If you had to name a World Famous Hotel in London what would it be? The Ritz? Claridge’s? or perhaps The Savoy? This was the challenge we had when we offered a mystery hotel booking. The description of the hotel could have been several others as it isn’t the only 5 Star hotel in the Covent Garden area or near the Thames. However; it was the phrase “World Famous” which stood out. A bargain it appeared to be but choosing a mystery hotel is not without risk. A big food poisoning outbreak or murder after all could make a hotel World Famous.
We took the risk and after a short online pause The Savoy was our mystery hotel. A bargain we had certainly bagged but spending in the process a fair bit more than we initially intended.
The Savoy Hotel is located in the Strand in central London. Its front entrance is on Savoy Road which is the only road in the U.K where you drive on the right.
Built by the impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte and opened on 6 August 1889. The Savoy was the first luxury hotel in Britain. Some of the firsts in The Savoy were electric lights, electric lifts, bathrooms plus many other innovations.
Carte hired César Ritz as manager and Auguste Escoffier as chef de cuisine. The hotel soon attracted the rich and famous for its quality of service, entertainment & dining.
Within The Savoy is a small museum which has pictures of many of its famous former guests. Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor and The Beatles are just some of its famous guests over the years.
The Savoy is a grade 2 listed building and has 268 rooms. In December 2007 the hotel closed for a complete renovation,. The cost of the renovations were planned to be £100 million but grew to £220 million. Room decor is Edwardian on the Thames river side and Art Deco on the Strand side. Our room was on the Art Deco side & although was the basic Superior Queen Room was beautiful decorated and equipped to an exceptionally high standard.
The Savoy maintains its status as one of the top food & drink venues in London. In total the is a choice of seven restaurants and bars
- Beaufort Bar is an Art Deco bar offering an exclusive choice of champagnes, fine wines and cocktails.
- Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill is an informal restaurant set in a 1920’s style.
- Thames Foyer is the heart of the hotel serving breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and a light supper menu.
- The American Bar is one of the most famous Cocktail Bars in the world. The Cocktail list is extensive and some of the Cocktails cost more than a family holiday. The Savoy Cocktail Book is still considered by many as the definitive guide to Cocktails.
- Savoy Grill under the management of Gordon Ramsay.
- SIMPSON’S-IN-THE-STRAND serving British cuisine.
- Melba at The Savoy is a new take-away counter at the corner of Savoy Court.
The service in The Savoy remains world-famous. Staff are friendly & welcoming but are not pretentious. Despite the upmarket setting it is easy to feel at home and that is down to the high standard of the staff.
The Savoy is highly recommended but it is not cheap. However; for a special weekend it offer a memorable stay. It clearly remains one of the top hotels in London and can maintain that it genuinely is World Famous.
If you are looking at Mystery Hotels and see the saying “World Famous” it might be worth taking the gamble as it could be The Savoy.