Industry Update
Opinion Article 8 October 2010

The Savoy: under pressure as competition intensifies

By Russell Kett, Chairman at HVS - London Office

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This weekend sees the re-opening of The Savoy in London following its £220m refurbishment. Below are some comments from Russell Kett, managing director of hotel consultancy HVS, London.

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Russell has been associated with the hotel sector for over 25 years and is willing to discuss any aspect of hotel trading, new hotel development, valuations, property deals and market trends.

“There will be a huge interest in The Savoy from people keen to experience and see the result of this refurbishment, so bookings will be strong into Christmas. And guests won’t be disappointed. The hotel has been restored to its former glory - what was needed to be done has been done. What remains to be seen is how Fairmont can drive and maintain business at an average room rate the hotel was never able to operate at previously.

“This is effectively a brand new property, and the fact there is a lot of goodwill surrounding it will help. Realistically The Savoy has two months of trading in the spotlight and will need to maximize this opportunity, not least because several other luxury hotels are due to come on stream over the next few months including the new Waldorf Astoria in Syon Park, the renovated Four Seasons Park Lane, and Corinthia Hotels and Resorts' new hotel in Northumberland Avenue. Further down the line we will see a new Firmdale hotel in SoHo, an InterContinental hotel in Westminster and the Shangri-La at the Shard of Glass at London Bridge.

“These leading luxury hotels will compete for top paying guests through luxurious suites, top quality spa facilities and restaurants run by well-known chefs. The new Daniel Boulud restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is enjoying tremendous success as will the highly anticipated opening of Heston Blumenthal's London outpost, Dinner, also at the Mandarin Oriental. Gordon Ramsay will be heading up the kitchen at The Savoy Grill, another eagerly anticipated re-opening on the London dining scene.

“London’s upmarket hotel sector is set to reach a new level of luxury.”

Russell Kett, managing director, HVS – London office

Do contact me on 07973 789853 or 01737 823721 if you would like further comments. Alternatively call Russell direct on +44 (0) 20 7878 7701 or +44 (0) 78 0241 1142.

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Russell Kett

Russell Kett is Chairman of the London office of HVS and also serves on the worldwide Board of HVS. He has 40 years’ specialist hotel consultancy, investment and real estate experience, focused on providing valuation, feasibility, shared ownership, property, brokerage, investment, asset management, strategy and related consultancy services, advising hotel companies, banks, developers and investors on all aspects of their hospitality industry related interests, throughout the EMEA region.

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