Original home of the English afternoon tea tradition
Literary heritage courtesy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s use of the hotel as a setting for several Sherlock Holmes novels
In-house book butler to supply guests with classical literature to read during their stay
Standard rooms lack amenities like iPod docks and free Wi-Fi
Anything beyond basic Internet browsing requires a fee
Luxurious, stately, and composed, this 380-room hotel projects an air of exclusivity. Certain amenities seem meager for a five-pearl luxury brand, however -- even the "complimentary" evening champagne is offered in conservative amounts and presented with a full champagne menu, presumably to encourage extra spending. But for a certain quintessentially English air of prestige without the usual pretension, and a premier location for West End shopping, this is a good place to be. The ultra-luxurious Chuan Spa, 16-meter pool, and salt sauna don't hurt its high-end credentials either.
Classical, elegant, and stately with a strong air of English composure
One of the more notable historical hotels in London, the Langham Hotel has been around since 1865 -- when it opened as the city's first purpose-built luxury hotel.
After an £80 million refurbishment under ownership by a Hong Kong businessman, the Langham was reopened in 2009 by Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Renovations sought to revive the hotel's rich history -- the lobby is elegant and stately with towering marble columns and marble flooring, and the dining areas maintain a composed and formal vibe without being too pretentious. The Palm Court is of particular note; it's cited as the birthplace of traditional afternoon tea, and the tradition can still be experienced there to this day.
Modern updates, of course, took place during the renovation as well, and include upgraded rooms with state-of-the-art entertainment systems, and new public spaces featuring modern, elegant decor with subtle oriental touches. The ultra-luxurious Chuan Spa is another modern addition, and draws guests who are seeking the ultimate self-indulgence with traditional Chinese-inspired treatments.
Standard rooms, though, fall slightly short -- they feature nice traditional furnishings, but few luxurious touches and no state-of-the-art technology.
Just a five-minute walk from Oxford Circus tube station, an ideal location for West End shopping
Oxford Circus tube station and Oxford Street are generally jam-packed with tourists, but walk just a few blocks away and the crowds diminish dramatically. This means that while the Langham is in close proximity to prime shopping areas, its immediate vicinity is significantly quieter.
37-minute drive to Heathrow Airport
5-minute walk to Oxford Circus tube station and West End shopping district
8-minute walk to Regent’s Park
12-minute walk to Selfridges
13-minute walk to Soho
7-minute tube ride to Piccadilly Circus and theatre district
9-minute tube ride to Charing Cross station, Trafalgar Square, the London ICA, and the South Bank
13-minute tube ride to Leicester Square and Chinatown
14-minute tube ride to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, and scenic walks along the Thames
15-minute tube ride to Covent Garden
17-minute tube ride to the British Museum
17-minute tube ride to Green Park station and Buckingham Palace
Classical and traditional, with the Langham’s signature pink flourishes
In contrast to the stately high ceilings, intricate Victorian flourishes, and elegant, modern decor of the lobby and lounge areas, the rooms are dressed in a more traditional, classic style. The standard rooms are comfortable, with beautiful furnishings and some home-like touches (a bouquet of fresh flowers is a plus). As you step up in room category, of course, you get extra space and some extra amenities.
Club Rooms are smaller than Executive Rooms but come with Club Privileges, which includes free continental breakfast, afternoon tea, evening drinks and canapes, espresso and treats in the Club Lounge, and extended check out. Suites come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the lowest suite categories aren’t too much bigger than the Executive Rooms and don’t really come with any additional amenities. Suites labeled Grand come with state-of-the-art in-room technology and entertainment systems, including MP3 player connectivity, built-in international power sockets, and speakers in the bathrooms. For the ultimate luxury experience and plenty of floor space, book the Regent Suite or the Infinity Suite
Luxurious in-house spa with a salt sauna, a 16-meter swimming pool, and a fitness center
Perhaps the highlight of luxury at the Langham is the Chuan Spa, a gorgeous blend of traditional Victorian features and modern Chinese decor, with treatments centered around ancient tenets of traditional Chinese medicine.
Beautiful 16-meter indoor pool, which was formerly a large bank vault, plus relaxing Vitality dipping pool
Salt sauna and steam rooms
Contemporary fitness center with great assortment of equipment and flat-screen TVs
Spacious, elegant business center with free Internet, five computers, and comfortable lounge seating
In-house book butler to supply guests with classical literature