Strand, London, England, WC2R 0EU
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Foodies, Honeymooners, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Design and architecture, History, Romance, Sightseeing, Special occasions
Expert review of The Savoy
When it first opened its doors in 1889, the Savoy caused a sensation - and now it's doing it again. After a three-year, £100m restoration, this famous London landmark re-opened in October 2010 as a 268-room luxury hotel managed by Fairmont. It was worth the wait, for in my view this is now one of the most prestigious and genuinely pampering places you can stay in the capital. Not only does the Savoy come with an engaging history, its bars, restaurants, bedrooms and staff are all supremely welcoming. Dazzling and determined, this is a high performance hotel that delivers.
Staying at The Savoy is so enjoyable - and expensive - it almost seems a waste to go beyond its doors. But if you do, London is right there waiting to be devoured. There's a West End theatre next door, and many more just a stroll away, along with the charming shops of Covent Garden, the cultural treats of Somerset House and the South Bank, plus cruises on the river.
Edwardian or Art Deco, that is the question. The eight-storey Savoy offers rooms in both styles, with around a third devoted to the latter. Both are extremely comfortable and include some 400 pieces of original furniture along with remakes of classic pieces such as the fan chair and waste bins known as 'Churchill's ashtrays'. I recommend going for Edwardian as these rooms feel so quintessentially English - if you can run to it, book one of the 38 suites overlooking the River Thames which are truly sensational. Needless to say, all the in-room details - from the super-heavy wooden coat-hangers to the emerald piping on your snug white bathrobe - make it abundantly clear that you have entered the realm of true luxury.
Few hotels make such an impact on arrival. The fun starts with that shiny SAVOY sign above the entrance and a short road where vehicles are famously allowed to drive on the right. You enter through a pair of revolving wooden doors to the Edwardian Front Hall, which still has its original mahogany panelling and classical frieze. Don't miss the Savoy Museum, beside the American Bar, which displays fascinating memorabilia from the hotel's glory days, or the three lacquered 'ascending rooms' - now known as lifts - that come in red, green and blue.
When you book a room, be sure to book dinner at the same time. With its leopard print patterned carpet and sleek, Art Deco-inspired interiors, the River Restaurant is an elegant and intimate space with a modern French menu - a good choice for a romantic or celebratory occasion. At the front of the hotel, the Savoy Grill is part of the formidable Gordon Ramsay empire with Stuart Gillies as Chef Patron. This has a dark, even decadent mood - go with your best friends or business colleagues and let rip. You can also take Afternoon Tea in the Thames Foyer, sink a classic cocktail in the American Bar, or drink vintage Champagne in the newly-created black-and-gold Beaufort Bar. All these superb venues do get busy with non-residents and there are no reservations taken - but have a word and the staff will do their best to accommodate you.
The Fitness Gallery on the third floor includes a state-of-the-art gym, a colourful swimming pool and male/female changing rooms with a sauna and steam room each.
Buoyant - the staff here are proud to be associated with an iconic hotel enjoying a new lease of life. Here the doormen wear top hats, the butlers sport morning coats and dinner is served by a waiter in white gloves.
The division between business and leisure guests is about 50-50, with around 40 per cent coming from North America. The hotel is a top-flight venue for weddings, grand dinners, launches and club events.
Rates generally don't include VAT. Breakfast costs £24 for Continental, £30 for Full English, excluding service. While the price of a night here can seem jaw-droppingly high, if you want to push the boat out this is the place to do it.
More information on The Savoy:
- Price from:
- Strand, London, England, WC2R 0EU
- Business Centre, Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Pets Allowed, Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool