Collections of Dilip Prakash

Past Images of the Savoy Hotel

Posted on: December 21, 2007

Detriot – The city of Concrete!


The Savoy Hotel is a five-star hotel located on the Strand, in the City of Westminster in central London that opened on August 6, 1889. The hotel remains one of London’s most prestigious and opulent hotels, with 263 rooms and panoramic views of the Thames River.[1]

From December 2007, the hotel will be closed for 18 months for extensive renovations

Front elevation

The first hotel manager, Cesar Ritz, used his society contacts to encourage ladies to dine at the Savoy. Previously only actresses and women of that ilk would eat in public in Britain.

Entertainment is central in the Savoy’s history. It embraced the jazz age, importing musicians from the US to play in the Savoy Bands. The Thames Foyer was re-vamped with a hydraulic dance floor which created the perfect stage for cabaret.

For many, the Savoy epitomises luxury and glamour, and fashion icons such as Coco Chanel, Katharine Hepburn, Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor amongst its stylish guests.

The Savoy remained open during both the First and Second World Wars. Wounded troops were treated to a concert in March 1916. During the Blitz the Abraham Room was converted into a bomb shelter but the hotel survived unscathed.

Marilyn Monroe sparked controversy at a press conference with Laurence Olivier on 17 July 1956. Her dress had a black net midriff section which was considered shockingly racy.

Actors were among the stars who were attracted to the style of the Savoy. Errol Flynn and Merle Oberon brought Hollywood glamour in the 1930s and 40s, but it was also the hotel of choice for prime ministers and presidents.

Louis Armstrong sings inside the Abraham Room in 1968. Frank Sinatra, Noel Coward are also thought to have entertained guests. The Beatles, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan also visited.

The Savoy’s balls and parties became stuff of legend. It threw the most lavish ball for the Queen’s Coronation, attended by many who had been at the ceremony.

New Year’s Eve dinner at the Savoy, 1907

From Wikipedia and BBC


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