More than a century on…

The Savoy Hotel is proud to reside on historic grounds, and more than 100 years on we’re excited to present an eclectic mix of modern and historic flair to our guests. On the buildings 100th birthday we finished a major redevelopment of the hotel, which is now home to 12 boutique hotel rooms, a nightclub, cafe, restaurant, and microbrewery.

Humble beginnings

On February 12  pioneer miner and hotelier John Philbert opened the doors to the Athabasca Hotel (now The Savoy Hotel), a brick and stone building comprising of 40 rooms across three floors, located on the corner of Baker st and Falls st. The rooms were steam heated and even equipped with hot and cold water.

In its time, the Athabasca Hotel was a very modern development. The Daily Mail reported that “The new hotel is modern throughout and Mr. Philbert has spared no pains to make the hotel as up-to-date as possible,”.

The grand opening of the Athabasca Hotel featured an orchestra, dancing and a gala dinner. While the Athabasca Hotel enjoyed a flourishing business, Philbert ended up selling the business, in part due to the prohibition.

Transforming to the Savoy Hotel

In 1924 John A. Kerr purchased the hotel and reopened it one year later, now called the Savoy Hotel. Kerr added a hair salon, occupied by his daughter Hazel, before opening a beer parlour in the building called the Lothian Arms. The parlour’s finishings were described as “highly-polished walnut with light maple trimming in a futuristic design.”

Disaster struck in in 1973

After a string of different owners over the years, a fire broke out in the hotel on November 24, 1973, causing the beer parlours’ floor to collapse into the basement. The building was immediately repaired as the Savoy Inn, opening in 1974 with 20 rooms and a large pub.

The Disco phase

The owners wasted no time repurposing the basement into a popular discotheque known as Kips. The discotheque even featured a smoke machine and was said to be incredibly successful. In 1979 the Kilpatricks set about a $1 million dollar renovation to the hotel, with plans for a swimming pool, banquet hall, racquetball courts and more. While none of these came to fruition, a restaurant was built over the discotheque.

Disaster strikes again

In 2007 after another change in ownership, the hotel had experienced a great deal of change, particularly in the nightclub which had become The Twilight Zone, then Club Utopia, the Avalon, Fluid Lounge, RezAvoir, and Club 198.

In 2007 fire struck again, and while there were no injuries that building suffered significant damage. The building then sat abandoned for some time, enduring a string of legal troubled between former owners.

New life at The Savoy Hotel

In 2013 Jimmy Bundschuh, owner of Shambhala Music Festival, purchased the hotel and began its metamorphosis. 

“It’s been a long time since anything’s gone on there. I look forward to seeing some life back in the building.” – Jimmy Bundschuh

The building has been transformed into a 12-room boutique hotel, featuring a roof-top patio with a hot tub. The hotel is also home to a healthy cafe, a delicious restaurant, and nightclub.

“The Kootenays has much to offer for adventurous holidays and mountain culture. Ultimately, the goal of the Savoy Hotel is to help showcase those qualities.” – Jimmy Bundschuh