The Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has re-opened The Savoy in London after a restoration of the entire building. The historic five-star hotel is located on the Strand Street in the City of Westminster.
Opened in 1889, The Savoy is one of the most opulent hotels in London. The hotel is owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, while it is managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts of Canada.
The Savoy was closed in December 2007 and its restoration took almost three years. It was officially reopened on 2 November 2010 by Prince Charles.
Savoy history and design
The Savoy was designed by the English architect Thomas Edward Collcutt. The luxury hotel was developed by impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte. It is located adjacent to the Savoy Theatre on the banks of the Thames. Original construction of the hotel took five years. It was expanded in 1903-04.
The hotel rooms offer panoramic views of the river over the Thames Embankment and Savoy Place. The hotel had air-raid shelters for protection during World War II and was the first of its kind to have modern amenities such as electric lighting, air conditioning, electric lifts, telephones and soundproofed windows.
The renovation project retained the design heritage of the English Edwardian and Art Deco periods while refurbishing the hotel to meet 21st century requirements.
The £220m extensive refurbishment is the most ambitious hotel restoration project in the UK. It was earlier estimated to cost £100m which, however, increased due to construction delays.
The Savoy has been expanded with a 16-room Royal Suite and all the 267 rooms have been renovated.
The project involved structural and riverside façade stabilisation, and provision of new services infrastructure, 200,000m cabling, 12,000m² tiling and space rationalisation.
The Strand Entrance, the art deco canopy and porte cochère have also been refurbished. It also involved the addition of new kitchens, 19 new lifts, new public and back-of-house areas, and refurbishment of restaurants and bar in the art deco style. The existing architectural and design gems have also been restored.
The project made The Savoy the most environmentally friendly hotel in London. £2.7m worth of green technology has been installed in the hotel, and it is expected to reduce the Savoy’s energy bills by about 50% and reduce the annual carbon emissions by 3,000t.
The Savoy has 268 guestrooms with nine signature suites styled after high profile guests of the hotel. The 180 Edwardian-style guestrooms include 38 art deco deluxe rooms on the riverside providing views of London.
A new two-bedroom Royal Suite has been created as part of the 2010 restoration.
The Savoy has two restaurants, the remodelled River Restaurant (or Savoy Restaurant) and the Savoy Grill (or Grill Room).
The Savoy Grill offers classic French and British dishes.
The restaurant also has a private dining room for about 40 guests. The Savoy Grill is managed by Gordon Ramsay Holdings.
The American Bar, opened in 1898, offers American cocktails. A new Beaufort Bar has been added in the 2010 renovations for cocktails and champagne.
The Savoy also has a dining room on the riverside, ballroom, Gilbert and Sullivan meeting rooms and a rooftop swimming pool.
The Upper Thames Lounge, covered by a 7.5m stained glass dome, has a new Edwardian-style shop with Savoy tea, patisserie and cakes. It also has a winter garden.
ReardonSmith Architects and Buro Happold were responsible for the structural and exteriors restoration. Pierre Yves Rochon was the interior designer. Chorus Group was the general contractor for the restoration project. Hurley Palmer Flatt was the M&E consultant and Gardiner & Theobald was the quantity surveyor.
The restaurants use organic produce from the herb garden developed in partnership with the Victoria Embankment Gardens of Westminster Council. The leftover food at the hotel is collected by the PDM Group everyday to convert it into bio-fuel.