The Langham brand has always been one that, in my eyes, has commanded respect. When we visited The Langham Melbourne, we weren’t ogling over some super-duper new refurb as it’s actually an older, more classic hotel. Instead, it was the air of enchantment and the fabulously happy staff that completely made the experience. It was posh without being pretentious and grand without feeling impersonal.
So, having already had a fabulous experience with the Langham brand, when we were heading to London this past December, The Langham London was immediately our first choice. Could a hotel deliver that same homely vibe smack bang in the middle of the West End?
Getting There & First Impressions
“It’s a VIP from Africa, madam.”
What a time to arrive at the delectable Langham Hotel on Regent Street in London. As I stumbled out of my Uber, I was met with the sight of two glorious horse and carriages, shiny black town cars, and an attentive doorman who came running across the road after spotting me struggling with my suitcase and evening dress garment bag (for the Advent Tale fundraising gala for Teens Unite Fighting Cancer that evening).
For a moment, I pretended that all of the fanfare might have been for my arrival but as the horses trotted back home, the doorman gently informed me that the Queen had requested this form of transport for the African VIP.
And then I saw this VIP guest being greeted on the steps of the hotel by none other than Sarah Ferguson and Princess Beatrice just a hop, skip, and jump away from me.
Welcome to The Langham London, ladies and gentlemen. A most quintessentially British hotel, made more so by this experience.
The Langham London is enchanting and mystical, with a history dating back to 1865 as Europe’s first ‘Grand Hotel’. Despite being housed in a massive building right in the West End, it’s far from being intimidating or raucous. Step inside and you’re immediately transported into a protected Langham bubble. The hotel itself, although busy, manages to cast a tranquil air all around and once in our room, we couldn’t hear a thing despite overlooking a busy street. It created the blissful feeling of being far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The lobby entrance is stylish and classy, befitting of the stunning exterior and reputation of this traditional and luxurious hotel. You’re surrounded by white marble and grand pillars, but far from feeling like you’ve walked into a massive corporate hotel with rows of staff and queues of people, The Langham London creates a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Elegantly dressed in the instantly recognizable branded pink Chanel-inspired suits, the Langham’s Service Stylists wander around ready to help you in an instant, while the charismatic doormen are generous with their smiles, and the check-in staff graciously welcome you to your temporary home.
All of this is combined is what makes this hotel feel personable and cozy. Not to mention that our visit was complemented by holiday decor, complete with lovely reindeer and beautifully decorated Christmas trees that looked like each one had been personally dressed with love and care by the staff, as opposed to those grandiose trees you might see elsewhere that look amazing but very commercial.
There’s something special about The Langham London. Not only is it grand and classically beautiful but there’s that extra little spark that seems to be consistent throughout the hotels that really makes you appreciate how the Langham brand has nailed the hospitality game.
We were terribly spoiled and whisked up to The Langham Club on the third floor for check-in, which simply dazzled and delighted! As you come to the club entrance, which looks like a posh sitting area, your gaze will immediately fall upon the shelves scattered with Roux cookbooks and comfy seating before the genuine smiles and greetings from the VIP staff redirect your attention.
When you’re done flicking through the cookbooks and wishing you had the culinary skills to actually follow the recipes, turn down the passageway toward the dark wood double doors which will lead you into the bright and buzzy eating and lounging area with a mix of leather sofas and club chairs, attentive staff discreetly keeping an eye on their guests, and the check-in desk.
The amazing floral decorations and the gorgeous pup painting behind the desk were just the frosting on the cake—had The Langham not already stolen my heart, seeing this painting would have done the trick!
There were a few check-ins already taking place so we eagerly grabbed the opportunity to be led to the Drawing Room, an adults-only bar area done up in calming neutral colors, for a glass of Laurent-Perrier. We settled into the studded chairs and soaked up the sophisticated Langham vibe that permeates the air. The staff swiftly took away our bags so we weren’t saddled down with them and just when we polished off the last little sip in our glasses, the VIP check-in staff gracefully came to fetch us. The entire process was absolutely flawless.
We also have to mention the thoughtfully designed library and Writer’s Corner, which we’ll call the business center but it’s much more tasteful than that. With an understated elegance, it looks more like a chic home office than one of the bland, corporate business centers we tend to encounter at hotels. It blends in perfectly with the rest of The Langham Club Lounge and we feel like if our home office looked like this, it might double our productivity simply through inspiration! (Just bear in mind that this space is only available to members of The Langham Club.)
The Langham Club really is just fabulously chic and beautifully designed. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that creating a stunning area like this required some deep pockets but we’d say it was money well spent.
Over the course of our one night stay, we visited The Club Lounge no less than four times and it was humming with guests each time. Between the beautiful interiors and the lovely service, it’s no wonder!
