Fusing tradition with innovation at The Savoy Hotel

As I step across the threshold into the opulent lobby of The Savoy, I’m enveloped by the storied hotel’s old-world splendour and Christmas charm. The soaring ceilings, marble columns, and chandeliers that harken back to a bygone golden era now glitter with fairy lights and an impressive steam train installation in the Front Hall. Guests are greeted by a large, exquisitely decorated Christmas tree, crowned with falling snow. Trust me, it looks like a scene straight from a Victorian Christmas card.

Speaking of tradition, The Savoy is one of over 90 hotels in the portfolio of the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts that is focused on providing guests a stay that is infused with culture, history and comfort. In keeping with tradition and the festive holiday spirit, The Savoy has partnered with the iconic Abbey Road Studios for the hotel’s Center Stage music mentorship program. 

As someone who moved to London earlier this March, I dreamt of visiting the legendary Abbey Road Studios just to get a glimpse of what magic formed behind those doors. The reconstructed Georgian House does not permit photography by spectators, but within its hallowed halls, legends like Pink Floyd, Amy Winehouse and Frank Ocean are memorialised.

Thanks to an expert-led tour, I walked through the famous studios that were graced by musical geniuses who revolutionised the role of music.  Walking through the famous Studio Two, I envision the creative sparks that flew as John, Paul, George, and Ringo recorded most of their catalogue through to Kate Bush, Oasis, Shirley Bassey and The Smile. I saw the couch where Tom Hanks sat earlier that morning to record his latest voiceover for an upcoming project. I envisioned the orchestra that was set up in Studio 1 that created the magic behind the Harry Potter franchises. 

Most importantly, Abbey Road Studios not only houses the greatest works of art conceived by brilliant musical minds in the past, but serves as a platform for current and future visionaries. As part of this mentorship collaboration, emerging artists Isaac Stuart, DAVIDD, and Lea G received the opportunity of a lifetime to record at the studio. 

“For generations, Fairmont suites have hosted countless music artists, icons, stars and celebrities while providing guests with unforgettable musical moments. Through this programme, we look forward to introducing the artists of the future and giving them the mentorship that they need to showcase their talent,” explains Loay Nour, Global Vice President of Brand and Marketing for Fairmont.

The Beaufort Bar at the Savoy was full of enthusiasm as the trio prepared to perform their respective music on stage. It’s evident that each of their styles are different; for instance, singer-songwriter Isaac Stuart grew a dedicated fanbase following a successful lockdown debut. DAVIDD, an indie musician’s work transcends multiple genres but most importantly, his music reflects how battles with mental health. Singer-songwriter Lea is enjoying the success of her sold out headline show at The Courtyard Theatre in London and jumping into a new era of her musical pursuits focused on catchy hooks and nostalgic melodies that range from acoustic pop and folk of Ed Sheeran to alternative rock sounds of Florence and The Machine. 

As I watched the artists prepare to perform, it was clear that they shared a desire to pioneer marks on music, while paying homage to tradition. Once they began to perform, the vibrant energy pulsing through the Beaufort Bar embodied the spirit of London’s Savoy Hotel. As a stage spotlighting rising talent, the venue clearly offered an authentic taste of the city’s creative flair that can only be found in this storied section of London. 


Pooja Shah

Pooja Shah is a freelance writer and lawyer from NYC now based in London.