Savoy to auction off hotel memorabilia

12 Dec 2007 by Mark Caswell

The Savoy hotel is to hold a charity auction of memorabilia when it closes for refurbishment this week.

The London landmark will close its doors on December 15, to carry out a £100 million renovation programme. The hotel will then auction more than 3,000 items from December 18-20, with the proceeds going to Farms for City Children, a charity which offers inner-city children the chance to experience rural life in Devon, Wales and Gloucestershire.

Among the items to be auctioned are lights, mirrors, silverware and artwork from the hotel. Kiaran MacDonald, general manager of The Savoy, says: “On December 15, we will close our doors for 16 months as we undergo a comprehensive restoration of one of the world’s truly iconic hotels. This auction is a chance for us to share some of our past with collectors, loyal guests and anyone who has strong memories of The Savoy.”

Designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, whose previous projects include the Four Seasons George V in Paris and the Monte Carlo Bay Resort, will oversee the restyling of the hotel on behalf of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. (The property was taken over by Canadian luxury hotel management company Fairmont in 2005.)

The extensive renovations will see work carried out on the hotel’s front entrance, lobby, corridors, public areas, restaurants, and all 263 guestrooms and suites. New features will include a gift shop, a patisserie, and the Beaufort Bar cocktail lounge, while the Savoy Court (the cul-de-sac in front of the hotel’s main entrance) is to be transformed into a private garden square, with exotic palms and topiary.

The hotel’s new design will combine elements of 1920s Edwardian-inspired style alongside 1930s Art Deco features, and the lobby area will be opened up with the removal of the reception desk. The Royal Suite will get a £2.5 million makeover, and will have eight bay windows with views of the Thames.

The Savoy also says it aims to greet every arriving guest by name at the door when the hotel reopens, through a system of earpiece communications for the doormen, while the Savoy butler will be on hand to cater for the needs of business and leisure travellers.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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