Staff & Service
Where do we even start? The staff here deserves something far greater than gold stars because not once did we feel that it was anything less than absolutely stellar five-star service. Every person went above and beyond in the most gracious manner without the slightest hint of “I’m just doing this because I’m being paid to do it.”
Christoph in The Club Lounge was fabulous so here’s a personal shout-out to him. He was a champ multi-tasker, doing everything from check-in to being our personal photographer for our glam photo shoot before heading off to the gala that evening!
Bad or even mediocre service doesn’t seem to be part of the vocabulary here. You might think that it was because we were there as The Caviar Spoon, but nope! We planned around this by getting Pra’s small entourage to become honorary Caviar Crew members and act as mystery shoppers. They popped by the hotel later that day and couldn’t find a single fault in how they were treated.
We also have to give a big thank you to The Langham for being flexible. Access to The Club Lounge should have been for two adults, based on our double room occupancy, but they were more than accommodating by graciously inviting our two extra friends up to The Club for a pre-gala glass of bubbles before we headed to our event that evening.
Where You’ll Sleep
Our boudoir for the night was in one of the newly refurbished Executive Rooms. It wasn’t a sprawling space but cozy and well-appointed and the perfect size for two adults. The ample-sized bathroom had fluffy, white Langham-branded towels and was stocked with Chuan delights, and the bed was heavenly and comfy, dressed with soft cotton sheets (as should be the standard at a hotel! Who wants to sleep on scratchy, stiff sheets?).
The walk-in dressing room wardrobe, slanted walls, ample-sized bathroom and traditional yet chic décor make this a perfect place of posh comfort where you can rest your head and unwind!
Where To Eat
Due to the short amount of time we were there, we unfortunately didn’t have a chance to visit the restaurant, but Roux At The Landau has an excellent reputation with incredibly talented chefs behind them. This isn’t just any old hotel restaurant—Roux, in addition to the high teas offered at the hotel, are the talk of the town.
And then there’s Artesian. Named the “World’s Best Bar” (quite an accolade!), this is THE place to be. It was buzzing when we arrived, it was buzzing when we popped by after the ball, and it’s probably buzzing right now as you read this! This place was packed out with a crowd of well-heeled peeps (we did a discreet but thorough scan of the room to confirm this!) and with good reason.
It’s trendy and sassy with stonkingly talented mixologists and the people (both the staff and the guests) are fab.
The Langham, after all, is about the experience. You don’t come here just because it’s a hotel!
We did enjoy the most divine breakfast spread at The Club Lounge the morning after. There’s a fab pantry with the most delectable selection of food that both looked and tasted beautiful and the wide variety will undoubtedly leave even the pickiest eaters happy. And, of course, the super vibe that I have come to associate with Langham was present throughout.
If you don’t have access to The Club Lounge, try the very pretty Palm Court where you can get breakfast, nibble on a light menu all throughout the day, or indulge in their famed Afternoon Tea.
Where To Unwind
The Chuan Spa is currently being revamped into a new luxury wellness sanctuary called Chuan Body + Soul, which will be unveiled in summer 2017. We heard that the redesign is going to be centered around an art deco style, which makes perfect sense given the design of the rest of the hotel. It will be quite the departure from the Chuan’s former Asian zen feel but it’ll likely fit in perfectly.
We can’t wait to come back and check it out!
Weddings & Events
Langham hotels know how to do weddings and they know how to do them well. The Langham London is no exception. There’s the beautiful grand ballroom and the Courtyard Garden (a fabulous outdoor space) for your reception, plus mouthwatering menus that are created in collaboration with celebrity chefs Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr. Add onto that the incredibly elegant and attentive service and the superb location of the hotel, and you’re in for one gorgeously memorable celebration!
We’ve coined a new word: homtel (home + hotel)
This is what The Langham London is…salubrious, elegant, humble, and utterly welcoming and comfortable.
This iconic London hotel has one big, heartfelt thumbs up from us!
1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London
Mary Pratt is a writer and founder of The Caviar Spoon, a luxury lifestyle site that brings together consumers, brands, companies, tastemakers, and emerging talent.
Her roots are in talent acquisition and branding, where she used to constantly scout out rockstar talent and develop employer brand strategies. This grew into a passion that then extended to human and brand behaviors. Curious to find out what makes people thrive and companies stand out, she transitioned from profiling world-class organizations to reviewing places and products and writing about them from the inside out.
Having been misled by one too many mediocre editorials, Mary makes sure that her reviews cover all aspects. She digs deeper than most and offers a look behind the scenes to spotlight the talent who are making things happen. She knows that everyone has a story to tell, which affects the experiences they create, and she asks the right questions to gain intriguing insight into the individual and the company.
Mary has a deep-seated love for traveling and adventure and believes that life’s best indulgences are about the experience, not the extravagance. This means she’d be just as likely to write a review about backpacking through a remote pocket of the world as she would about a trip to a luxury resort. No matter what, she’ll always hunt someone or something down to bring the entire story to life.