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Reviewed 14 January 2021

The hotel was lovely, great lobby area and great pool. But I'm writing this review because of the wonderful customer service Mirela gave us upon arriving at the hotel. Me and my girlfriend were treated immediately and Mirela had a wonderful smile and care for to customize out stay as much as possible. She truly represents a 5-start hotel!

Date of stay: January 2021
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank lianv2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franck Arnold, General Manager at The Savoy, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2021

Dear Lian V,

It is very special when a guest takes the time and trouble to write about a colleague who made a lasting impression. Thank you so much for your kind compliments of Mirela. We are proud to have Mirela on the team and it will be my pleasure to share your review with her; she will be thrilled. We are happy to hear you thoroughly enjoyed your stay and look forward to warmly welcoming you again to The Savoy in the near future.

With best wishes,
Franck Arnold, Managing Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 14 January 2021

London without the Savoy being open just does not feel right.
The legendary hotel has closed its doors because of Covid concerns for the first month of 2021 but plans to reopen in February, hopefully in time for Valentine’s Day.
I have long been a fan of this London hotel, making my way there as soon as possible on arrival in London, when I visit, as well as having being something of a regular when I lived in this great city in the mid 1980s, or did longer research trips to England in the 1990s.
The Savoy impresses from the moment one arrives by cab or foot with its entrance, which has a steady stream of taxis coming in and out to drop off or pick up customers. The picture included with this review shows the three marriages noted in my title— the unmistakable Savoy sign, the well-known slice of central London and the famous London black cab.
The doormen, who look after the gateway to this gracious hotel are as gracious as the establishment, and happy to point you in the right direction for the facility at the hotel you wish to visit.
On my last visit, I made my way to the American Bar for its White Lady, for which it is well-known across the world. The combination of gin, egg whites and liqueur is heavenly. And: The service is impeccable.
Eats are also available in the bar area.
The Savoy Grill is another place at the hotel to feed one desire for good food and drink, with many options offered.
I like it for many culinary reasons, but I especially like getting a table which overlooks the hotel’s entrance, so I can watch the comings and goings; the dropping off and picking up — and hear their purring sound — with a slight touch of clanking here and there — that black cabs make, which is like nothing else.
With this affection for the Savoy, its grand entrance and London black cabs, I include the picture I took on a visit to capture this great London scene, indeed one of London’s iconic images.
Posted by S Fuller

Date of stay: September 2020
Trip type: Traveled solo
1  Thank 690sf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franck Arnold, General Manager at The Savoy, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2021

Dear S F,

We cannot wait to throw open our doors again and welcome in our wonderful guests and bring The Savoy back to life. You write with such fondness for The Savoy. The memories you share show how important your visits have been in your life and this is truly heart-warming, and a wonderful testament to those colleagues of the past and present who have created such lasting impressions. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts in this perfect way and we hope to have the opportunity of warmly welcoming you again to The Savoy, in the near future.

With best wishes,
Franck Arnold, Managing Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 January 2021

As a freelance writer, I was lucky enough to be commissioned by a client to stay at the Ritz London and the Savoy recently. I spent four nights at the Ritz followed by five nights at the Savoy. Prior to December 2020, I had never stayed in or visited either of these hotels, so I went in not knowing what to expect. Of course, I did some research beforehand, and one thing from social media became clear – each of these hotels has a loyal following. I came to think of them as Team Ritz and Team Savoy, and I was curious to find out which ‘team’ I would be joining upon my return from London.

Here is my review of the Savoy:

Greeting and Check-In
When we took a taxi to the Savoy, we were dropped off right outside the doors. The doormen quickly made their way over and relieved us of our baggage. As we entered through the famous revolving doors, the surroundings were beautiful and elegant, although smaller than I had expected.

The process for checking in was quick and efficient, friendly, and hassle-free. Elanor who checked us in told us that we had been upgraded to a Deluxe River View room, which was another wonderful surprise. She then showed us where the main guest areas such as the restaurant and bar were before escorting us to our room via one of the unique and eye-catching lifts.

Shortly after we got to the room, our cases arrived and were quickly set up by a member of staff. The whole process ran very smoothly from arrival to getting to our beautiful room. The view was so lovely, we really didn’t want to leave the room, but we had appointments booked.

