Inside The Savoy: London's top hotel opens its doors for documentary

Behind the scenes at The Savoy: London’s top hotel with a £250,000 annual flower bill and two butlers per room opens its doors for a new documentary – with guests gushing it’s like a ‘second home’ for £1,500 a night

  • The Savoy documentary takes viewers behind the scenes tonight at 9pm on ITV
  • The 131-year-old hotel on the banks of the River Thames has 37 butlered suites 
  • Many customers seen returning to their ‘second home’ in tonight’s first episode 

It’s synonymous with luxury, glamour and VIP treatment – and now a glimpse of The Savoy is on offer without the grand expense thanks to a new fly-on-the-wall documentary, starting tonight.

The four-part ITV production, airing at 9pm, takes viewers behind the scenes of one of London’s top hotels – showcasing the high life experienced by guests, with at least two staff members per room attending to most of their desires. 

With stunning views of the capital, the 131-year-old hotel on the banks of the River Thames has 37 butlered suites starting from £1,500 a night to a staggering £18,000, and despite the cost, many customers return to their ‘second home’ in tonight’s episode.

The glamorous premises has 600 staff, 3,000 pieces of laundry a day and a £250,000 annual flower bill – and favoured guests are treated to private cocktail parties in their rooms, bespoke bouquets and even personalised bed linen.

Viewers also see Savoy Grill owner Gordon Ramsay serve up a foul-mouthed rant at his maître d’hôtel and declare standards ‘aren’t good enough’ after finding a cracked plate, being served duck with a blunt knife and finding little haddock in the £12 fish omelet.

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It’s synonymous with luxury, glamour and VIP treatment – and now a glimpse of The Savoy (pictured) is on offer without the grand expense thanks to a new fly-on-the-wall documentary, starting tonight

The four-part ITV production, airing at 9pm, takes viewers behind the scenes of one of London’s top hotels – showcasing the high life experienced by guests, with at least two staff members per room attending to most of their desires. Pictured, The Savoy’s butlers

With stunning views of the capital, the 131-year-old hotel on the banks of the River Thames has 37 butlered suites (pictured) starting from £1,500 a night to a staggering £18,000

The glamorous premises has 600 staff, 3,000 pieces of laundry a day and a £250,000 annual flower bill (pictured, some of the flowers around the hotel)

Keeping the seven-storey hotel running is head butler Sean Davoren, 62, who started at The Savoy in 1978, and strives for ‘excellence’ each morning.

In the TV series, which sees David Hasselhoff and Denise van Outen stay at the hotel, Sean showcases The Royal Suite – which is spread across the entire fifth floor with a view of the London Eye and includes Princess Diana as one of its former guests.

The head butler is also seen putting newest butler and former actor Michael Peluso, 37, whose mother was the late Loose Women star Lynda Bellingham, through his paces.

‘I’m a little bit of a tyrant,’ Sean says. ‘When I was being trained they would hit you, throw things at you and say, “You’d better do better or you won’t be working here.” It was a good lesson but wouldn’t be appropriate now.’

Also featuring in the documentary are motor industry boss Damien Cuming and his wife Jacqueline, from Cambridgeshire, who have been going to The Savoy for 26 years.

Keeping the seven-storey hotel running is head butler Sean Davoren (pictured), 62, who started at The Savoy in 1978, and strives for ‘excellence’ each morning

Also featuring in the documentary are motor industry boss Damien Cuming and his wife Jacqueline (pictured), from Cambridgeshire, who have been going to The Savoy for 26 years

Likewise, accountancy firm owner Simon De-Lacy Adams (pictured), from East Anglia, has stayed at The Savoy 70 times in the last year and is a well-known face around the hotel and the Savoy Grill

The couple spent 20 nights at the hotel last year in a £1,500 room, with Jacqueline admitting: ‘We could have bought several houses’.

Damien even popped the question to his wife at their ‘second home’ 18-years ago and their go-to treat there is beluga caviar, which costs an eye-watering £160 for 30g.  

Likewise, accountancy firm owner Simon De-Lacy Adams, from East Anglia, has stayed at The Savoy 70 times in the last year and is a well-known face around the hotel and the Savoy Grill. 

He has used the hotel as his London-base for many years and even has his own personalised linen that the staff use for his suites – while the returning guest was also presented with his own monogrammed pillows and bathrobes for Christmas. 

The head butler is also seen putting newest butler and former actor Michael Peluso (pictured), 37, whose mother was the late Loose Women star Lynda Bellingham, through his paces

In the TV series, which sees David Hasselhoff and Denise van Outen stay at the hotel, Sean showcases The Royal Suite (pictured)

The Royal Suite (pictured is its bathroom) is spread across the entire fifth floor with a view of the London Eye and which includes Princess Diana as one of its former guests

‘My husband is not as good as a butler — the bell doesn’t work and I’m told to naff off if I ask for anything like that,’ Simon jokes in the episode.

Four restaurants are housed in The Savoy – The Thames Foyer, Simpson’s, seafood specialist Kaspar’s and the Michelin-starred Savoy Grill, which is run by Maitre D’ Thierry Tomasin.

The Frenchman, 51, with 30 years experience in the industry, was handpicked by owner and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay 18 months before the documentary began.

Speaking to his staff ahead of service, Thierry says: ‘We are not waiters, we are salesmen of pleasure. We do the je-ne-sais-quoi but I want the ooh-la-la.’

He adds to the camera: ‘Guests pay our wages at the end of the month so we should never ever forget that. This is a show. Instead of going to the theatre you come to Savoy Grill. It’s the experience.’ 

Viewers also see Savoy Grill owner Gordon Ramsay (pictured left) serve up a foul-mouthed rant at his maître d’hôtel and declare standards ‘aren’t good enough’ after finding a cracked plate and being served duck with a blunt knife

The staff were seen preparing for Gordon’s arrival during the show, with the chef trying out two new dishes and ensuring his front-of-house was up to scratch.

However, Gordon left disappointed after finding a cracked plate, being served duck with a blunt knife and finding little haddock in the £12 fish omelet. 

Finding the chipped plate, he rants: ‘Put it in the f****** bin. It’s The Savoy, guys, not the f****** Golden Egg down the Old Kent Road.’

Waiters are expected to flambé, carve and fillet dishes in front of diners, but Gordon is less than impressed with Thierry’s carving skills. 

The dining manager explains that his freshly sharpened knife has been switched for a blunt one as he tries to carve the meat, with Gordon saying: ‘You’ve turned a beautiful duck into roadkill.’ 

‘Today wasn’t good,’ admits Gordon. ‘Nowhere near my standards. The Savoy Grill for me is about prestige. My name’s on the door so I want it right and today was just not good enough.’

The Savoy airs at 9pm on ITV 

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