The highly-anticipated re-opening of London’s landmark Savoy Hotel, which is already running 11 months behind schedule, has been delayed a further three months due to spiralling overrun costs.
The hotel was closed in December 2007 for a £100 million refurbishment, and was rescheduled to open in June 2009. However insiders have told The Times that the total costs have risen to over £200 million.
The Savoy, which is managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, is jointly owned by Saudia Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Company and HBOS, which paid £230 million five years ago.
The combined cost of the purchase and restoration equates to about £1.6 million a room, making the Savoy one of the most expensive hotels in the world.
One of the main factors in the delay has been the problems in making poorly-executed previous refurbishment work.
The redeveloped hotel will boast 268 guest rooms – five more than before – including 62 suites. Rooms will start from £350 a night, with the most expensive, the Royal Suite costing £7,500 a night.
One insider told The Times: “The Savoy needs to regain its standing as the place to be seen by the great and the good from both the social and business worlds. The Savoy Grill once again needs to be the place where captains of industry fight for lunch reservations.”
The interior design will retains the hotel’s mix of Art Deco and Edwardian styles interwoven with the contemporary luxury, and has been managed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, whose projects have included the George V in Paris and the Four Seasons in Florence.
Changes will also include a relaxing of the dress code. It was compulsory to wear a jacket and ties to dine in the River Restaurant.
“The world has changed,” said Kiaran MacDonald, the Savoy’s general manager. “The style of the restaurant will be elegant informality.”