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“Living on their repuation”
Review of The Savoy

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The Savoy
Ranked #40 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 19, 2012

Booked the sunday night special - upgraded room, dinner and breakfast included - £375 plus service. Room was good, with view over the Thames, extra comfortable bed. However shared access door meant we heard noise from the adjoining room. Dinner in the River Restaurant was diabolicle - I could not finish the starter (grossly overcooked) or the main course (undercooked). The cheese board consisted of 5 slivers of unrecognisable cheese, but was the highlight of the meal. Breakfast (£33 if you were not a resident), continued the theme - cold pastries, bacon that had more fat than bacon. A single sausage that no-one could contemplate eating. Scrambled eggs were great. 3 stars is generouus. There is a thing going around that these "special offers" produce inferior product - in my experience, this may be true.

Room Tip: food was very poor
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank armanleg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 18, 2012

I cannot imagine a hotel that can match The Savoy in London. We've stayed at fine hotels (Plaza and Ritz Carleton in NYC); Fairmont in San Francisco; 4 Seasons in Houston; Del Coronado in San Diego and many more). This is it! From entering the drive to the entry you are aware you are somewhere special and it never disappoints! From reception, all staff (more and better trained than anywhere in the world we have travelled) to every accommodation in the room and throughout the hotel. Truly in a class by itself!

Room Tip: I believe you cannot make a mistake in choosing accommodations. It is priced accordingly however so...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cldkRidgecrest_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2012

I booked five nights at the Savoy for my parents, who were celebrating their anniversary. They typically stay at the Ritz when in London, but as I adore having drinks at the Savoy and find the refurbished décor extremely beautiful, I persuaded them to try the Savoy instead. I had fully expected it to be my favourite hotel in London; regrettably, though the style is indeed stunning and the bars second to none, I was saddened to discover the service they received hardly worthy of five-star status, let alone a name as illustrious as the Savoy’s.

The Savoy betrayed from the beginning a surprising lack of attention to the small nuances that make a truly world-class hotel. Though my parents were celebrating their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary and I had mentioned this before they arrived, this went completely unnoticed by the staff. The five-star hotels they had stayed at in France prior to arriving in London had both upgraded their room and provided champagne and flowers; though one cannot expect such generosity as a matter of course, one would expect at least a welcome note, or a nod from reception at check-in to acknowledge the occasion and wish them all the best. Instead, they received not the merest mention of the occasion--perhaps far from an irremediable sin, but nonetheless surprising given that I have received better, more welcoming service from far smaller, less grand hotels.

If that marked a disappointing beginning, the true nadir of service was that provided by a member of their concierge called David. The man’s disposition was chilly at best, never betraying any hint of welcome or service. And at worst he was appallingly rude to my mother, something that is inexcusable at a five-star hotel. When she mentioned a restaurant she had enjoyed in Soho the evening before, he had the nerve to reply by saying distastefully, ‘Oh, Soho is the red light district in London, filled with gays and sex shops.’

Now, I would argue this is not an appropriate way for anyone to speak to a middle-aged woman, let alone a five-star concierge. Yet it further betrays a pretty shocking amount of bigotry and lack of knowledge. The restaurant we went to was Michelin-starred; the food and service is exquisite. If he could not bring himself to be polite, he ought at least to have known that. Moreover, it was a ten minute walk from the hotel. I hate to think what it says about the Savoy if a mere ten minute’s walk brings its guest to what is apparently a den of iniquity best to be avoided.

Moreover, my mother was not asking for general advice about Soho or his opinion of the area. If this man is a bigot and prefers to stay away from areas that feature some gay bars and pubs, that is his prerogative (though might be inconvenient considering the biggest gay club in London is just down the street from the Savoy)—yet he ought also to recognise that Soho is a thriving place filled with every sort of bar and restaurant, and not force his own prejudices on his guests. It seems common sense to me that though some guests might not like Soho, others might enjoy a Michelin-starred meal in a generally vibrant part of town that is a short walk from the hotel. Never mind the fact that surely some guests at the Savoy happen to be gay, in which case dismissing an entire part of the city due to the presence of some gay establishments is rather abominable in my view, particularly in this day and age.

To denigrate my mother and a dinner she had genuinely enjoyed in this fashion was extremely offensive—it clearly upset my mother, who had only been trying to express she had enjoyed a nice evening, and had certainly not expected to be made to feel embarrassed over it.

I have never encountered such flagrantly rude service from staff at any hotel in which I have been a guest. To encounter it at the Savoy is simply insane, and speaks most eloquently as to why my parents left feeling deeply ambivalent about the place, and why it is unlikely they will be returning despite the hotel’s beauty and good location.

