Savoy Hotel - Famous Guests and The Hotel in Films and Novels

Famous Guests and The Hotel in Films and Novels

Numerous famous guests have stayed at the hotel. Claude Monet and James Whistler both stayed at the hotel and painted or drew views, from their rooms, of the River Thames. The Savoy featured prominently in guest Oscar Wilde's trial for gross indecency (he had conducted his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas in the hotel). Other celebrity guests in the hotel's early decades included the future King Edward VII, Sarah Bernhardt, Enrico Caruso, Lillie Langtry, H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Nellie Melba, Charlie Chaplin, Al Jolson, Errol Flynn, Fred Astaire, Marlene Dietrich, Lionel Barrymore, Harry Truman, Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland, Josephine Baker, Cary Grant, Babe Ruth, Ivor Novello and Noël Coward. The hotel kept records of its guests’ preferences, so that it could provide them in advance. For Coward, the staff made history by taking the first photographs of a hotel guest's toilet articles so that they could lay them out in his bathroom exactly as he liked them. They made sure to provide a fireproof eiderdown to Barrymore, as he always smoked while reading in bed.

Bob Dylan stayed in the hotel in 1965 and filmed the video clip Subterranean Homesick Blues in an adjacent alley. Frank Sinatra, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh (the last two met at the hotel), Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Louis Armstrong, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Richard Harris (who lived at the hotel for the last several years of his life; while being carried out on a stretcher before he died, he joked, "It was the food".), Maria Callas, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Sophia Loren, Julie Andrews, Lena Horne, Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Elton John, U2, Led Zeppelin, The Who, George Clooney, Whoopi Goldberg and Stephen Fry are just a few of the celebrities who stayed there in recent decades.

The hotel has often been used as a film location. For example, the romantic finale to the Notting Hill (1999) is set in the hotel's Lancaster Room, where Anna (Julia Roberts) and William (Hugh Grant) declare their mutual love. In 1921, the hotel was used in the film Kipps, based on the novel by H. G. Wells. It also featured in The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) and Entrapment (1999), among others. In 2011, the hotel was used as the setting for Duran Duran's music video for their song "Girl Panic!" from their album All You Need Is Now.

Arnold Bennett wrote the novel Imperial Palace in 1930 based on his research at the hotel. The novel fictionalises the hotel's operations.

Read more about this topic:  Savoy Hotel

Famous quotes containing the words famous, guests, hotel, films and/or novels:

    A famous theatrical actress
    Played best in the role of malefactress.
    Yet her home-life was pure
    Except, to be sure,
    A scandal or two just for practice.
    Anonymous.

    The menu was stewed liver and rice, fricassee of bones, and shredded dog biscuit. The dinner was greatly appreciated; the guests ate until they could eat no more, and Elisha Dyer’s dachshund so overtaxed its capacities that it fell unconscious by its plate and had to be carried home.
    —For the State of Rhode Island, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)

    A writer is in danger of allowing his talent to dull who lets more than a year go past without finding himself in his rightful place of composition, the small single unluxurious “retreat” of the twentieth century, the hotel bedroom.
    Cyril Connolly (1903–1974)

    Does art reflect life? In movies, yes. Because more than any other art form, films have been a mirror held up to society’s porous face.
    Marjorie Rosen (b. 1942)

    The point is, that the function of the novel seems to be changing; it has become an outpost of journalism; we read novels for information about areas of life we don’t know—Nigeria, South Africa, the American army, a coal-mining village, coteries in Chelsea, etc. We read to find out what is going on. One novel in five hundred or a thousand has the quality a novel should have to make it a novel—the quality of philosophy.
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919)