The Savoy is a luxury five star hotel that has become one of the most celebrated of London landmarks. Known for its luxurious rooms and suites with dual historical influences of English Edwardian and Art Deco stylings, it’s also renowned for its impeccable service standards. All those who stay in a suite enjoy their own dedicated Butler service, and so proficient at the art of Butlering are those at The Savoy that they even have their own dedicated Butler School. The Savoy’s Head Butler, Sean Davoren, talks to The LuxPad about his prestigious career, what sets The Savoy apart, and what he thinks is key to being an expert in the luxury hospitality industry…
How did you begin your career as a Butler, and did you always know that you wanted to work in the hospitality industry?
I started my working life in hotels and decided I wanted to specialize in Butlering. I completed a course at the English School of Butlering. It cost £4,500 for five weeks, which was woefully expensive at the time (more than 25 years ago). If I didn’t have a hospitality background however, it would have been useless because you cannot become a butler in five weeks.
What do you think it takes to become an expert in your field?
You need to have a personality and you have to like people. A good butler should also prefer to be behind the scenes. People think a butler is intrusive but it’s not; a butler should enhance the guests experience whilst blending in with the wallpaper, working behind the scenes.
The Savoy hotel is known as one of the worlds very best, what do you think sets it apart?
Here at The Savoy, as custodians of such an iconic hotel we pride ourselves personal service and attention to detail. I believe both elements combined truly hallmark the unique and memorable Savoy experience which sets us apart from other hotels.
The Savoy has its own Butler Academy, what three personally traits do you believe are most valuable to an aspiring Butler?
The three most valuable assets to be an aspiring butler are passion, personality and wanting to look after people.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges I faced during my career is understanding the concept of luxury. I came to understand luxury by listening to the people that I served and by consistently reading and researching topics ranging from how to dress for certain occasions to local shopping destinations. I relish a challenge and thoroughly enjoy learning new skills and abilities each day.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Whatever you do in life, be the best you can, always put your best foot forward and be proud of what you do and who you are.
What of all your Butler duties do you think is the most important to be an expert in and why?
One of the most important duties that our role encompasses is building a relationship and rapport with the guest, providing them with trust and confidence in all that you do. Another contributing aspect to take into consideration is personality, adapting your character to each individual guest.
Can you share three tips on how to make everyday life easier that our readers can use at home?
My top tips that I would be delighted to share are as follows:
Plan and organize your week, plan exactly what needs to be executed for all those concerned. No matter how simple a task may appear, planning always make things easier.
Do you have a most memorable client or particular task that you have been asked to do that you could share with us?
On one occasion, I was sent to New York via a concord, tasked to pick up jewellery (which was also completed in a day); this is a memory that I will treasure for years to come.
Why do you think that in an ever-increasing technology led world that such a traditional role such as a Butler is still relevant?
Technology has enabled us to have valuable and almost countless information at your fingertips, which assists me and the butler team on a daily basis. Although I possess the possibility to call guests directly, technology can sometimes weaken a guest’s interactive experience which is why I often prefer to speak to them face to face, ensuring absolute understanding on both parts.