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Following a $350 million face-lift beginning in December 2007, London’s historically fashionable Savoy finally reopened on October 10 after several months of delays and extra costs pushing it more than $150 million over budget. One noteworthy addition is the set of “personality suites” honoring nine of the hotel’s most notable guests, including Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, and Frank Sinatra. Each suite is outfitted with special pieces associated with its namesake, like the twelve pink roses that Ms. Dietrich would always request when staying at The Savoy.
Other changes include new management for the hotel’s Savoy Grill, now under infamous chef Gordon Ramsay’s holding company (though Ramsay has passed on the culinary duties, giving them to head chef Andy Cook). In addition, a new one-of-a-kind “green butler” service provides guests (along with the usual services) with in-depth knowledge of “all things green” around London.
Since originally opening in 1889, the Savoy has offered glamorous accommodations for glamorous guests. In keeping with its illustrious history, the Savoy requires that all of its 650 staff members learn to Waltz and Charleston to perhaps woo guests with some old-world moves. Such opulence comes at a price, however. In order to pay off backers for the $350 million renovations, rooms that used to cost roughly $395/night will now run $550/night. And those personality suites? Stays in the Maria Callas-themed suite will set you back $3,940/night. But with such handsome looks and what are often called the best views in London, the newly minted Savoy lives up to its cost and the expectations of elite visitors from around the world. www.fairmont.com/savoy
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