Behind the scenes at The Savoy

Cathy Winston

The countdown has begun - after it closed its doors almost three years ago, the Savoy reopened on October 10, 2011 and guests are finally getting to see the results of the restoration at the iconic hotel.

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Everything from the famous entrance just off the Strand to the American bar and each of the 268 bedrooms and suites has been renovated by a team of over 1,000 craftsmen and artists in a multi-million pound makeover.

The Savoy closed in December 2007, and the new interiors have been designed by Pierre Yves Rochon, the man behind some of the world's top luxury hotels including the legendary Georges V in Paris.

First opened in 1889, the hotel has always been renowned for its innovations, including electric lights and lift, having bathrooms inside most of its bedrooms and constant hot and cold running water. Needless to say, the hotel has stepped up its mod cons even more with a rooftop swimming pool and a new art deco cocktail and cabaret bar, The Beaufort Bar, where guests can see their drinks being mixed on stage in place of the original ballroom.

As well as a winter garden gazebo for afternoon teas, the River Restaurant will reopen, and Gordon Ramsay's Savoy Grill will be back, with Chef Patron Stuart Gillies and Head Chef Andy Cook.

The design is influenced by Edwardian style, dating back to its earlier days, and Art Deco, from its glittering Thirties heyday, although the lighting and heating has had an eco-friendly update. And while there's wi-fi, as well as TVs in the bedrooms, it's discreetly hidden so it won't clash with the traditional themes.

Quick facts: Room rates at The Savoy will start from around £350 per room per night. Visit or to book, call 020 7836 4343 or email

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