WC2R 0EU Travel Guide - Page 2
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The hotel's first guest was a bit of a publicity stunt--it was Stephen Fry, English actor, comedian and The Savoy's "blogger-in-residence"--but the hotel is at long last open to all guests. Unfortunately we didn't have a room but we did get to have a good snoop around yesterday.
Our highlights were the River Restaurant’s leopard print carpet (so this season!); the amazing River view suites, which cost £2,500 per night (guess they need to recoup that 220 million pounds from somewhere!); the baby white grand piano once played by Frank Sinatra; The Beaufort bar with its dark corners and velvet curtains and of course, the tea shop with handmade chocolates and Savoy-branded tea and jam.
The day that we have been waiting for a 100 years has finally arrived--10.10.10. And the day that we have been waiting for what feels like a 100 years is also here--the reopening of The Savoy London.
London can barely contain itself as it awaits the reopening of the iconic hotel which closed in December 2007 and underwent a rigorous top-to-bottom renovation that cost a pretty penny--220 million pounds.
Room rates at the hotel during opening week will also cost you a pretty penny, as we reported last week. Anxious to be one of the first in the new Savoy? You can expect to pay about £485 a night. Or else wait until later this month when room rates drop to £345 a night.
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A one bedroom suite (butler not shown)
The time has finally come and the Savoy is about to reopen after its three year refurbishment. We’re very excited at HotelChatter, and it seems we’re not the only ones, because we just checked availability and the hotel is sold out for opening night.
It’s sold out on its second night, too – so the first night that you can still book is Tuesday 12 October. On that night you can get a superior room – including breakfast for two and a “special Savoy tea gift” for £485, which is the same price as the best available rate. Suites start at £895 for the Juniors, £1250 for the queens or £2150 for the flagship River View suites. And of course, for anything with “suite” in the name, you get butler service.
Free WiFi in London is always tricky to find and we've been keeping tabs on the places that do have it free for their hotel guests here. Yet with so many hotels opening in London in the coming months and years, we can only hope that our list will keep expanding. Already we know it won't be offered at the W London but is there a bright light to be found somewhere else in Londontown?
A Savoy Deluxe Room. Nice! (Apart from the death lilies)
To celebrate the opening (10.10.10, if you hadn’t worked it out yet) they’re proposing an opening deal that gives you two nights accommodation and a champagne reception and dinner in the River Restaurant on 10.10.10 itself. Nothing too fancy, package-wise, but hopefully the revamped hotel itself will be on mindblowing duties.
The price? An eye-watering £485 ($770) per night plus VAT – and it’s the same price for opening weekend, minus the free dinner.
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We've already set our countdown clocks for 10.10.10 when The Savoy in London will finally reopen. But today, we've got a special treat--a photo of one of the 38 newly redone River Suites overlooking the Thames.
As you can see, The Savoy is sticking with a traditional look in the rooms which is sure to thrill the fans of the old Savoy (check out those drapes over the window and the bed.) But we're also loving the suite's touches of purple, which is one of the new hot hotel hues. And we sincerely hope that all rooms get some pretty flowers, not just the River Suites.
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How about that? The Savoy London has finally picked a re-opening date after undergoing extensive top-to-bottom renovations for three years. But not just any date. No, the hotel will re-open on Sunday, October 10, 2010 which is read as 10.10.10.
On that special day, the hotel will unveil its new guestrooms, a new two-bedroom Royal Suite and 38 newly redone River suites which overlook the Thames. The legendary River Restaurant will also open again with a new look and the hotel will introduce, The Beaufort Bar, an Art Deco style space that will offer champagne, cocktails and cabaret. Additionally, a bijou teashop called Savoy Tea will sell tea, of course, but also accessories and fresh patisserie. As for the hotel's own high tea time, that will take place in the winter garden gazebo underneath an ornate glass dome.
What the new glass dome and winter garden should look like. Can’t wait to see the real thing
The Savoy has been under renovation for so long now that we’ve kind of forgotten what it ever looked like. But thanks to Londonhotelsinsight.com, which has just got the scoop on its renovations, we’ve got a pretty good image of what it’ll look like when it finally reopens in (fingers crossed) September.
The detailed account is here, but in a nutshell, it’s going back to its roots.
Here’s an early Christmas present that just got opened for those of us in London – the Savoy just got deswathed of its scaffolding.
Last time we went by the front entrance, a couple of weeks ago, all we could make out were the signs for Legally Blonde: The Musical, which is currently defiling the stage in the onsite theatre. But by the looks of this photo that a tipster just sent us (the Savoy’s the middle building, with the green roof), it’s all come down.
You know what that means? It means that maybe the April/May 2010 reopening date may actually come true. Hallelujah!
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If it seems like years since The Savoy closed its doors for its £100m restoration, that’s because it, um, is. It closed in December 2007, and was supposed to reopen 16 months later, but of course, 16 months in hotel speak is double the length of normal human time.
But, hallelujah, it looks like we’re coming to the end of the process - Fairmont just announced that they expect it to reopen in Spring 2010. And when we quizzed them what counts as spring, they said April or May. Here’s hoping!
We’re not sure what’s taken all the time up, but they’re adding a new two-bedroom Royal Suite, "remodeling" the River Restaurant, "relaunching" the River Suites, and adding a new bar, the Beaufort, and a rooftop swimming pool. Dare we hope it’s an infinity pool overlooking the Thames?
It hasn't even started accepting its first post-renovation guests yet, but London's grand Savoy may already be in trouble. The 120-year-old hotel is currently nearing the end of a £100m refurbishment; its doors were on track to reopen after 18 months at the end of the summer.
Except now we're wondering: will it? Because apparently, the owner's in deep doodah. Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia (because it's only fitting that a royal should own an institution like the Savoy, right?) has seen his wealth slashed from nearly £15 billion last year to just £9 billion this year. He's already sold off his stake in the Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, and now there are rumors of some shakeups with his other assets, like Raffles in Singapore and the Savoy as well.
If he did sell the place, he'd get about £200 million to fill his pockets, which should tide him over for a little bit. Wonder who’d be up for filling his shoes, though?
London's iconic Hotel Savoy may be under renovation until May 2009, but that doesn't mean the stories of its legendary past must be put on hold. Since the hotel's opening in 1889, it has served as more than just a temporary home, but as inspiration, to many luminaries including Monet, Oscar Wilde, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe and Frank McCourt.
It was in the 1920s, however, that the hotel's most famous resident checked in and never left. Kaspar the Cat, a 3-foot-high wood sculpture of a regal feline, was expressly created to ward off any superstitions of guests dining at the hotel's Savoy Grill. Apparently, to dine with only thirteen guests is ominous, and the first to rise from the table will soon meet with tragedy. Kaspar's role is to be the official fourteenth guest, served with every course as normal, should anyone unknowingly hit upon the unlucky number of diners.