Though it was the offensiveness of David the concierge that most deeply upset us, it is also worth noting that there were several problems with the room as well, ranging from large black scuff marks on the wall and ceiling (please see the attached photos), an electrical outlet that did not work, and a mirror in the bathroom that was broken when my parents arrived and then broken again by the maid after the hotel had sent someone to fix it. Though to their credit the hotel did eventually move to address these problems—though not by moving my parents to a different room; I should note that they gave me assurances they would do this, and then never followed through on it, another indefensible failing from a hotel of this class—none of this is indicative of a true five-star hotel. Though these details might otherwise have merited overlooking, coupled with the outright offensive service received from David, they speak to serious problems inherent in the hotel.

Ultimately, the Savoy is five-star in beauty, style, and atmosphere, yet two or three star for service. This is inexcusable at this price range. Having said that, I should mention that their doormen and the staff in their bars and restaurants were absolutely faultless, and thankfully saved the experience for my parents to some degree. In the bars and restaurants, one finds staff who are impeccably trained, courteous, and wonderful. And there were other members of their reception and concierge who were very polite and helpful. If only every member of the hotel staff offered service of a similar quality.

For service to equal the name, I would recommend potential guests try the Ritz or Claridge's, hotels which offer truly exemplary service to match their elegant surroundings. For the Savoy, do stop in to try the excellent bars—amongst the best in London—or the superb Savoy Grill. Then seek accommodation elsewhere.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank JohnGalt330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2012

Recently renovated, our two rooms were both spectacular (yet different). The rooms were impeccable, beds and linens what is expected of a 4/5 star hotel. The staff was most helpful, and the afternoon tea, though pricey, worth the experience. The location, right on Covent Garden is perfect; walk to Soho, the Theater district, across the bridge to the Eye, this is the perfect base to enjoy London. At $300 USD per night for a superior room, this was unbelievable.

Room Tip: Rooms on the interior courtyard are so quiet...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Nashawtec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2012

My husband and I stayed here as it was in walking distance of the Theatre Royal and Brumus. We arrived and were whisked straight up to our room with the minimum of fuss. The room was a good size but painted a drab dark beige shade, with heavy old furniture and one window, making the room dull and depressing. Nice bathroom, long, light and thin, lots of toiletries which were replenished at turn down. Mineral water was available at a price until turn down, when a bottle was placed each side of the bed. Very comfortable bed and good quality bed linen. Air conditioning only went down to 18.5, which meant the room was stuffy overnight. When we arrived we wanted a cup of tea, not the expensive Savoy experience for the tourists. We were sent to the American Bar, which was noisy and crowded. I drink Earl Grey with lemon, hardly unusual. The Earl Grey was like builders tea, they had used tea bags, not loose tea leaves, and I was give 2 chunks of lemon, not slices. It was horrible. I would expect a 5* hotel to be able to produce a nice cup of tea in a peaceful setting, but it appears not. I had Eggs Benedict with salmon for breakfast, it was cold with water on the plate, the poached eggs had obviously been partially cooked and then reheated. Everything you ordered on the menu cost a fortune. i.e. fruit £12.00, Eggs Benedict £15.00, toast extra. There are much better hotels in London nowadays and we would certainly not stay here again.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else. Read The Tripadvisor reviews. They are all from foreign guests.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LyndaHilliardEvans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheSavoy, hotel management at The Savoy, responded to this reviewResponded October 9, 2012

Thank you for your review and we are sorry that one or two aspects of your stay spoiled the overall enjoyment of your stay. We have noted your comments and sincerely apologise for these shortfalls in our service. We just wanted to politely add that contrary to your note, some of our most wonderful reviews have been posted by visitors from the UK; we are sure you didn't mean to imply that overseas visitors would not give an honest review.

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Reviewed September 15, 2012

We stayed at this Hotel mid august 2012, This was to be the highlight of our trip as I was having a re-union with friends not seen for many years. I had watched with interest the Television series of the grand refit and so had great expectations. We arrived only to have the lift break down, and we all piled in the service lift, staff very friendly but not a promising start. Room okay and bathroom black and white again adequate but not luxury after coming from The Bristol in Paris. Off to high tea had been told Claridges better but decided to meet my guests at Savoy. The afternoon tea again was good but not great, I was looking forward to clotted cream and told other guests on Captains Choice hope its cornish yellow and thick. it was not. The orchids in foyer divine but don't think i would chose to stay there again, just a personal choice. The renovations look super had my honeymoon there many years ago so quite nostalgic.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank phoebe199
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2012

Last September 2nd I spent one night at The Savoy Hotel in London. In one word: Perfect. Is a very expensive hotel but you get more than you pay: the room, the bathroom, the common areas are just in perfect conditions and very elegant, but more important: It is only fair to honor the kindness of their staff. I was there with my sons and they had some nice details like leaving a teddy bear and a coloring book on their bed.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Jose A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Savoy

Address: The Strand, London WC2R 0EU, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Trafalgar Square / Embankment
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 Spa Hotel in London
#40 Luxury Hotel in London
#44 Romantic Hotel in London
#45 Family Hotel in London
#53 Business Hotel in London
Price Range: $528 - $1,057 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Savoy 5*
Number of rooms: 267
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Savoy Hotel London
Savoy London
Savoy Hotel London
The Savoy London, England

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