The Savoy was the first purpose-built deluxe hotel in London. It was the first to be lit entirely by electricity and the first to install hot and cold running water in its guest rooms.
Today the hotel, synonymous around the globe with exceptional service, rich experiences and lasting memories, continues to create and innovate.
What began as a ‘hotel of firsts’ 130 years ago is still very much a hotel of firsts in 2019.
Take Simpson’s in the Strand. In 2017 this world-famous restaurant, which is set in the Savoy Buildings and a part of The Savoy family, underwent a restoration that both respected its incredible history and brought it to the forefront of the modern London dining scene. Last year, the restaurant partnered with satirical cartoonist Zoom Rockman, who created six pieces of artwork inspired by Sir Winston Churchill, one of Simpson’s in the Strand’s most eminent former guests.
This juxtaposition of heritage and young talent – Zoom is just 18 years old – perfectly captures The Savoy’s determination to look forward rather than getting stuck in the past, as did a recent partnership with Canadian photographer Dennis Gocer. Gocer’s company, The Collective You, supplies high-profile parties, galas and weddings with portable photography studios. Last year, as well as offering Savoy guests private portrait photography in a dedicated studio, Gocer attended prestigious events at the hotel, including the array of glittering receptions taking place during the British Academy Film Awards (The Savoy is the Official Hotel Partner to BAFTA).
The Savoy has always had literary connections – novelist Arnold Bennet used to write at the hotel and his eponymous omelette remains a signature dish here – and it was the first London hotel to have its own official writer in residence, with past incumbents including Fay Weldon and Michael Morpurgo. Last summer The Savoy appointed author and Sunday Times journalist Damian Barr as Literary Ambassador to oversee an exciting programme of new literary initiatives, including the relaunch of the writer-in-residence programme with author of The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry.
There’s another Savoy first that is every bit as crucial in providing a seamless experience: it recently became the first luxury London hotel to partner with Alipay, which allows Chinese guests to use their preferred method of payment across the entire hotel, including Simpson’s in the Strand. London is the third most popular European destination among Chinese tourists and China is clearly an important market for The Savoy. So this year it will be exploring the idea of dedicated online channels in China, ensuring the brand is represented on microblogging website Weibo and multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app WeChat.
Constant innovation ensures that The Savoy remains true to its pioneering spirit, retaining its worldwide reputation for excellence and attracting a new generation of visitors from around the globe.
A stay at The Savoy creates memories that are shared across generations or, as The Savoy puts it: ‘You don’t just stay at The Savoy. The Savoy stays with you’.
THE SAVOY STRAND, LONDON WC2R 0EU +44 (0)20 7836 4343