Venetia van Kuffeler experiences a taste of the high life in the newly unveiled Royal Suite at The Savoy
The Savoy’s Head Butler, Sean Davoren, met me in the lobby at check-in, and assured me he’d be on hand 24 hours a day. We travelled upstairs in the oldest lift in London. Hand-painted crimson red, the lift houses a sofa “for the ladies who felt faint” in days gone by. When it first opened in 1889, The Savoy caused a sensation. Aside from being Britain’s first luxury hotel, it was also the first to have ‘ascending rooms’ – elevators, that is – plus electric lights and hot and cold running water in every room. Today, The Savoy is managed by Fairmont and reopened in 2010 to great fanfare after a three-year refurbishment.
The Savoy’s Royal Suite has recently undergone a significant renovation and I’d been invited to experience it for myself. Light poured through the windows as we walked in, revealing reams of clear blue sky, along with views of the sparkling Thames, Royal Festival Hall, Millennium Bridge and the London Eye. Spectacular. The suite spans the entire riverside of the fifth floor, and now offers a more residential style of accommodation that combines luxury with comfort, reflecting the style of home guests would choose for themselves.
The huge drawing room houses four enormous and supremely comfortable sofas, a dramatic gold and black lacquer bar, a love seat and canary yellow silk floor-to-ceiling curtains. Walking down the corridor, the suite goes on and on: the morning room with kitchen that could double as an office, huge bathroom with Jacuzzi bath and steam shower, a walk-in wardrobe that fashionistas can only dream about, and finally a beautiful bedroom with hand-painted four poster bed. Rooms are cleverly connected with discreet doorways and corridors, meaning that entourages (or your Savoy Butler) can move about with the utmost consideration for privacy. Sean tells me that he’s on hand to pour drinks, make tea, unpack and press clothes, print boarding passes and make restaurant reservations.
If guests feel the need to leave the Royal Suite (which understandably they may not), there’s plenty to keep them occupied. There’s the iconic American Bar where Elton John is known to have given impromptu concerts, and for dining, among others there is Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill serving an array of fresh and smoked fish, oysters, caviar and fresh seafood including sushi and sashimi. We had an exceptional dinner, and I can’t recommend this restaurant highly enough.
As well as a butler, guests of the Royal Suite have 24-hour access to their own Savoy Entourage including a London concierge, chef, bartender, therapist, personal stylist/shopper, hairdresser and make-up artist. The Guest Services Team are on hand to facilitate anything from unique London itineraries to arranging in-suite red carpet event preparations, devising bespoke menus or organising a private in-suite viewing of the latest fashion collection. Should they wish, guests can also enjoy round-trip airport transfers and a VIP welcome at the airport, a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce at their disposal during a stay, and exclusive use of the private Royal Circle in the American Bar.
Alongside the new Royal Suite, the hotel recently revealed its new Savoy Suite, which boasts the same unrivalled views of the Thames and iconic London landmarks that inspired Monet during his stays at The Savoy between 1899 and 1901. The Savoy certainly has its offerings for Royal families, heads of state and VIPs honed to perfection, with spectacular suites and impeccable, personalised service.
The Savoy, Strand, London, WC2R 0EU
T: +44 (0)20 7836 4343