During my amazing and quite ridiculously gorgeous stay at The Savoy I learnt so much about its history and heritage. When I spent time in The Savoy in the past it was BR (that’s Before Renovation) when the whole hotel was done up in high Deco style.
The linear and geometric, symmetry-fixated, ancient-Egypt-inspired, French-influenced, Deco-adoring Savoy bosses really went for it, smothering the whole building in the style of the moment. So much so that, in my mind, this was a hotel born in the 1920s. That belief was sealed by my love of the Strand entrance, which for me is one of the key design landmarks in London, and is pure Deco, topped off by The Savoy’s name in their iconic font, designed by Sir Howard Robertson in the 1930s and now recreated and reworked in a multitude of ways throughout the hotel.
The Savoy, London
In actual fact, the first incarnation of the Savoy was opened in 1889. It was then updated, modernised and expanded initially in 1904 and then again in the 1920s. During the intense and carefully researched renovation, each section of the hotel was returned to a look that is far more in keeping with its original scheme. This variation in decades of style is not only visible in the ground floor receptions, foyers, bars, restaurants and even the lifts, it is also faithfully extended up into the bedrooms.
Should you be fortunate enough to be booking in to this wonderful and iconic grande dame of a hotel, let me help you decide whether to choose a room in the Edwardian side (high ceilings, romantic florals, curvaceous furniture, panelled walls) or the Deco side (sharper cut shapes, silver metallic detailing, lower ceilings, stylised florals). Just take our simple quiz and keep a note of your answers. No cheating!
Question 1: Decor
left a) classic tonal striped, dark wood and soft florals? or right b) a graphic, linear, clean-cut scheme?
Question 2: Your favourite tipple
left a) a nice cup of tea? or right b) something a little stronger?
Question 3: Your idea of a fun night
a) reading a good book with your friend or b) dancing your cares away?
Question 4: Get ahead, get a hat
do you prefer a) on the left, wide brimmed and heavily decorated or b) on the right, small and neat yet big on impact
Question 5: Dancing Queens
a) Expressive and artistic, like the ground-breaking Loie Fuller?
b) Sexy yet comedic, like the utterly innovative Josephine Baker?
Question 6) Rebellion and Independence
are you a) left, more politically active and loving a good placard or b) right, rebelling by doing rather shockingly inappropriate things in public?
Question 7) Your Society Portrait
would you prefer to be an a) John Singer Sargent lady or a b) Cecil Beaton ingénue?
Question 8) Original Features
do you prefer a) the wonderful Chinoiserie detailing of the Red Lift or b) the clean-lined, elegant Lalique fountain
9) Your Silhouette
a) more curvy or b) straight up and down
10) Your Celebrity Alter Ego
a) Charlie Chaplin with wife Oona on the roof of the Savoy hotel. Chaplin has a beautiful river-view suite named after him
b) Richard Harris, whose chic suite at The Savoy was actually his home for 11 years (probably best to check that he didn’t leave the minibar empty…)
Now to reveal which era you should reside in…
If you chose mostly A answers you should book a room in the Edwardian side, sharing your rather elegant choice with the likes of Katherine Hepburn and Maria Callas.
If you chose mostly B answers, then you should book into a Deco-era room, sharing your carefree Charlestoning ways with Marlene Dietrich and Noel Coward.
Do leave us a comment to let us know if you are an Edwardian or a Flapper please. Quite honestly though, which ever part of the hotel your room is located in, you are assured of a truly marvellous stay. To find out more about The Savoy and all of the wonder contained within this iconic building (do you require a butler? Some chocolate handmade on the premises? An indulgent spa treatment? Perhaps a cocktail in the very same room that Josephine Baker herself performed in?), take a look here. I think it is one of the most remarkable places that London has to offer and one that is not to be missed, even if you only have time for a classy cup of tea.
For our previous post about The Savoy, take a look here. For more about our travels in general, then look here. With huge thanks again to The Savoy’s team for taking such wonderful care of me, and also to EnVeritas for this delightful opportunity.