Savoy Hotel between grandeur and decadence2
Two Savoy Hotel located in two different places with two different destiny
The other day when I was in Srinagar, I decided to hire a shikara and spend some time on the Dal Lake and Nagil lake.
Sailing on both lakes at the end of the afternoon was a fascinating experience. All muezzins were starting their prayers in the many mosques around the lake. Their prayers were echoing throughout the entire valley. While the sound of their prayers was rocking me smoothly through the waves of the lake, I came across a little island where both lakes Dal and Nagil meet.
Only few people live there, most of them are fishermen or farmers. At one corner of the island, I saw this Savoy Hotel, half-abandoned. A lady on the first floor was looking with resignation towards the emptiness of the horizon perhaps remembering some better days where business was flourishing. I never thought at that time, I will stumbled upon any Savoy hotel.
Looking at the conditions and the poor state of the Savoy Hotel in Srinagar, it’s clear this hotel had had better days.
In parallel, I could not stop thinking about the well established and prestigious Savoy Hotel in London which is a reflection of pure luxury, grandeur and opulence. Savoy Hotel in London spent recently 220 millions for refurbishment. After three or four years of renovation, they finally re-opened its doors to their exclusive visitors….
More than 10.000 km away from London, on the Dal lake, the Savoy Hotel that wears only the name of the prestigious hotel, is obviously also looking for some refurbishment.
I’m not sure when it’s going to happen. I had the feeling by looking at this hotel, the time stopped a few years ago and was not ready to tick again before a while.
Savoy Hotel is unfortunately not the only one in that state in Srinagar, I saw many establishments closed down. Kashmir has been during many years a very prosperous region. Srinagar was well known among tourists and was the base to trek in the region.
Unfortunately, two wars with Pakistan but also heavy political turmoil between Kashmir and the Indian government (Kashmir are still claiming their independence from the rest of India) had serious impact on this beautiful region.
Time will tell, if Kashmir will come back to their golden period and if the Savoy Hotel will welcome guests again.