’s world famous afternoon tea.

The exquisite, handmade cakes and pastries, which change regularly, include Opera, a dark chocolate and pistachio truffle cake and a Melba & Bourbon vanilla tartlet, inspired by Escoffier’s original Peach Melba recipe. In creating these confectionary wonders, the pastry chefs will use around 3 tonnes of Valrhona chocolate each year. Breakfast and informal all-day dining menus are also available and offer a range of international dishes.

Savoy Tea is a new, bijou tea store located in the Upper Thames Foyer. Inspired by London’s Edwardian shopping arcades, the walls are covered in a fabric whose design hints at the Asian origins of tea. It offers a wide variety of beautifully packaged Savoy teas, bespoke tea accessories such at the hotel’s own china tea service, handmade jams, biscuits and fresh patisserie. Guests will also have the opportunity to see the hotel’s pastry chefs and chocolatiers at work as they put the finishing touches to the exquisite cakes and confectionary.

ShoppingShop At The Savoy is a personal shopping service that brings the best of London, where, when and how you like it.  In your room, in our consultation suite, on TV, on-line or out on the town, it’s the smartest way to shop in the most sophisticated city in the world.  From timeless classics to must-have mementos, last-minute purchases to unforgettable shopping experiences, our talented team of buyers, stylists and consultants can introduce you to the gifts, clothes and accessories that you very soon won't be able to live without.

Shop At The Savoy also offers a range of beautiful, bespoke gifts, many of which have been created especially for The Savoy by some of the UK’s leading artisans. Signature gifts include desk accessories by Bill Amberg, scented candles by Miller Harris, Savoir Beds and Wedgwood china. Tea accessories on offer include silver teapots, strainers and teaspoons while there is also a selection of The Savoy’s own teas, jams and honeys.  In addition, Savoy gift vouchers make an ideal gift for any occasion and range from Tea for Two to an Overnight Stay at The Savoy.

Boodles - British Fine Jeweller Boodles is the only boutique within the newly renovated Savoy Hotel, located in the stunning Front Hall. Boodles is a rare commodity in the world of today, a family owned, British company established over 200 years ago and still producing forward thinking and successful designs in-house, enjoyed by all ages. A stunning emerald and tsavorite necklace, with matching earrings, has been created by Boodles’ Head of Design - Rebecca Hawkins to celebrate the opening.  The cushion cut emeralds are of the finest quality from Columbia's El Chivor mine and reflect the green colour in the hotel’s famous front entrance.

Meetings/Events: The Savoy has traditionally been one of London's most eminent venues and is rich in history and glamour. The 3 imposing Banqueting Rooms are well known for hosting grander affairs while the 6 Private Rooms are ideal for more intimate gatherings. The Private Rooms are all named after Gilbert & Sullivan operas with the most historic being Pinafore. This is the room where Sir Winston Churchill founded his dining club, the Other Club, in 1911.  Traditionally the serving British Prime Minister has always attended a meeting of the Other Club and their portraits hang in this room alongside a bust of Churchill. The hotel boasts a separate River Entrance on a quiet road on the Thames side of the building that gives events a real sense of arrival. Guests are welcomed by the hotel's experienced events team who can help plan each event down to the smallest detail.

Wellbeing: The Fitness Gallery at The Savoy is a private retreat in the heart of London for health, relaxation and wellbeing that can be enjoyed by hotel guests and members. The centrepiece is the swimming pool situated in its own atrium that is filled with natural light. State-of-the-art fitness equipment includes cardiovascular machines by Technogym and free weights while personal trainers are available to help maintain fitness. A full menu of massage, facial and beauty treatments are offered along side separate male and female, sauna, steam rooms and changing rooms.

Environment: The Savoy aims to be the most environmentally responsible and luxurious five-star hotel in London.  Over £2.4 million has been invested in high efficiency, sustainable (environmental) technologies. A combined heat and power (CHP) plant reduces the hotel’s reliance on the national grid by approximately 50 per cent, whilst a unique and innovative central refrigeration plant reclaims heat from all kitchen appliances to preheat domestic hot water. Kitchen scraps and leftover food is collected daily and sent to an organic biomass-to-energy renewable power plant, creating electricity which is fed into the national grid. Recycling away from landfill is expected to exceed 90 per cent and all cooking oil from the hotel restaurants is recycled and turned into biodiesel.

The Savoy has also introduced an Elements Stay Package which offers our guests an exciting and fresh approach to an environmentally conscious stay. A Green Butler, another Savoy first, will be on hand to share his knowledge of what The Savoy and London has to offer the eco-conscious tourist. Also included is the opportunity to experience a unique green tour taking in nearby locations of special environmental interest, organised by our partners Context Travel and Insider London, companies founded on principles of sustainable tours.

Management: With over 60 distinctive hotels, including the iconic Fairmont San Francisco and Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is an unrivalled collection of properties located in some of the world’s most coveted destinations. Known for its warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences, this global hospitality brand features classic hotels that imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication and social importance and are often considered destinations in their own right. Fairmont is also committed to responsible tourism and is an industry leader in sustainable hotel management with its award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 95 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded residences, estates and luxury private residence club properties.

Press Contact:
Emma Allam, Director of Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 7420 2329

Charlotte Faith, PR Manager
Tel: +44 (0)20 7426 2372  

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Password: TheSavoy1889

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