Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from London.
We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for Points. You can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here. This was scheduled to be a series of about 25 hotels, but a good response from readers means that we have commissioned another batch and are continuing the series.
Today’s hotel is The Savoy in London – a great treat for a New Year’s Eve stay as reader Ryan experienced. Here is his review:
In 2019, my wife and I started to visit the bars and restaurants at The Savoy. Whilst expensive for a drink, the overall experience was always worth every penny, especially when you think about the amazing live music that was often playing.
After a few visits, I knew we had to stay the night for New Year’s Eve. The Savoy needs no introduction, I’m sure. Just in case, it’s ‘the only five-star hotel on the river’ and minutes from Trafalgar Square, London.
Like many HFP readers, I am points and miles crazy, so wherever possible I will stay utilising just that. This stay however required hard-earned cash. Whilst not cheap, it was worth every penny.
(Rob’s edit: The Savoy is, of course, part of the Accor Live Limitless loyalty scheme. However, as Accor Live Limitless has revenue-based redemptions – 1 point get you 2 Eurocents off your bill – there is no advantage to spending points here compared to an Ibis!)
The Savoy is part of American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts for Platinum cardholders, so booking via Amex would provide you with the standard FHR benefits including free breakfast and guaranteed 4pm check-out. Another option of course is booking direct via the hotel website, which may sometimes be worthwhile due to the advance purchase offers that are occasionally available.
The final option (which due to non-explicit terms and conditions enabled this stay) was purchasing an experience voucher directly with the hotel and redeeming it. Considering typical rates for this time of year, and that stays for New Year’s Eve usually require a 3 to 5 night minimum stay, I managed to get somewhat of a bargain.
The ‘River Suite’ experience cost £995 and included the following:
- 1 night stay in a Junior Suite with River View
- Bottle of champagne placed in the room upon arrival
- Welcome drink for two guests placed in the room upon arrival
- Butler service
- Courtesy car (subject to availability)
- Chauffeur transfer
- Complimentary drink in the American Bar for two guests with overall value of £60
- Same day pressing services for two garments
- Access to fireworks available for all residents on the night of the 31st December
- Breakfast (in restaurant or in-room dining)
Upon arrival, the doorman promptly whisked our bags away and took us to reception for check in. If you think the service is amazing (which it is) when you are visiting for a meal or a drink, it somehow manages to exceed perfection when you are staying.
We were invited to take a seat and the formalities were promptly taken care of. We arrived a few hours before official check-in, so our room wasn’t quite ready yet and we were invited to relax by the pool whilst they got everything ready.
After an hour, our room still wasn’t ready, so I asked how long it would take. We actually crossed paths with the receptionist who checked us in earlier who was coming to inform us about the delay and profusely apologised. This was of course fine as we were still early, but she insisted we had a drink on the house at the American Bar to apologise for the delay. I’ll never turn down a free drink!
After a short while and a lovely cocktail, Sean Davoren, the head head butler (he is famous in his own right and had a segment on the Late Late Show that you can find on YouTube) came to find us and escort us to our room.
Words cannot describe how beautiful this room is, overlooking the Thames with the best view in the house for the fireworks.
Sean offered to unpack for us and deal with anything we could ask for. He ensured our outfits were pressed and back with us within the hour (more like 20 minutes). I cannot explain how sweet he was. Having a butler was a new experience for us, and he made it as comfortable and natural as possible.
Hidden away is a beautiful swimming pool, gym and spa area, along with treatment rooms should you require any services
In room dining
As it was New Year’s Eve, all of the hotel restaurants were understandably (and we were pre-warned) full or offering full evening packages. As we just wanted a small dinner and then spend our night drinking at the American Bar, we opted to have dinner in the room.
Whilst ordinarily you would call up and place your order, things were different here. Your butler will come to you room to take your order and provide you with a restaurant level experience. The food and setup was simply exquisite.
The American Bar
Following dinner, we went downstairs to secure our table at the American Bar and soak up the music of John Nicholls and his marvellous band. We had the perfect table dead centre and ordered some drinks. The waiting staff were phenomenal, the atmosphere relaxed, everything was just perfect.
New Year fireworks
At 11:45, everyone was invited to go to the Savoy’s own viewing area or, if you were lucky enough, to your room to view the fireworks. As we had a River Suite, we went to our room, popped open our champagne and watched the show.
Following the fireworks, we went back down to the American Bar and continued the night with a few more drinks and some more live music. By the end of the night, we realty felt the staff were our friends and when we were leaving we even hugged!
Wanting to make the most of the room, we had a late breakfast via room service. Of course our butler came up and took our order. Not too sure what was included (due to the menu being a-la-carte and our rate just including ‘breakfast’), we asked our butler. The answer was ‘anything you want’. So we did.
Certain packages and room types include use of the courtesy car. Whilst we had no actual need to use it, I couldn’t turn down the chance of a short drive in the beautiful Rolls Royce – and yes, people do turn around and take pictures.
I really feel our experience was once in a lifetime – it was perfect in every single way. The hotel has a special place in our hearts and I can’t wait to return for a few drinks. It has a real family feel and nothing is a problem. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend a stay. This isn’t an ‘everyday’ hotel, but if you have a special occasion and can pick up a package like the one we had, it is honestly worth every penny.
If you want to find out more, the Savoy’s website is here.
Our luxury hotel booking partner, Emyr Thomas of Bon Vivant, can get you special deals at The Savoy. You pay the same Best Flexible Rate shown on the website and will also receive:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Complimentary full English breakfast daily for two guests per bedroom, in Kaspar’s, Thames Foyer or Room Service
- £85 Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- 20% off Beauty & Fitness Treatments
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
You can contact Emyr via the form on this page of HFP. All bookings are ‘pay on departure’ and cancellable like any other booking made at Best Flexible Rate.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from Accor and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)
(New to Accor Live Limitless? Read our two-part overview of Accor Live Limitless here and here and our article on expiry rules here.)