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The Savoy Review
One of London's most famous hotels has emerged from a £220 million renovation, and the old girl is looking like a superstar again. Individually designed guest rooms are as cosseting as they were when they welcomed Elizabeth Taylor on her first honeymoon, and there is still no grander stage-set in London than the main stately-house lobby, or a more glamorous setting than the adjacent Thames Foyer, a dreamy salon done up in black-and-white chinoiserie and pink orchids: no wonder most of Hollywood stays here. Gadgets such as iPod docks and LCD TVs are oh-so-discreetly incorporated so as not to destroy the effect as you prepare for cocktails at the oh-so-iconic American Bar (where the first Martini was served in London). There are four superb restaurants: Simpson's in the Strand, the Savoy Grill, the Thames Foyer, or the River (no prizes for guessing which has the best view).
Talk of the Town
When the Savoy closed for a three-year refurbishment in 2007, lovers of this most iconic of London hotels held their collective breath. Would the £220 million refit dust away the cobwebs, or destroy the Roaring Twenties ambience? Rest assured: After reopening to much fanfare in fall 2010, the hotel has never looked better. Every surface has been lovingly restored and polished; guestrooms have been fitted with new-guard gadgets to complement the old-guard crystal chandeliers and marble bathrooms. And, perhaps most importantly, you can still take your cue from a century's worth of movie stars and drop by for a cocktail at the classic American Bar; although, like all A-Listers, you'll have to wait in line, as the Savoy treats every guest, whether famous or no-name, as one and the same. Now that's class.
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