by Stephen Jermanok
It’s hard not to be impressed walking into The Savoy Court entrance off of The Strand, sparkling once again after being closed for three years during a 220 million-pound refurbishment. The art deco scheme of polished silver, lacquered onyx and columns topped with gold leaf surround the opulent crystal fountain, a late 1920’s addition to the original Edwardian architecture of 1889. Celebrities slip in and out of the restaurants and rooms, just like they did at the height of the Savoy’s popularity, when Gershwin first sang “Rhapsody of Blue” and Marlene Dietrich insisted on her requisite 12 roses in her suite. You can see that original request, along with the guest cards of Fred Astaire and Coco Channel in a small museum dedicated to the hotel, just off the foyer. Yes, this is one gem of a property that has exceeded its reputation.
Since Prince Charles cut the ribbon for the reopening on October 10, 2010, the public response has been overwhelming, with more than 1,000 people signing up to have tea once again in the Thames Foyer. Here, tables surround a metal gazebo that looks like a large birdcage under the stained glass roof. The American Bar is often hopping, as singers belt out Broadway classics from the cabaret stage of the Beaufort Bar, and the Savoy Grill is under the helm of “Hell’s Kitchen’s” Gordon Ramsay.
With all this style and swagger, you might think that children would be overlooked but you’d be wrong. A selection of children’s amenities including cribs, cots, strollers, high chairs, blankets, and night lights are available upon request. The in-room dining menu has a special children’s section. And the highlight of the Health Club on the 3rd floor is a swimming pool. So sit back, relax, and luxuriate in splendor at this London icon.
Our Editor Loves
- Location, right on the Thames
- Babysitting services
- Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay at Savoy Grille
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
If you have small children that can sleep in a crib or on a cot, you might be able to get away with a standard room. The guestrooms feature one king or queen bed or two double beds, a flat-screen television, Ipod docking stations, desk and a mini-bar.
There are several Suite options at The Savoy. The two bedroom lodging features one large bed and two smaller beds. The shared marble bathroom has a sunken tub, separate standing shower with rainforest head, and high-quality shampoos and soaps. Other amenities in the suite include flat-screen televisions, DVD player, Ipod docking stations, a desk, two armchairs, a mini-bar, heated floors, and a hairdryer. Wi-Fi access is an extra charge. If you really want to splurge, consider booking one of the three two-bedroom Art Deco suites or the incredibly spacious River View Deluxe Two Bedroom Suite overlooking the Thames.
This is the greatest hotel in the world ever. I've been fortunate enough to stay in lovely hotels all over the world but this place. Well, it's just something else. It is incredible. From start to finish.
The hotel is so beautiful, the service so amazing I recommend you do not stay here. Why? Because returning to the real world afterwards is impossible. Having been pampered, had incredible breakfast, to have been treated like royalty, it's hard to go back to real life.
The rooms are lovely, the food is awesome, the service, it just has to be experienced to be believed. The view? I mean, there is nothing, nothing, even remotely negative you can think of to say about this hotel. The greatest the world has ever had, and possibly ever will.
On top of that, you have the whole of London on your doorstep. I think the best way of describing staying here as similar as dying and going to heaven. It's that incredible. By law everybody should stay here once.
I often joke "does it redefine what I think about when I think about x?" - The Savoy truly does. I don't want to go into to many details. I want you to experience, and discover it for yourselves.
Did I mention it was pretty amazing?
On arrival our room was upgraded to a junior suite and when my husband told staff we were there for a birthday celebration we were given a complimentary birthday chocolate treat.
Throughout our stay at the restaurant for dinner and the bar for drinks all staff were really friendly and welcoming. The food at the Simpson's was delicious and on request they called ahead to the American Bar to reserve a table for us after dinner. We loved the Savoy songbook cocktail menu but will have to return soon to try the ones we didn't get around to tasting.
Thank you to all the staff who made my birthday weekend even more special!
First stop is the concierge, who will happily divulge all family-friendly activities happening in London during your stay.
Walk to Theater and Attractions
The location of the Savoy is hard to top. Smack dab on the Thames, near Leicester Square, you're within walking distance of the theater in West End, the National Gallery of Art in Trafalgar Square, and Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. If you choose the latter, get to the palace about an hour before the pomp and circumstance that happens daily at 11:30 a.m. The London Eye, Tower of London and Hyde Park are not far away either.
Melba at the Savoy
This casual, gourmet counter offers pastries, British sandwiches and more.
Kaspar's Seafood Bar & Grill
This informal dining spot offers oysters, caviar and fresh seafood. Breakfast and all-day dining is available here.
In the afternoon, have English tea or a sumptuous cup of hot chocolate under the natural light of the glass cupola in the Thames Foyer. The drink is paired with finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a good selection of cakes and pastries. At night, Thames Foyer turns into a casual restaurant, the best choice for families. Fish and chips, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and pasta dishes are several of the offerings.
Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, and Frank Sinatra all had their favorite table at the Savoy Grill. Hire a babysitter and head downstairs under the art deco lighting to sample the grilled chateaubriand or king prawn cocktail.
Simpson's In The Strand
If standard British fare is more to your liking, step just outside the hotel to Simpson's In The Strand for Scottish beef on the bone, steak and kidney pie, or roast saddle of lamb.
Savoy Tea allows guests to experience a traditional British tea, during which guests can watch the pastry chefs at work. The specialty teas are also available for purchase. You must do high tea before leaving Britain, and Savoy makes it easy.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Free bottles of water in the room and free newspaper at the door are a nice gesture. Along with the art deco veneer, the hotel shines when it comes to service. The concierge was also helpful with restaurant suggestions and reservations. There's a butler service that helps with ironing, dressing, and packing.
Babysitting services from a third party company are available upon request.
Cats and dogs are permitted to stay here for an additional daily fee.
The Art of Smart Timing
The summer is the high season in London. Head over in the spring, winter, and fall and the rates may be reduced. You'll also save money on flights heading overseas. With many of the major sites indoors, like the National Gallery and the West End theater scene, it really doesn't make much a difference when you venture here. It's a magical city any time of year.
Heathrow Express is a 15-minute train ride from Heathrow Airport to central London. It's about a 40-minute drive to The Savoy from Heathrow Airport.
The Tube is a wonderful way to travel London. Purchase an Oyster Card and you may never have to wait more than five minutes for a particular subway.
For Mom and Dad
Hire your own Mary Poppins from the hotel's babysitting agency and have dinner and drinks at one of the many upscale restaurants and bars downstairs. Or wander over to the West End to see some theatre.