Savoy Hotel

Savoy Hotel

Infobox hotel
hotel_name =

image_width = 250px
caption = Front elevation
location = London, United Kingdom
coordinates =
opening_date = August 6, 1889
stars = 5
diamonds =
closing_date =
developer = Richard D'Oyly Carte
architect = Thomas Edward Collcutt
operator =Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
owner =Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
number_of_restaurants =
number_of_rooms = 263
number_of_suites =
floor_area =
floors =
parking =
website = []
footnotes =

The Savoy Hotel is a five-star hotel located on the Strand, in the City of Westminster in central London that opened on August 6, 1889. The hotel remains one of London's most prestigious and opulent hotels, with 263 rooms and panoramic views of the River Thames across Savoy Place and the Victoria Embankment, part of the Thames Embankment. [ [ The Savoy] ,]

From December 2007, the hotel will be closed for 18 months for extensive renovations. [ [ Article on the Savoy renovation] .] [ [ Article on the closing of the hotel] , "The Guardian".]


Opened in 1889, it was built by Richard D'Oyly Carte, the owner of the adjacent Savoy Theatre, with architect Thomas Edward Collcutt, who also designed the Wigmore Hall. Its name derives from the Savoy Palace which once occupied the site. The hotel was built on a plot of land next to the Savoy Theatre, originally purchased to build an electrical generator for the theatre which was the first public building in the world to be lit by electricity.

The hotel's first famous manager was César Ritz, who later became the founder of The Ritz Hotel. Sir Arthur Sullivan sat on the Board of Directors. The D'Oyly Carte family continued to operate the hotel through the lifetime of Richard's son, Rupert D'Oyly Carte, and was taken over by his daughter, Dame Bridget D'Oyly Carte.

In 2005, the Savoy was purchased by Al-Waleed bin Talal, to be managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts of Canada from Maybourne Hotel Group, formerly known as The Savoy Group.

In May 2007, the new owners announced that the hotel in its entirety would close for around 16 months to undergo a refit to a design by Pierre Yves Rochon, Reardon Smith and Buro Happold, the value of which will be in excess of $200m (£100m). The hotel closed in December 2007, with a projected reopening date some time in 2009. [ [ Savoy to close for refurbishments] .]

Famous guests

Numerous famous guests have stayed at the hotel. Claude Monet [Tucker, Paul Hayes, "Monet in the 90s: The Series Paintings, page 242. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1989. ISBN 0-300-04659-6.] and James Whistler both stayed at the hotel and painted views from their rooms of the River Thames. Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas both frequented the Savoy, which featured prominently in Wilde's subsequent trial for 'gross indecency'. Bob Dylan stayed in the hotel in 1965, and filmed the video clip Subterranean Homesick Blues in an adjacent alley. He was also allegedly confronted by hotel security guards over a wine glass being thrown out of the hotel room window, onto the street below. The Beatles, U2, Led Zeppelin, Sarah Bernhardt, Enrico Caruso, Lillie Langtry, Charlie Chaplin, Ivor Novello, Frank Sinatra, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Judy Garland, Elton John, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, The Who, Richard Harris, Julie Andrews, Shirley Bassey, Jimi Hendrix, and Marilyn Monroe stayed here. Nobel prize winning economist Amartya Sen prefers the hotel when staying in London.

An episode of the American television comedy Married with Children was filmed at the Savoy.


is also attributed to the hotel's kitchen; it is said that Dame Nellie ordered toast and was served with several pieces that were unusually thin and crisp and almost burnt, thus creating a new dish.

Elegant dining at the Savoy includes formal afternoon tea with choral performances at Christmas time including soloists. Soprano Donna Bruce gave a mesmerising performance of Madonna and Child in 2006 which was well received by everyone.

The Savoy has a Sunday brunch including free-flow champagne, and special events, such as New Year's Eve dinner.

Kaspar, a 3-foot high black alabaster cat sculpted by Basil Ionides, is used as an extra guest when thirteen dine, to stave off bad luck. He is given a full place setting. [ [ Article about Kaspar the cat] .]

avoy Court

Savoy Court is the only street in the United Kingdom where vehicles are required to drive on the right [ [ Why we drive on the Left in the UK] .] . This is said to date from the days when a cab driver would reach his arm out of the driver's door window to open the passenger's door (which opened backwards and had the handle at the front), without having to get out of the cab himself [ [,5753,-1501,00.html Why does traffic entering and leaving the Savoy Hotel in London drive on the right?] , "The Guardian".] . (See Hackney carriage)

The Savoy cocktail book

In 1930 the Savoy Hotel published a cocktail book," 'The Savoy Cocktail Book' " with the recipes compiled by Harry Craddock of the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel, London and 'decorations' by Gilbert Rumbold. The book was then subsequently republished several times; 1952, 1965, 1985, 1996 and most recently in 1999 with some new text and a number of new cocktails added by Peter Dorelli. [ [ 104 Details of 104 cocktails with absinthe] from The Savoy Cocktail Book.]

avoy Pier

Savoy Pier is located near the river entrance to the hotel, but is not affiliated with the hotel. It is a stop on the Thames Clipper commuter service, connecting the Savoy with the City of London, Canary Wharf and Greenwich via a river boat service.

History of the site

The House of Savoy was the ruling family of Savoy, descended from Humbert I, Count of Sabaudia (or "Maurienne"), who became count in 1032. The name Sabaudia evolved into "Savoy" (or "Savoie"). Count Peter (or "Piers" or "Piero") of Savoy (d. 1268) was the maternal uncle of Eleanor of Provence, queen-consort of Henry III of England, and came with her to London. King Henry made Peter Earl of Richmond and, in 1246, gave him the land between The Strand and the Thames where Peter built the Savoy Palace in 1263. On Peter's death, the Savoy was given to Edmund, 1st Earl of Lancaster, by his mother, Queen Eleanor. Edmund's great-granddaughter, Blanche, inherited the site. Her husband, John of Gaunt, 2nd Duke of Lancaster, built a magnificent palace that was burned down by Wat Tyler's followers in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. King Richard II was still a child, and his uncle John of Gaunt was the power behind the throne and so a main target of the rebels.

In about 1505, Henry VII planned a great hospital for "pouer, nedie people", leaving money and instructions for it in his will. The hospital was built in the palace ruins and licensed in 1512. Drawings show that it was a magnificent building, with a dormitory, dining hall and three chapels. Henry VII's hospital lasted for two centuries but suffered from poor management. The sixteenth-century historian Stow noted that the hospital was being misused by "loiterers, vagabonds and strumpets". In 1702 the hospital was dissolved, and the hospital buildings were used for other purposes. Part of the old palace was used for a military prison in the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century the old hospital buildings were demolished and new buildings erected.Somerville, Robert. "The Savoy: Manor, Hospital, Chapel" (1960) London: Duchy of Lancaster.]

In 1864, a fire burned everything except the stone walls and the Savoy Chapel, and the property sat empty until D'Oyly Carte bought it in 1880 to build the Savoy Theatre and later the Savoy Hotel there.



* Dorelli, Peter/Craddock, Harry, "The Savoy Cocktail Book", 1999, ISBN 1-86205-296-4
* Jackson, Stanley, "The Savoy — The Romance of a Great Hotel", New York, 1964. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 63-8604
*MacKenzie, Compton. "The Savoy of London" (1953). London: George Harrap & Co.
* [ "Famous Hotels in the World - London: The Savoy."]
* [ Art Deco at the Savoy - Describes many features of the hotel]

ee also

* Hotels in London

External links

* [ The Savoy Hotel website]

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