We chose the very British, very luxurious Langham hotel for our latest visit to London. The hotel was opened as Europe’s first ‘Grand Hotel’ on 10 June 1865 by HRH The Prince of Wales. Over the years, it became a favorite of Mark Twain and was visited by the likes of Napoleon III and Oscar Wilde. Being located right opposite the BBC television studios, it still appears to be quite the celebrity hot spot. Cocktails with the luscious Fiona Bruce?
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The Langham hotel in London, a member of the Leading Hotels Of The World, sits a few streets north of Oxford Circus and Regent Street. It’s a great location if you’re visiting the BBC or have a passion for high street shopping… Fear, not reader, it is also within 10 minutes walk of the designer stores on New Bond Street and even closer to Selfridges.
Sadly it’s an absolute trek to Knightsbridge for Harvey Nics or Harrods, and it’s too far North to be near any tourist attractions or the Thames. Equally, we found the location a little inconvenient for bars and restaurants if you don’t want to eat in the hotel. Our preference would be the Park Lane location of the Dorchester, Four Seasons, and Intercontinental and the Knightsbridge location of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
Style & Character
The look of the Langham is pure class. Enter through the revolving doors and up the marble staircase, absorb the art deco oozing out of the Palm Court lounge, and then head up a grand and gloriously Victorian staircase to your room. The staircase itself sweeps around the central ornate lift that you can see going up and down as guests travel to their rooms.
Service & Facilities
The pool is a hugely appealing feature of the Langham as very few top London hotels have a pool. The pool is a good boutique size and is built into what used to be a bank vault in the depths of the building. It was designed beautifully with high ceilings and lots of glasswork and gave us a really enjoyable swim.
There’s also a huge fitness facility and an impressive spa that I didn’t have time to use and which was particularly frustrating as the Leaders Club gift at this hotel is a decent amount to spend in their Spa.
The staff here are worth a mention. From the doormen to the reception staff and, in particular, an Australian girl in the club lounge who went out of her way to cater to our every need. They are amongst the best in London.
The club lounge and club rooms lie at the end of a maze of corridors, steps, and lifts. But the trek was certainly worth it when we were greeted by the stunning Peter Sellers suite.
There’s a slightly unnerving side to the suite as the walls are adorned with photos of Monsieur Clouseau staring out at you. We soon got over that as we traversed the room’s parquet floored study into a sitting area complete with fireplace and rooftop views over London. The room was splendid, and the uber comfortable, super king bed gave us such a wonderful night’s sleep!
The one criticism was the bathroom, which was large but somehow felt dated with a dark green and deeply depressing floor. If you left the door even slightly ajar, it happily swung open to reveal the person inside – caught me out a few times.
We were shown a rooftop club junior suite which was cute and had decent floor space, and the view over the BBC television center was quite impressive (see photos).
You can read our full review of the Club Lounge at the Langham London. It is the best I’ve tried in any club lounge in London (and consequently has a price tag to match). There were 5 or 6 mini mains to choose from, and when one ran out, it was immediately replaced.
The quality was excellent, and the spread was different every night. Also, because the lounge was boutique in size, there was no “rush to the buffet.” A feeling that we’ve experienced in the Hyatt Churchill and the Hilton Park Lane.
There were plenty of drinks offered throughout the evening, and the staff were friendly, going out of their way to accommodate any odd requests. The dessert choices were varied, and little tubs of ice cream were available throughout the day. Breakfast and the cream tea and sandwiches in the afternoon were equally impressive, and yes, the tea was both British and excellent.
The crowd in the lounge was varied. People were there for business as well as pleasure. We drank in the Palm Court and then used the lounge for our dinner.
Food & Drink
Downstairs there is Michelin-starred Roux at The Landau, which has an excellent reputation. We inquired about having a menu sent up to our room and ordering from the restaurant as room service – not a problem, yum! In addition, there’s art deco Palm Court, famed for its cream teas and with the ambiance of an Agatha Christie Poirot movie, and the Artesian, a swish-looking candle-lit bar looking out over the front of the hotel to which we were denied access as there is a “no children” rule.
An observation worth mentioning at this point was the crowd. During our stay, the crowd in the Artesian bar was primarily made up of the floppy jumper brigade, Jeremy Clarkson fitted in perfectly! Girls, for your outfit think evening at the local pub rather than dressing for the Metropole Bar.
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