The Savoy Hotel on the corner of Hoogstraat and Kipstraat was an initiative from Wereldhaven, the construction firm that was also responsible for the housing on Goudsesingel, the Twelve Provinces shopping centre, and the housing and retail development opposite Galeries Modernes on Hoogstraat. The firm usually worked with architect Herman Bakker, but in this case it opted for Wim Fiolet (1917-1978), another Rotterdammer who was particularly active in the post-war reconstruction period, but less well known. In the Hoogkwartier area alone he built not only the hotel but also residential projects at Goudsewagenstraat 25-31, Sint-Janstraat 11-15, Mariniersweg 18-24, a block of flats on the corner of Oostplein and Groenendaal, and another on the corner of Goudsesingel and Boezemweg.
The first designs for this location present a so-called ‘womotel’, a combination of a service apartment building and a hotel, a motel, and accommodation for students, singles and childless couples, both of whom work during the day. The completed building consists of a seven-floor hotel section set on a transparent plinth that blends with the retail development along Hoogstraat. Guest rooms are arranged along both sides of a central corridor. The hotel volume projects out beyond the plinth.
The hotel will contain a hundred, exclusively two-person rooms, but a third bed can be inserted very quickly into each room. In close cooperation with Wereldhaven, the management of the Savoy firm carried out a detailed study of the café and restaurant business to be able to meet all the requirements of practice. For example, the beds are longer than normal to take into account the fact that people will grow taller. Guests can rent two-, three, or four-room suites, and on the top floor, the seventh, there is a spacious terrace. If desired, guests can also avail of a radio, television and refrigerator. The rooms are over 3.5 by 5 metres, and are all fitted with a shower, toilet and washbasin. It will also include a restaurant open day and night, but exclusively for hotel guests after closing time.
Het Vrĳe Volk 8-3-1961
Green glass mosaic
The building has a concrete structure with a facade of prefabricated concrete panels with a decorative pattern. Each room has a square window. The front and rear facades are identical. The ground floor, with reception, lobby and restaurant, is enclosed by large expanses of glass framed in aluminium and wood. Here the concrete columns are faced in lilac and green glass mosaic.
In 1977 there were plans to close the hotel and build a bigger hotel on Weena, next to the Groothandelsgebouw, on the site now occupied by the residential complex and ice rink. After the relocation, the existing hotel was to be converted into offices. By then the hotel was part of a concern that also ran the Atlanta Hotel. In 1985 the hotel was thoroughly renovated.
The rooms, which up to now had been rather dark and sombre, have been totally refurbished. They not only look elegant but are also cosy. They make a sleek and modern impression without lapsing into sterility.
Het Vrĳe Volk 2-5-1985
Besides the rooms, the ground floor has undergone a total metamorphosis. Plastic frames replaced the original steel frames, resulting in the loss of the particular reconstruction era look. The hotel serves the business market, as its non-central location does not attract tourists. But the situation has greatly improved since the construction of the new library, the cube dwellings by Piet Blom and Blaak metro station.
In 2014 there is no talk whatsoever about a poor location, as is made clear by the text on the website: Savoy Rotterdam is ideally located in the heart of Rotterdam. A comfortable four-star hotel that offers you a wonderfully homely feeling and enables you to experience and undertake everything you want during your stay. Close to offices, shops, nightlife areas, celebrated architecture and congress venues, Hampshire Hotel - Savoy Rotterdam is perfectly located.