London's Olympic Games Preparations
London will roll out the red carpet in 2012 to host the Summer Olympic Games—the city is building a huge stadium and rehabilitating sections of East London in preparation for the event. Although the British government mandated austere budget cuts this past fall, it did not trim its planned Olympics spending of £9.3 billion. In another boon for visitors, the government has decided against charging admission to London’s popular museums, including the British Museum, the Tate and the Victoria & Albert. (Unlike most major museums around the world, London museums are mostly free.) Some Olympics spectators will arrive in town via Heathrow’s newest facility: Terminal 5’s C Satellite, or T5C. Due to open in the summer of 2011, T5C will provide eight additional gates, five of them capable of handling the Airbus A380 “Superjumbo” plane. On the lodging scene, London’s classic Savoy—now managed by Fairmont Hotels—reopened last fall after a three-year overhaul that added 38 new suites and guestrooms. The Savoy’s American Bar is back, and so is the iconic Savoy Grill, part of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s empire. Meanwhile, an early 2011 opening was planned for Starwood’s W London at Leicester Square and for 45 Park Lane, a small, 46-room luxury sister property of the Dorchester.