The Savoy's famous green sign has a double meaning in what is set to be a remarkably eco-friendly hotel.
As the clock continues to tick on the Savoy's October 10 opening – after a delay that this blog was the first in the world to report – anticipation is growing to see exactly what delights the Old Dame has in store.
Most are expecting a certain decadence within the frame of an ultra luxurious hotel – and quite right too, in view of the Savoy's impressive heritage and longstanding tradition as an Art Deco hotel.
You may also not be aware of the great opportunity grasped by the architects "under the hood" to add sophisticated, state-of-the-art systems – like a brand new sprinkler system and top-notch temperature control.
And you'll be even more surprised to learn that great efforts have been made to make the Savoy as environmentally-friendly as possible.
But can luxury ever be synonymous with eco-friendliness?
We've found some great middle and upper-range London hotels like the urban chic Zetter and the stylish Cavendish which have fully embraced a "green" philosophy, without compromising on service. Rooms at the budget-friendly and green Base2stay also have lots of little luxury touches.
The Rafayel Hotel - currently rated in the top 50 London hotels on TripAdvisor - has already shown that hotels can be eco-friendly and lovely to stay in too
Similarly, the Rafayel has tried to invent a whole new "eco-luxe hotel" category by exploiting the huge advantage of being a new-build property.
What then of the Savoy? Can it also pull off a similar coup? There seems to be a great desire to do so. Around $4m has been spent on environmental strategies to make the hotel as green as possible.
Here is a selection of the hotel's green initiatives at the time of opening:
- High-efficiency hotel heating/cooling systems and energy-intelligent controls. This is now becoming almost standard on new-build London hotels as Rafayel on the Left Bank and others have shown.
- Extensive recycling and donation programme to minimise waste. The hotel will operate a food waste to renewable energy scheme and supports a variety of charities, including homeless shelters and children's charities, through various donation schemes. Housekeeping systems are also in place to recycle used items from the guest rooms and bathrooms. And what gorgeous Art-Deco bathrooms they are too!
- Environmentally-responsible activities extend to the kitchens too. The hotel's chef will support local growers and use herbs grown in the Savoy's very own herb garden.
- Partnerships with environmental charities to get staff (and potentially even guests) involved in campaigns. For example the hotel – which has stunning new River Suites overlooking the Thames – has even "adopted" a stretch of the river to assist the shore cleaning effort.
Maybe luxury – so often synonymous with waste and excess – really can be blended with environmentally-responsible attitudes and actions.
To their credit, the management behind the "new" Savoy clearly believes that this tough balancing act can be achieved. And so we could be about to witness the rebirth of London's most luxurious eco-friendly hotel.Photo credits: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Rafayel on the Left Bank.www.londonhotelsinsight.com