London Hotels Insight was at the climax of Hotelympia 2010 yesterday, London’s biggest hospitality exhibition.
And we were there particularly to see the presentation by Conrad Smith, the Managing Director of Reardon Smith – the firm of architects which has spent the last few years renovating this iconic Art Deco gem of a hotel.
It turned out to be a bit of a treat, since Mr Smith gave us a sneak preview of how the new Savoy will look, as well as serenading us with a complete history of the building over the last 120 years.
We’ll blog about some of these aspects at a later date.
But your correspondent had a burning question for Mr Smith in the Q&A session afterwards: just when is the hotel actually going to re-open?
The re-opening date had initially been mooted as 2009 but was later put back to spring this year. Not surprising then that Mr Smith tried his best to hedge his bets, initially responding with “2nd quarter” before amending this quickly to a safer answer of “hopefully September”.
So it may be that your afternoon tea in the Savoy’s stunning new Thames Foyer (with a glass dome fitted to bring in natural light and recreate its original decadent glory) will be an autumnal rather than a summer treat.
But to be fair, Mr Smith did a good job in whetting our appetites. He convinced his audience that the project’s attention to detail and loving craftsmanship – which re-uses or restores original designs and features while integrating mod-cons like a 21st century sprinkler system and gleaming new bathrooms – will be well worth the wait.
We’ve been getting hot under the collar in anticipation of the Savoy’s comeback for months now, even going so far as to list some of the dozens of historic hotel innovations that have been “stolen from the Savoy”.
Keep your eyes glued to London Hotels Insight and we’ll reveal more exclusive details on this exciting project shortly.
Photo credits: The Savoy (Fairmont Hotels & Resorts).