The Savoy: Two-part documentary from ITV Studios

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    Monday, 13 December 2010, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

    “You will be the wind beneath the guests’ wings. I am extremely passionate about what I do…I want to make this the best hotel, I’m going to say in the world, because I think we will.” ~ Sean Davoren, Head Butler, The Savoy, to his new team of butlers ahead of the hotel’s reopening. The Savoy was Britain’s first luxury hotel and for over 100 years it has been synonymous with extravagance, glitz and glamour. Now, for the first time, cameras have been allowed into this exclusive and elegant establishment to witness the closure and re-opening of the hotel after a staggering £220m, two year refurbishment.

    ITV1’s The Savoy has been allowed unprecedented access at key points from the moment 650 staff were told the shocking news that the hotel was to close, to the moment the swivel doors started turning again more than three years later.

    The cameras were there to capture all the crucial stages of the restoration, which took twice as long and cost twice as much as it was originally expected to. And we see how the hotel and its staff fare in the first weeks following its grand reopening.

    From the builders and the butlers to the boss, key staff members talk to the programme about their part in reclaiming the glamour and glory of the iconic hotel, providing a revealing insight during one of the most pivotal moments in its illustrious existence and the people striving to meet the challenge of restoring its stature as a global leader in elegance, luxury and service Project manager, John Ferrari, is seen ruthlessly enforcing the strict health and safety codes to the hordes of workers and expressing his grim determination to ensure what he describes as the biggest hotel refurbishment ever carried out in Europe meets its deadline for completion. As the pressure mounts in the race to get the hotel finished in time to receive its first guest, he leads cameras through the hotel’s labyrinth of unfinished corridors and even into the £10,000 a night Royal Suite.

    Head butler, Sean Davoren, who has been a butler for 30 years and served every European royal family, leads a rigorous recruitment drive to select and train a team of world class butlers, for the hotel’s reinstated butler service – the first time the hotel has offered this service in 50 years.

    And general manager, Kiaran MacDonald is followed at close quarters as he sees the refurbishment project through from start to finish, patiently waiting for the moment when the hotel will finally reopen.

    The first film sees the day the hotel closed its doors to its last customer before the restoration process began.

    Continued on page two…

    Daniel Fountain / 10.12.2010

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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