London's renowned Savoy hotel has just reopened following a massive $350 million revamp encompassing one of the most ambitious restorations in British history. The world famous landmark, built by impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte with profits from his Gilbert and Sullivan operas, originally opened in August 1889. Originally managed by Swiss hotelier César Ritz and Maitre Chef Auguste Escoffier, the hotel quickly became known for impeccable service and cuisine as well as glittering parties and famous patrons. Over the decades George Gershwin, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire and Noel Coward entertained there, while famous guests included King Edward VII, Harry Truman, Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, Coco Chanel, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and numerous others. The property, now managed by Fairmont, has been closed for nearly three years while the impressive restoration project took shape.
120 years later the hotel's two main design aesthetics, Edwardian and Art Deco, have been carefully revitalized under the direction of world-renowned designer Pierre Yves Rochon. More than 1000 craftspeople, artists and artisans worked tirelessly to create interiors that are in keeping with the hotel's original and much-loved spirit. 38 new River Suites and guestrooms have been added, offering the same stunning views over the River Thames that inspired Whistler and Monet. Nine Personality Suites pay tribute to a few of the artists and well known figures who made the legendary hotel their London home away from home including Sinatra, Maria Callas, Charlie Chaplin and Marlene Dietrich. The suites contain art, literature, photographs and artifacts that evoke the time and spirit of the stars including the 12 pink roses in the Marlene Dietrich Suite that the actress always requested upon arrival.
The reopening also includes the addition of a stately $16,000-per-night, 325-square meter Royal Suite featuring two bedrooms, a study, sitting room, dining room, master bathroom, dressing room (with a specially ventilated shoe closet) and a master bedroom with a bespoke Savoir bed. The suite has been specially designed so that all the rooms enjoy one of the finest views of London. The legendary River Restaurant meanwhile gets a contemporary interpretation of Art Deco décor, and the famed cocktail mecca the American Bar is back in business while Savoy Grill returns under the operation of Gordon Ramsay Holdings with Chef Patron, Stuart Gillies and Head Chef, Andy Cook. [continued]
Gallery: The Savoy Reborn