LONDON’S most iconic hotel, The Savoy, reopened its doors yesterday after being closed for three years and receiving a £220m refurbishment.
In its heyday, the Strand-based Savoy was considered a hot spot by City folk, who flocked to the hotel’s famous Grill to close deals and entertain clients. The hotel was also known for its afternoon teas and champagne.
The likes of Lord King, the former British Airways chairman, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former chief executive of Independent News & Media Ivan Fallon were among the many powerbrokers who were regulars in the 1980s.
The renovations, initially expected to cost just £100m, have been made throughout the hotel, including its grand entrance, American Bar, Savoy Grill and guest rooms. As part of the upgrades, the hotel now has 268 rooms, a fifth floor Royal Suite, a new bar and tearoom, and an overhaul of the Savoy Grill, which is managed by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
Savoy management recruited Pierre Yves Rochon and a team of more than 1,000 craftsmen and women to design and reconstruct the interior of the hotel, which pays homage to its iconic Edwardian and Art Deco characteristic.
But the reopening of the Savoy, owned by Canada’s Fairmont Group, was hit by a number of delays pushing the date back by more than a year.
“It is fair to say that this project has not been without its challenges, but we are looking forward to unveiling the results,” said Kiaran MacDonald, the hotel’s general manager.
The Savoy Grill, which housed meetings by Winston Churchill during WWII, is not expected to open until late next month.
The hotel’s first guest, celebrity Stephen Fry, arrived yesterday morning. The reopening of another top five-star hotel will boost London’s attractiveness as a top-end business and lesiure destination.
THE SAVOY | THEN AND NOW- 2007 TO 2010
Number of rooms 263 268
Base room price per night £250 £350
Average meal in the Savoy Grill per head £40-50 £50-60
Signature White Lady cocktail £12 £14
The two bedroom Royal Suite takes up almost the entire fifth floor of the hotel after developers merged together the eight rooms which face the Thames. The room costs £10,000 a night to stay in.
The Beaufort bar is brand new to the hotel and offers guests the luxury of enjoying champagne and cabaret in a glamorous art deco bar.
The Savoy Tea, a bijou teashop, is also a new addition to the hotel and will serve up tea
and fresh pastries baked inside the shop.