Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imagePhoto essay: Touring London's historic Savoy Hotel Special

By Tim Sandle     Apr 10, 2015 in Travel
London - The Savoy is a 125 year-old hotel at the heart of the theater district in London, and the birthplace of Gilbert and Sullivan's light operettas. Recently refurbished, the hotel is an Art Deco wonder.
The Savoy is located in central London on a stretch of road call The Strand (which a long time ago was a beach.)
The drive leading to The Savoy. The fountain was designed by Lalique.
The drive leading to The Savoy. The fountain was designed by Lalique.
The hotel was opened in 1889 by theater impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte, using the proceeds from his Gilbert and Sullivan operas. For this reason, many of the early Gilbert and Sullivan productions became known as the D'Oyly Carte operas, for example H.M.S. Pinafore. This era is brilliantly captured in the Mike Leigh movie Topsy-Turvy, featuring Jim Broadbent and centered on the first production of The Mikado. The hotel was built next door to the Savoy theater.
The theme of exploration during the Edwardian era is strong at The Savoy. The part of the hotel feat...
The theme of exploration during the Edwardian era is strong at The Savoy. The part of the hotel featured in this photograph has the theme of India.
Today The Savoy is classed as one of London's luxury hotels. This was also the case when it first opened (it was the first hotel in London to offer such add-ons as electric lights, electric elevators, bathrooms in most rooms, and hot and cold running water.)
The Art Deco style lobby of The Savoy.
The Art Deco style lobby of The Savoy.
The first manager of the Savoy was César Ritz, who later founded the Ritz hotel chain.
Capturing a little of the older style of The Savoy with some modern day magic  a pair of old carved ...
Capturing a little of the older style of The Savoy with some modern day magic, a pair of old carved elephants are emblazoned with some colorful flowers.
Later on the hotel became an essential stop-off for politicians (Winston Churchill frequently held post-cabinet luncheons at the venue) and movie stars. The hotel was popular with Frank Sinatra, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart and Elizabeth Taylor; as well as musicians and singers ranging from Judy Garland to Bob Dylan.
The hotel building has Grade II listed status, which means that it may not be demolished, extended, or altered without special permission from the government, essentially it protects buildings of historic interest.
In December 2007 the hotel was closed for a major refurbishment and it re-opened in 2010. The interiors were designed by Pierre Yves Rochon.
One of the many seating areas at The Savoy. Each area is similarly decorated with a range of objet d...
One of the many seating areas at The Savoy. Each area is similarly decorated with a range of objet d'art.
One of the corridors at The Savoy  this one is located closer to the more Edwardian themed Thames si...
One of the corridors at The Savoy, this one is located closer to the more Edwardian themed Thames side.
A staircase at The Savoy  part of the redesign.
A staircase at The Savoy, part of the redesign.
The ballroom at The Savoy. Note the sparkling chandelier.
The ballroom at The Savoy. Note the sparkling chandelier.
The re-design included a Thames Foyer with a winter garden gazebo under a stained-glass cupola. Here afternoon tea is served (you can read a special Digital Journal report about this special experience here.)
The redesigned Thames Foyer at The Savoy  a perfect spot for afternoon tea.
The redesigned Thames Foyer at The Savoy, a perfect spot for afternoon tea.
The refit also included a patisserie is called Savoy Tea.
Savoy Tea is located on the Reception level overlooking the Thames Foyer. A range of sweet treats ar...
Savoy Tea is located on the Reception level overlooking the Thames Foyer. A range of sweet treats are on display.
Chefs at The Savoy making a range of chocolate goodies  including Easter eggs
Chefs at The Savoy making a range of chocolate goodies, including Easter eggs
There are three main bars. One of them, The American Bar, specializes in cocktails. During the 1920's this was one of the first establishments to introduce American-style cocktails to Europe.
People enjoying cocktails in the American Bar at The Savoy.
People enjoying cocktails in the American Bar at The Savoy.
A selection of cocktails at The American Bar at The Savoy.
A selection of cocktails at The American Bar at The Savoy.
One of the main restaurants is the Savoy Grill. This is managed by Gordon Ramsay.
Restored to its former glory  the entrance to the glamorous  theatrical heritage of the Savoy Grill.
Restored to its former glory, the entrance to the glamorous, theatrical heritage of the Savoy Grill.
The hotel also contains a small museum. The exhibits change on a regular basis and are drawn from the hotel and theater archives.
A wooden bust of Noël Coward. Coward was an English playwright  composer  director  actor and singe...
A wooden bust of Noël Coward. Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer.
Music and theater memorabilia on display in the museum at The Savoy.
Music and theater memorabilia on display in the museum at The Savoy.
In the museum there is a collection of old liquor, some of which is till drinkable and can be sampled (for a price.)
One of the older bottles of alcohol on display in the museum at The Savoy
One of the older bottles of alcohol on display in the museum at The Savoy,
If you are in London then The Savoy is well worth visiting. Even if the prices are a high, the museum can be visited and the ambiance, of over a hundred years of theater tradition, can be soaked up.
More about The Savoy, Art deco, Hotel, Theater
More news from
Latest News
Top News