Hotel Room
At the Savoy, they very generously upgraded us to a Deluxe River View room (316), and it was truly stunning. The room was very spacious, and as we walked in there was classical music playing. We were instantly drawn to the huge window, which we were able to open slightly. The view was incredible, as we could see across the Thames to the London Eye, see some of the Thames boats, the OXO Tower, and more. At night, it looked magical with all the lights and colours reflecting on the water of the Thames.

Like the Ritz, there was a lovely note from the management along with some fruit and bottled water. There was a fridge that we could use (as there was no minibar set up due to COVID) and a Nespresso coffee machine with pods. The TV was nice and big with a range of digital channels to choose from. Everything looked lovely and the room had a quirky and unusual green chandelier.

The bathroom was huge, and there was a gorgeous freestanding bath in the middle of the room along with a huge walk-in shower. There was plenty of room for all my toiletries, hair products, and makeup. There were also plenty of complimentary toiletries that were lovely and also of great quality. Taking a bath was like a comedy act – it was so huge that I really struggled to get my leg up high enough to get in and out of it. I also filled it no more than halfway, as otherwise, I might have drowned (I am only 5 ft tall).

One thing I did notice is that the bed springs seemed to be sticking out quite a bit along the sides and top of the mattress. As a result, the bed was not as comfortable as I had hoped although it was huge. Overall, we were really happy with the room, and in particular the view.

Afternoon Tea
We took afternoon tea at the Savoy on the very first day of arrival, and like the Ritz, it was a lovely experience. The Thames Court where the afternoon tea is served is a lovely and relaxing space. It is a stylish yet informal area where you can dress in smart casual clothing, and the chairs are wonderfully comfortable.

Our afternoon tea was at 2.30 pm, and as we arrived a pianist was playing in the gazebo area in the middle of the room. The whole room looked elegant and festive with all the beautiful decorations – positively sparkling.

After being seated, we were quickly attended to by a lovely polite waiter, who told us he wanted to make this the best afternoon tea experience for us. He first brought over our drinks and then a tasty savoury dish for each of us. After this came the sandwiches and cakes along with the tea we ordered.

Although it was sumptuous, we were unable to manage all of our afternoon tea, and there was a danger of the cakes going to waste. Fortunately, the waiter realised we had given up and arranged for the cakes to be put in the fridge for us. He told us to simply call down whenever we wanted them to be brought up to the room.

Afternoon tea in the Thames Foyer was delightful, as it was elegant and luxurious yet very relaxing and informal. Definitely to be recommended if you are visiting London or staying at the Savoy.

Hotel Bar
The Beaufort Bar at the Savoy is elegant and stylish, with rich and decadent gold combined with black. While the Rivoli Bar was a bright, light space, the Beaufort Bar is a mysterious dark one. It had a nice atmosphere and was much larger than I had expected.

We visited before dinner at the hotel, and we were led to a cosy settee area that was comfortable and suitably atmospheric. The waiter came over very quickly to take our drinks order and was a jovial yet professional young man. The cocktails here are expensive but there are some exciting options to choose from. Our cocktails were nice and refreshing and were brought over promptly.

In addition to our cocktails, we also ordered a small dish each, which we planned to have as a starter and then have our main course and dessert in the hotel restaurant. The dishes were fine, nothing special but not bad. Pricing on the dishes was high for what you get, but that was expected.

As a result of ordering food to go with our cocktails, we were delayed slightly and realised we would not make our dinner table on time. So, we spoke to our waiter and he very quickly and helpfully went and informed the restaurant staff that we would be around half an hour late. This then enabled us to finish our drinks and food without feeling too rushed.

The experience was a pleasant and relaxed one – the dress code is smart casual at the Savoy’s Beaufort Bar, so there were plenty of people in jeans although we dressed up for the occasion.

Hotel Restaurant
The Savoy Grill is one of the key areas where the hotel let itself down, at least on this occasion. We emailed and asked for a booth seat well beforehand (around three weeks before our trip to London), as the other tables and seats did not look all that comfortable. We were told this was fine and it was confirmed by email.

We were a little late in arriving due to waiting for food service in the hotel bar, but the waiter in the bar had informed the restaurant staff that we would be half an hour late. After being seated in a ‘holding’ area, we were then led to a tiny table barely big enough for two shoved up against a pillar in the dark. I would have enjoyed more comfort at a McDonald’s – and better service no doubt. The holding area where they had seated us for five minutes to wait for the table was far better.

The waiter who came to take our order was abrupt and verging on rude – it looked like he was bored and just wanted to go. At one point he removed his facemask and leaned right down to my guest because we couldn’t hear what he was saying to us due to the noise from surrounding tables. He came across as sullen and sulky – service without a smile. The restaurant was noisy, had no ambiance, seemed hectic, and it was like being in some sort of very dark canteen.

