Savoy may close as £220m refit fails to drum up trade
The Savoy was a favourite rendezvous for brokers, bankers, bounders and Hollywood's best. And, for a time, it was a home away from home for the artist Claude Monet, stars Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra, and Sir Winston Churchill.
But now the five-star central London hotel, which last year reported pre-tax losses of £53m, could be at risk of breaching the terms of bank loans if business does not improve, and may close.
The Savoy's owners, Breezeroad Limited, said last week that the "material uncertainty" over finances could "cast significant doubt as to the group's ability to continue as a going concern".
Should an uplift in business fail to materialise, the company which took over the hotel in 2005, controlled by the Saudi billionaire, Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, and Lloyds Banking Group, could default on their loans.
Founded in 1889, the Savoy remained open through world wars, austerity and strikes, but closed in 2007 for a large-scale refurbishment. Originally scheduled to cost £100m and take 17 months, the hotel eventually re-opened in 2010, the re-fit having cost £220m.
The hotel was home to the first celebrity chef Auguste Escoffier and its main restaurant, The Savoy Grill, is where Laurence Olivier is thought to have met his future wife, Vivien Leigh. But it lost its Michelin star when it closed in 2007. Now run by chef director Stuart Gillies and head chef Andy Cook, the Grill re-opened in 2010, to mixed reviews.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...