Since 1889, there has only been one place to stay in London – The Savoy. Now, after a three year complete refurbishment, the hotel synonymous with glamour and decadence has re-opened its doors.
Expect the unexpected in the building where Vivien Leigh first met Laurence Olivier, where the Queen (just plain Princess Elizabeth back then) made her public debut with Prince Philip, and where characters like Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe and Oscar Wilde did not even raise an eyebrow by walking through its doors.
Luxury has always been the emphasis, with the hotel being the first in Britain to have electricity, elevators and private bathrooms. 2010 has raised the bar, with rooms completely remodelled to allow river views and a return to the original allure and charm of the biggest party in town. Imagine sleeping in the room next door to Judy Garland, or bumping into Marlene Dietrich at breakfast. Gone are the days when this could happen, but we trust that the clientele will be just as glamorous in the twenty-first century. Whether you’re spotting foreign dignitaries in the lobby or sharing the lift with an A-lister, do remember to keep your cool – there’s nothing worse than a starstruck tourist.
We predict the hotel’s Beaufort Bar will turn into one of the city’s late night hotspots. An Art Deco haven of gold leaf and black velvet, it is built on the original cabaret stage, and will focus on live music and even livelier drinks. Cocktails range from the ordinary to the downright spectacular – come with a partner and order the Gilded Cage, only to find two cocktails arrive in an actual bird cage, or visit with friends and order a champagne punch for four, which comes in an absinthe fountain (however don’t expect to remember much of your evening if you opt for the latter).
Decadent and sumptuous, The Savoy is looking as good as new, but still has that old-time glamour London has been missing.
Text by Rebecca Irvine.