I also did not expect to end the evening knowing what colour the waiter’s underpants were, but I did. Not sure how the other waiters in the restaurant were presented, as it was so dark in the area that our excuse for a table was shoved into, we could barely see the menu never mind other people. However, the waiter that was serving us looked like he was in some sort of state of undress with his trousers not even pulled up far enough to cover the top of his undies!

It was a hugely disappointing experience and one that I will not be repeating. There was no atmosphere, the service was rushed and unprofessional, and to tell the truth, I was glad when it was over. The food we had was pretty good, but we left after one course as we did not want to spend any more time there.

Room Service
I did have some issues with the room service at the Savoy. The service itself was fine – when we placed an order, a lovely and very professional gentleman brought it up and got the table all set up for us in the room. However, actually getting the food I wanted was the issue I had.

As a vegetarian, the items available on the room service menu are limited. One evening, I decided to try and order an omelette to compare to the one at the Ritz. I was told that eggs can only be ordered during breakfast time. In fact, the only option available to us was a sandwich, as everything else was meat or had other ingredients we could not eat.

Another example of the room service was the ringing of our room doorbell at 5.15 am one morning. We woke up to hear the bell going and then the phone ringing. When we opened the door, there was a member of staff who told us our coffees were here and placed them on the table before disappearing. The only problem was that we had not ordered any coffees and had been awoken at 5.15 am for nothing. So, we then had to call down to tell them so they could remove the coffees from our bill.

Staff and Service
While I am sure there were probably many members of staff who were great at the Savoy, we really never got to see or get to know them – more often than not, there was nobody around other than behind the check-in desk. So much so, that I do not know any of the staff member names other than a couple of the doormen – and that is only because I saw them on a TV documentary!

One evening, we ordered some coffees and a female member of staff brought them up to our room. We were struggling with the room service menu as the QR code in the room would not work, so she said she would bring a paper one up for us right away. Two hours later, nothing. We finally got dressed to go out and get some air and when we got downstairs, she was behind the reception desk. Upon request, she printed a menu and gave it to us without any acknowledgement that she was meant to be bringing it to the room two hours earlier although she did ask if we enjoyed the coffees!

When she originally came to the room, we also asked how the coffee machine worked (never used one!). She mumbled something about there being water in the machine, then disappeared without any further explanation so we didn’t bother using it in five days. We felt too embarrassed to ask again…

I also noticed that half the time the doormen at the hotel were nowhere to be seen even when nobody was arriving or leaving. On occasion, when they were there they would be on their mobile phones and if someone approached, they would cross their hands in front of them to conceal the phone. While this is not something that bothered me, there may be some guests that find it a little unprofessional.

One final thing was the fruit that was left for us in the room upon arrival, which was a lovely gesture. However, we did not eat the fruit and it was left there for five days despite staff coming in to clean the room while we were out. By the end of the stay, it had all gone mouldy and was falling apart on the plate. There were also some cakes that had been left from afternoon tea and sent to the room. These were also left there for five days without being taken away.

Costs and Service Charges
I don’t think I have come across anywhere that adds so many service charges. No matter what you do, you are hit with a service charge of up to 15 percent. If you look at a member of staff for more than two seconds, they probably add a service charge. Okay, perhaps not for looking at someone – however, they do add a service charge to your overall rate for the room, and given the cost of rooms per night, this really bumps up the bill.

If you have drinks in the bar, there is a service charge. Go to the restaurant where the service was dire verging on non-existent – you have a service charge. If you order room service, there is a service charge. Not quite sure why they then also put a service charge on your overall room rate of a further 5 percent. I started wondering if they were adding a service charge to the service charges – it seemed to be never-ending.

The worst thing is when we ordered room service, we felt compelled to tip the person who was delivering the food or drinks. So, we ended up paying even more because we were tipping cash to some staff members and paying a load of service charges on top of that.

The cost of the rooms on the website is quite high even with special offers, and I found a better deal on another hotel booking site. However, when I mentioned this to the Savoy reservations team, they offered to match that rate. I liked the fact that they offered this, as it meant I got a much better rate and could still book directly with the hotel.

