We recently ran a competition to win a nights stay at the famous Savoy Hotel in London. And part of the entry requirements was to write a sonnet-style poem about running a B&B, Guest House or small hotel. We had so many wonderful submissions (click here to see some of them) but we did eventually decide on our winner, Patricia and Anthony Greenwood from Seaflowers in South Devon!
Here’s what they had to say about their stay at The Savoy:
We were over the moon to have won a night at the iconic Savoy – what a special treat! I’ve been asked to write a ‘hotel inspector’ type report so I’m going to be brutally honest.
It was with great excitement that we arrived at the wonderful front entrance to be greeted by the lovely doorman in full regalia. And what an entrance…. fabulous décor, high ceilings, beautiful furnishings and an atmosphere of calm away from the bustling streets of London. They certainly have lots of staff to check you in – the doormen, greeters to take you to reception, the receptionists – a bit different to the friendly B&B we run but actually rather stiff and impersonal.
We were shown to our room that was a standard double. It was beautifully decorated with Nespresso machine, mini bar fridge, wide screen TV a small dressing area and a nice en suite with bath (shower over). A very comfortable bed and excellent quality linen. Towelling dressing gowns hung in the wardrobe. They do love their personalised items – everything was branded – slippers, mugs, gowns, toiletries, biscuits (at extra cost), laundry bags, hangers – you name it, everything had the logo – all very nice. We didn’t do the ‘Four in a Bed’ routine and take the place apart looking for dust, but it all seemed immaculately clean.
We decided that a cocktail in the American Bar was a must. We had to wait to be seated by the ‘greeter’, even though another couple were shown straight through, and we were given a rather tight table by the bar. Did we look shabby I wonder glammed up for the eviivo Awards night in DJ and evening dress or were we just not famous? There must have been 6 barmen behind the bar and at least that many waiters plus a rather nice pianist playing a mini grand – no wonder two Bloody Marys cost £39 (including a mandatory 12.5% service) but they were really nice and it is a special place, so worth it for the experience.
After the wonderful eviivo Awards night at The Globe we returned to our room. Turn down service had been in, tidied the towels, turned down the bed, laid out slippers and put water by the bed – lovely, just the service you would expect at a quality hotel. In the morning we discovered that they had removed the used mugs but not replaced them, so had to phone housekeeping to get clean ones. It took 20 minutes before a young man arrived carrying two mugs in his hands (not on a tray) which he handed to me without a word.
Now for breakfast. A choice of venues – either the light and airy foyer or the restaurant. We chose the restaurant as it has nice views across the embankment. We were shown a table, but not seated as we have been at other good hotels. The breakfast menu is extensive, but only the English was included in our booking, so that is what we opted for. The freshly squeezed orange juice was very refreshing. Unfortunately no cups had been laid on the table as the waiter discovered when he came to serve the coffee. A lovely selection of breads/toast/pastries but the toast was served stone cold, as was most of the cooked breakfast – it did look good, but the plate was warmer than the bacon! I tried one of the Danish and discovered it was dry, so left it, however the croissant was delicious. A great deal of fuss was made by the waiter over a table of American guests, who had clearly been staying a little while, but I can’t say there was anything wrong with the service we received, so perhaps just a quibble.
When I compare to the type of breakfast we serve and that we have experienced in excellent B&Bs both in the UK and abroad I can honestly say this was not up to scratch and certainly not worth the £36 they charge for it. As, Michelle had mentioned in her speech at the awards night, B&Bs provide a great service and incredible breakfasts free and it is better than many top hotels – very true.
I don’t want to sound like we didn’t have a great time – we did! This is a fabulous hotel and we felt privileged to experience it, however, it’s far from perfect and they could certainly improve the attitude of their staff to the ordinary guest. The nicest member of staff we met was the doorman, who was friendly and helpful.
All in all, a great night away at the end of a long season was just what we needed and we really appreciated being given the chance to stay at one of the world’s renowned hotels. Thank you eviivo, we won’t forget it.
Patricia and Anthony Greenwood