The Savoy Hotel in London, England
With all of its history, and the world’s affluent travelers streaming in the front door, London’s The Savoy hotel felt to me like it could easily be featured in a future version of a Batman movie. Therefore, I whipped up a fun little photograph (above) to give a sense of the feeling I had when we drove down this very drive in our recent journey to England.
The Savoy’s rich heritage begins on the very ground it sets upon. In 1246, King Henry III gave Count Peter of Savoy a beautiful piece of land along the river Thames. Count Peter built the Savoy Palace which was subsequently burnt to the ground in the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381.
The Savoy was one of our favorite metropolitan hotel stays to date!
Fast forward about five-centuries (1889) and we find a newly opened Savoy hotel right next door to the famous Savoy Theatre. The newly built hotel was designed to offer tourist, especially Americans, who traveled to London an opportunity to see Gilbert and Sullivan’s famous operas. In fact, the entire canon of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operas becomes known as the Savoy Operas.
Now, fast forward again to Oct 10, 2010 (10-10-10), and you will find The Savoy with a £220 million complete restoration that took nearly three years to complete. The property is absolutely stunning and the who’s who of the world clamor to get themselves a room in this world-renowned trendy address.
Because the property is so popular, we were only able to stay for one night, but what a glorious stay it was!
Note: Click here if you can’t see the video.
Favorite Memories From The Savoy
- First impressions created by the bellmen were great. They built great expectation for our stay.
- Walking into the lobby only reinforced our great expectations. The wood paneled walls. The marble floors. The beautiful flowers. The plush lobby seating. The immediately attentive staff. Wow!
- Although our room was small (typical of old hotels), it was beautifully appointed in an Art Deco style. Note: much larger rooms are available, but the hotel was over 90% occupancy. We were lucky to get one night!
Afternoon Tea in the Thames Foyer was amazing! We enjoyed teas served with finger sandwiches, homemade scones with clotted cream & jam and a mouthwatering selection of cakes and pastries. The Savoy is a member of the Tea Guild and received a 2011 Award of Excellence.
- Dining in the River Restaurant was a special treat. The restaurant has a wonderful view of the river Thames and Head Chef James Pare pays wonderful homage to the history of the dining room. The a la carte menu has a modern French style and incorporates the finest seasonal British and French ingredients.
- The American Bar. Recently named World’s Best Hotel Bar at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, the American Bar continues to evoke its inspiring atmosphere of timeless elegance. The American Bar retains the style of the golden age of cocktails in the 1920’s. Bar Manager, Daniel Baernreuther, takes up the position held by legendary bartenders Ada “Coley” Coleman and Harry Craddock, author of The Savoy Cocktail Book. Daniel is joined by an award-winning team of bartenders including Head Bartender, Erik Lorincz , who was named by Condé Nast Traveler (USA) as their Hot Bartender of 2011 and who won the title of Best International Bartender at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. This was fun!
- 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 objects 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.
- Although it was sold out during our stay, the Savoy Grill should definitely be on your list. The Savoy Grill is without a 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.
Disclosure: a portion of our Savoy experience was provided by the kind folks at The Savoy. Thanks! Further, our overseas visit was provided by the really kinds folks at Delta Vacations. Click here to learn more about Delta Vacations.