LONDON — The re-opening of the Savoy Hotel in London, England, has been delayed for the fourth time as refurbishment costs soar to double the £100 million (CDN$154.1 million) that was originally estimated.

Closed since December 2007, the property, which is managed by Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, is expected to open this fall, almost a year and a half late.

The 121-year-old building was purchased five years ago for £230 million by Saudi Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holdings and government-controlled bank HBOS. The per-room cost of the hotel and reconstruction is expected to cost £1.6 million (CDN$2.47 million).

“The state of building was a lot worse than we had envisioned,” Kiaran MacDonald, the Savoy’s general manager, explained. “When we closed the doors and peeled back the layers, it became clear that everything, from the electrical cables to the plumbing, was in very poor repair. We’ve had to carry out very invasive work, including installing a sprinkler system throughout the whole hotel. That’s the reason behind the delay.”



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