The arrival experience at The Savoy in London can make you dizzy. Or perhaps “leave you breathless” is a better way of putting it. Consider this: As you drive up to the hotel’s porte cochere off the Strand, the iconic Savoy sign appears in full view. As you pull up to the entrance, a dapper doorman opens the door of your black cab and welcomes you warmly as your luggage is seen to by an equally posh colleague. Once inside, you’ll find a buzzing Front Hall with a newly installed black and white marble floor and refreshened columns (all done during the hotel’s major overhaul from 2007 through 2010) where you’re greeted immediately by a hotel representative who somehow already knows you’re here and either takes you straight up to your room or to the discreet reception desk that’s now located in the former Reading Room just off the side.
|The One-Bedroom Suite is adorned with lovely furniture and built-in bookcases.|
We were spirited up to Suite No. 326 where our butler awaited. This River View Deluxe Suite only made us more breathless. A large foyer with a guest bathroom and wardrobe led to a very large Edwardian-style living room. Off to the side is a doorway to the large bedroom with one of the most comfortable beds we’ve ever slept in. The crowning touch in the bathroom was the claw-foot tub.
Note: This is one of the largest one-bedroom suites we’ve ever seen in a city hotel. In fact, if you sat in one place long enough on the lovely furniture (think pale yellow and lavender hues), you’d realize it was more than a mere hotel accommodation; it was a home, with elegant writing desks nestled into corners, built-in bookcases filled with tomes you could spend years curled up reading in front of the fireplace, and crystal chandeliers in every room.
Did we mention the view? You pretty much forget all about the fixtures we’ve just described when you stumble to the picture windows that overlook the Thames River where the London Eye is just about right in front of you. Look down to the right and you’ll see Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. In fact, the only downside of this suite is you’ll want to stay up here all day, watching the scene change as the day matures, only to end up taking in the views of the city all lit up at night with twinkling lights in every direction.
What makes this River View Deluxe Suite more special than the others is the little balcony tucked off the foyer. From here, you can get a glimpse of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
We like The Savoy’s location on the Strand; it’s a block or two away from the New Covent Garden Market that sells eclectic crafts and goods and has a good selection of shops and restaurants. It’s also close to the West End theater district; and just steps away in the other direction is Somerset House, a stunning arts and cultural center where exhibitions revolve regularly. Be sure to stop at its gift shop where you can get uniquely artistic gifts to take home that will just scream Britain. P.S.: There’s even a skating rink in winter. And, if you want to keep exploring, you can walk across the Thames via Waterloo Bridge. Of course, The Savoy is adjacent to the Savoy Theatre, where Cabaret is currently playing.
After the show, you can drop right back into The Savoy where you can nestle into the extremely sophisticated, newly gilded Beaufort Bar, where George Gershwin is said to have first played Rhapsody in Blue. Tip: Cabaret singers provide nightly entertainment here.
|The Winter Garden is once again the place for Afternoon Tea in London.|
Head Concierge Ben Malpass ([email protected]) can organize anything from a solo cruise on the Thames to a private champagne flight on the London Eye. Luxury travel advisors can reach out to Director of Sales Simon Gilkes ([email protected]; 011-44-20-7420-2684) and Managing Director Kiaran MacDonald can be reached via his assistant, Olga Boeser ([email protected]; 011-44-20-7420-2351).
For more on The Savoy, see www.LuxuryTravelAdvisor.com.