General Ambiance
Despite the obvious elegance and beautiful décor of the Savoy, the one thing it lacked was any ambiance. I felt nothing as I walked through the hotel, it was almost clinical. Maybe it was because the hotel was quieter due to COVID, but everything seemed so bland and ‘out of a tin’. Most of the time, there were no staff members around other than the ones behind reception. I think the best word to describe the atmosphere during the time I visited is ‘soulless’.

Dress Code
The Savoy has a smart casual dress code in all areas, so you do not have to dress up to the nines. However, even the smart casual dress code was not really enforced, and many people were wandering around in outfits that I would never have associated with the dining areas of a 5-star luxury hotel. We did dress up one evening for the bar and restaurant, but we felt completely out of place and wished we had worn our jeans instead.

Overall Impression
Arriving at this hotel was a grand experience and walking through the entrance into such an elegant space was amazing. However, the thing that was lacking was any sort of special ambiance or atmosphere. It was all so cold and run of the mill. I could have been in any very attractive hotel; there was nothing that made it feel like I was somewhere special, historic, and famous.

The Savoy is a very nice hotel in terms of aesthetics, of that there is no doubt. But it feels like an upmarket standard chain hotel with minimal atmosphere. There was often an air of hecticness about it; it seemed disorganized despite very few guests.

To me, the ambiance at this hotel was like a very luxurious version of a Premier Inn – a chain-like feel that was very impersonal. This feeling was further enhanced when the doorman waved us off upon departure after calling us Mr & Mrs. Fisher (definitely not us!). I am glad I got to experience the famous Savoy, but it is not somewhere I am in any hurry to stay at again.

A stay at the Savoy is not an experience – it is a hotel stay.

Summary
Don’t get me wrong – both of these hotels deserve their 5-star ratings and reputations. However, one clearly fell short when it came to service, atmosphere, and general experience compared to the other. I came away feeling that there is a hotel just like the Savoy in every major city, but that the Ritz is one of a kind. Thanks to the wonderful stay, magical atmosphere, incredible staff, and unique experience, I am without a doubt a proud member of Team Ritz!

You can check out my separate review of the Ritz on TripAdvisor.

Room tip: Deluxe River View rooms are stunning.
Date of stay: December 2020
  • Trip type: Traveled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank renoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franck Arnold, General Manager at The Savoy, responded to this reviewResponded 4 January 2021

Dear renoc,

Thank you for this exceptionally detailed and considered review of your stay at The Savoy.

I am more than grateful to you for the time you have taken to share your experience of every aspect of your stay in this constructive and positive way. Your observations and examples are invaluable and truly welcomed, and I am most grateful for the time you have since taken to speak with me directly about some of your concerns and to provide the names of members of the team who provided service you very much enjoyed, which is wonderful.

Please know that we take all guest feedback seriously. It has never been more important to us than during the current Covid situation to listen to what our guests have to say, especially when we have had to adapt and adopt many new measures in the hotel, around safety and hygiene. We care very much about how we make our guests feel and you can be assured that each step your Savoy journey will be carefully reviewed with the team.

Thank you once again for your review and for the opportunity of speaking with you about your time with us. We look forward to warmly welcoming you again in the future to experience The Savoy at its very best.

With warmest regards,
Franck Arnold, Managing Director

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Reviewed 3 January 2021

Booked a room with lunch for important guests of mine. Day ran like clockwork and food was excellent - and I won a new client. Perfect all round.
I would recommend hotel for business entertainment or just lunch.

Date of stay: November 2020
Trip type: Traveled on business
Thank Stardiamond1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franck Arnold, General Manager at The Savoy, responded to this reviewResponded 7 January 2021

Dear Stardiamond1,

Thank you very much for your five star review. I am delighted to hear your business lunch was such a success and greatly appreciate the positive feedback. It will be my pleasure to pass on your kind words to the team and we hope to have another opportunity in the future to welcome you back again.

With warmest regards,
Franck Arnold, Managing Director

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Reviewed 22 December 2020

Thoroughly enjoyed this hotel and they coped with the Covid restrictions really well. Overall highly recommended. The staff are really friendly and very attentive to your needs without being to over the top.

Date of stay: December 2020
Review collected in partnership with fairmont.com
Thank Trotty50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franck Arnold, General Manager at The Savoy, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2020

Dear Trotty50,

Thank you for your review and recommendation. Your kind words are greatly appreciated. It is especially good to hear you felt safe during your stay and that you so enjoyed the personal service from the team. We hope to welcome you back to The Savoy again in 2021 and send you every good wish for the festive season.

With best wishes,
Franck Arnold
Managing Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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