The latest luxury 5 star hotel brand to add its heavyweight reputation to the rapidly expanding Palm Jumeirah development is The Langham. The Hong Kong based group have over 20 hotels around the globe and are looking to add to their extensive portfolio. A recent trip to London was the perfect opportunity to visit The Langham’s founding and flagship hotel in Marylebone and get a sense of the ambience and service UAE visitors might expect when the latest addition to the brand is completed in Dubai in 2016.
It is certainly a hotel steeped in history. The Langham was first opened in 1865 and was the largest and most modern in the whole city. Over its 150 year history it has constantly pushed the boundaries of what a hotel can offer. It was the first hotel in London to have hydraulic lifts and electric lighting in the lobby, which were unheard of at the time. Despite being used extensively by the army during WWII the building escaped serious damage during the blitz and has continued to remain at the forefront of the hospitality industry ever since. The most recent $80million refurbishment in 2009 has allowed the brand to bring the grandest of buildings right up to date but retain its heritage and charm.
When choosing a hotel in London, location is arguably one of the most important factors and The Langham doesn’t disappoint. It is a shopaholic’s dream with Regent Street, Oxford Street and Bond Street all within comfortable walking distance.
The standard of service at the company’s flagship hotel is second to none. On arrival we were swiftly greeted by a welcoming concierge service. Check-in was quick and painless with staff outnumbering guests. The Langham team were more than happy to go above in beyond. With over 344 rooms spread across 8 floors I would strongly advise being escorted to your room. Finding your way can be a little confusing.
The Grand executive room itself was quintessentially English but with subtle touches of deep purple and was very well-appointed. The bed itself, a king size divan, was incredibly comfortable. The smart TV system offered an excellent array of services and channels and was extremely easy to use. In terms of square footage for a “non-suite” room it is a very good size. The room is spacious whilst still creating a warm, cosy feel. The Langham always seems to get the balance just right.
Langham are certainly not the first 5 star hotel chain to offer a club/lounge available to guests, but the quality of inclusive beverages and hors d’oeuvres really makes it worth a visit. Whether it’s a pre-dinner drink or a late afternoon bite the lounge has every base covered. The Langham club also offers lucky guests a fantastic breakfast selection as well as a taste of their world-renowned afternoon tea. For the full experience take a trip to Palm Court, it’s a must for any tea connoisseur. A wonderful array of sandwiches, cakes and scones accompanied with the perfect blend awaits you.
Roux at the Landau, the hotels signature restaurant, is the brainchild of father and son team Albert and Michel Roux and is their second venture together. To reach the restaurant guests pass through an enchanting corridor where suitors can peruse the many different wines on offer. The dining area is very intimate and the perfect venue for a romantic meal for two.
I would very much recommend the scallops, followed by the roast Windermere lamb with the raspberry soufflé for desert. The wine pairing is well worth the money so the helpful and attentive staff can match the perfect grape to each course.
The guest experience at the Langham is nigh on impossible to pick fault with. Visitors to the hotel get a real sense of its grandeur and history without ever feeling like the building is old or dated. The Langham has seamlessly blended a 19th century “grand” hotel with all the trappings and service of a modern 5 star resort. In short it’s a must stay venue for anyone looking for a base in central London.
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