An iconic London hotel recently completed one of the most ambitious restorations in British history under the watchful eye of French designer Pierre Ives Rochon
Established in 1889, The Savoy was the brainchild of the Gilbert and Sullivan impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte. Originally managed by Swiss hotelier César Ritz and maitre chef Auguste Escoffier, the hotel quickly became known for its glittering parties and celebrity guests, including Lily Langtry, Dame Nellie Melba and the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. Closed in December 2007 and finally reopening nearly three years later in October 2010, the Savoy’s ₤220 million restoration, overseen by Pierre Yves Rochon, saw the hotel’s two main design aesthetics, Edwardian and Art Déco, carefully brought back to life. More than 1,000 craftsmen and women, artists and artisans were involved in creating interiors in line with the hotel’s original spirit.
One of the main challenges of the restoration involved the upgrading of the bathrooms, which required special attention. “The main challenge was to restore this hotel to its historic pinnacle of success, and to respect its storied past. Bathrooms are important elements in hospitality,” Rochon points out. “People spend more and more time in the bathroom nowadays, so we made bigger bathrooms, with separate shower, steam and double basins. We also tried to open the bathroom to the room and daylight.”