Grand night out at The Savoy: is this the UK’s most extravagant staycation?
Prices range from £3,000 to £15,000 for the London hotel’s suite dining experience
The Savoy, part of the Fairmont group of luxury properties, is the original grand dame of London hotels. At more than 130 years old, there’s nothing faded about her grandeur or tired in her manner. She’s as regal and relevant as she ever was: still the stomping ground for stars of stage and screen, European royalty and – if the rumours are to be believed – the spooks of MI5.
But even while droves shirk the capital in favour of seasonal coastal staycations in the likes of Devon or Cornwall, or a hit of mountain air in the Scottish Cairngorms, The Savoy is serving up what is perhaps the most lavish and enviable domestic sojourn of them all: an overnight stay with suite dining experience – complete with river views, butler service and a parade of Louis Roederer Champagnes.
With prices starting at £3,000 for a one-bedroom suite and soaring to £15,000 for the Royal Suite, it is, for those Londoners who wish to remain within the North Circular, an unrivalled doorstep extravagance. For everyone else, it’s an opportunity to enjoy the city at its most evocative: all besuited doormen, ambient cocktails and twinkling landmarks from the comfort of a high-ceilinged hotel room.
So what does one get for such a pretty penny? Well, intimate, nothing-a-problem service for one. Throughout their stay and during the in-suite supper, guests are waited upon by a personal butler: in our case the well-spoken and impeccably starched Michael Peluso, who appeared on The Savoy’s eponymous docu-series, lifting the lid on a life in livery.
Swish digs then, of course. One-bedroom suites feature palatial, ornately dressed living rooms with parquet floors and guest bathrooms; handsome bedrooms with dark wood furniture and flamboyant fabric; and private, separate main bathrooms with roll-top baths and toiletries from Penhaligon’s, with a bespoke scent that’s almost worth the cost of entry. There are floor-to-ceiling windows throughout and, beyond, the swelling waters of the Thames and the various sights that line its edges and skirt its surface, from Cleopatra’s needle to Tower Bridge.
As the sun begins to set, a team arrives for supper set-up – a neat excuse to slip off to the downstairs Beaufort Bar for an aperitif where, at some point, a menu will appear documenting the evening’s coming delights. Across three courses there are various classic options, with highlights including Carlingford oysters with yuzu and black pearls and a pan-seared seabass with brown butter shrimp. A vegetarian menu is also available, although if there’s ever an excuse to cheat, it’s at The Savoy.
Back in the suite and a white-garbed table sits aside the window with a flickering candelabra, the London skyline now lit up and draped in a veil of star-pricked obsidian. It is, perhaps, as close to a vision of pure romance as one might find in the city, made all the more so thanks to champagne, and the quantity of it. There are no meagre “art gallery opening” measures here, but bubbles aplenty. All three courses (and the opening canapés) are set to Louis Roederer vintages, including a 2008 Cristal, the label’s flagship cuvée.
The following morning, breakfast is included and, while the famed Thames Foyer is a beautiful spot to greet the day at this Fairmont property, with a suite at their disposal guests might be tempted to have it delivered or – we dare say – skip it altogether and enjoy the most immoderate of four (or five)-figure lie-ins.
For more details about The Savoy’s Grandest Louis Roederer Suite Dining Experience see fairmont.com