Friday, August 6, 2010
A Most Luxurious Hotel
(The Savoy Hotel by Strollerdos at Flickr.com)
Little George loved staying at the new Savoy Hotel in London. He sometimes pushed the buttons in the elevator if the elevator boy let him, and the hall porter sometimes let him take care of the guest's top hats. Little George's mother, the great Nellie Melba, also loved it and held many fabulous dinner parties there.
Richard D'oyly Carte built the Savoy to accommodate tourists and out-of-towners who traveled to London to see the theatre and the sights. He had managed Gilbert and Sullivan and spotted a niche in the market. He also wanted to expand into a new business.
The Savoy, built in 1889, was extremely luxurious because D'oyly Carte wanted to attract wealthy Americans who were used to the best in their own country. The hotel was the first in the British Isles to have electric lights in every room, and it also boasted new Otis elevators. D'oyly Carte employed the best people for his grand hotel, including the great Ritz and the famous French chef, Escoffier. The great chef introduced haute cuisine to Great Britain. Escoffier delighted Madame Melba by inventing a new recipe, Peche Melba, for her.
Since then many famous people have stayed at the Savoy. Monet painted there. Edward VII met his mistress, the beautiful Lily Langtry, at the hotel. The young Princess Elizabeth made her first public appearance with her handsome beau, Prince Phillip, at the Savoy. A grand Coronation Ball was held for her after she became Queen.
The luxurious hotel is undergoing an extensive renovation which is costing over 200 million pounds. It is due to open later this year with the celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, in charge of the Savoy Grill. A suite will cost over 2000 pounds. Unfortunately, I won't be staying at the Savoy any time soon!