The Savoy Finally Reopens in London

The only time I was on the Strand during my recent visit to London, I was walking from Picadilly Circus to One Aldwych, completely hung over. The only thing I stopped for was a tea at one of the seemingly hundreds of Pret-a-Mangers. From point A to point B, there was really nothing on the Strand worth stopping for, but had I actually taken off my sunglasses and looked around, I would have noticed the grand entrance of the newly refurbished Savoy hotel, which officially opened for business this past Sunday.

First opened back in 1889, the Savoy was not only famous for its glitterati—the Prince of Wales, Dame Nellie Melba, even Sandra Bernhardt—but for how innovative it was for its time. The hotel was one of the first to have “ascending rooms” (what we now know as elevators) and rooms featuring en suite baths. The Savoy has an iconic reputation in London, and those who’ve stayed at the hotel return home with stories, in that Vegas sort of way. When it closed down for the past three years, affluent hearts were broken.

Thanks to world-renown designer Pierre Yves Rochon, the $100 million restoration program pumped life back into the fancy public areas and the hotel’s 268 rooms without compromising its Edwardian-meets-Art Deco aesthetic. In addition to restoration, guests can look forward to 38 brand-new river suites, which offer views of the River Thames, as well as the Beaufort Bar built on the original cabaret stage.

An added bonus: butlers are now “green” butlers. Not only will they bend over backwards for your every request, but they are required to know “all things green” about London. I’m assuming this is eco-related, but considering I’ve worked at a high-end hotel and know what some guests really have on their mind (it has nothing to do with parks), interpretation is up for grabs.

Where Celebs Go Out: Mena Suvari, Selma Blair, Olivia Palermo

Mena Suvari at the Zac Posen for Target shopping party: “Sushi at Nobu.” ● Ginnifer Goodwin:Candle 79 here. Madeleine Bistro in L.A.” ● Selma Blair: “I love the Savoy and I love Minetta Tavern.” ● Zac Posen: “My favorite restaurant Kai, just closed in New York. And I’m very saddened about Takashimaya. I love Casa Lever has the best steak and great pasta. It’s really good Italian.”

Patricia Field:Il Buco, around the corner from my house. Agnanti is a Greek restaurant out in Astoria. There are some very good Japanese restaurants that I love on East 43rd Street, between 2nd and 3rd. There’s a great saki bar there called Sakagura. Next door, there’s a really good Japanese barbecue, and across the street, one of the best sushi restaurants in the city.” ● Joe Zee: “Minetta Tavern. But my old standby restaurant for the last 15 years is Bar Pitti. ● Olivia Palermo:Indochine.” ● Theodora Richards: “At the moment, it’s Sant Ambroeus, down on the west side. The mille-feuilles—I don’t know how to pronounce the French word for a thousand leaves—but the dessert, this pastry thing, is phenomenal, my new favorite.” ● Alek Wek: “Let’s say like Nobu downtown in Tribeca or Schillers, on the Lower East Side.” ● Kate Gosselin: @ the Discovery Channel’s 2010-11 Upfront reception. “I’m afraid if I tell because it’ll ruin my spots, and then I can’t go there anymore because the paparazzi will get me! I’m just kidding. You caught me off guard. In New York, I love Le Colonial