Located centrally in London near Covent Garden the West End, The Savoy has been popular meeting place since opening in 1889. The Savoy was the brainchild of the Gilbert and Sullivan impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte and went on to attract royalty, writers and Hollywood stars.
Now London’s legendary Savoy Hotel opened after a three-year shutdown and reaching £220 million worth of structural upgrades and behind-the-scenes work, as well as plush interiors in the Edwardian and Art Deco style of the 121-year-old hotel.
Let’s start form the beggining… Savoy’s had been purchased and subsequent renovated by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company in January 2005. Alwaleed purchased the Savoy for an estimated £250 million (US$394.8 million), to be managed by Fairmont Hotels. The Prince have “employed an investment strategy of buying old European hotels in great areas that are rundown” with the aim to “buy the brand, get the earnings up and then trade the real estate”.
“The problem was the name was sustaining the hotel’s reputation—it was an exhausted asset physically. The owners were not willing to make changes to the asset to reposition it and succeed, and as an investor we are always looking for a seller wishing to exit”, purchaser said. His empire was looking to expand outside North America, and if they found the right asset and the right market they would pay big bucks for it. Kingdom Holding Company had a goal: “To make the Savoy new again without losing its character, but at the highest we can reposition this asset in London”.
The hotel renovation project of the Savoy Hotel was executed by French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon who added a glass-enclosed rooftop pool as well as refurbishing the domed winter garden, a popular locale for afternoon tea. More than 1,000 designer’s craftsmen and artists helped bring the building’s Edwardian and Art Deco styles back to life and create interiors in keeping with the hotel’s “original” spirit, according to a Fairmont spokesman.
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