The Langham was designed by John Giles and built by the Lucas Brothers in 1865. At the time of building, the cost was in the region of £300,000.
The Prince of Wales opened the hotel on 10th June 1865, and it was deemed as one of the largest hotels at that time. All 36 bedrooms had air conditioning and hot and cold water. It also had the very first hydraulic lift in England and its own post office.
Around 1879 the first electric light was installed at the entrance and in courtyard. Moving forward through the years this hotel now has 380 rooms, 15 function rooms including a Grand Ballroom, a British Tavern, bar, private dining room, business centre and a fully restored Palm Court.
The hotel is steeped in history. It was first hotel to add afternoon tea to its menu in 1865 courtesy of the Duchess of Bedford who was lady in waiting to Queen Victoria, to the unveiling of a green plaque commemorating the meeting between Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Marshall Stoddart.
It has been used and featured in many books, stories and films including the original Sherlock Holmes stories, James Bond Golden eye (1995), Winning London (2001). The restaurant was also used as the setting of “Burnt” starring Bradley Cooper.
The bedrooms all feature a minbar, espresso makers, complimentary WiFi, and Smart TVs together with the usual amenities including safe, ironing board and hairdryer. The décor varies from room type ranging from neutral interiors, floral carpets to pops of colours but keeping the original colour scheme The Langham’s is famous for, its signature pink.
The traditional grandeur of the bathrooms featuring green and white marble, large tub and separate shower is more than luxurious with the added addition of Diptyque toiletries.
The Restaurant, Palm Court is a beautifully decorated room featuring a grand piano in the corner. Amazing flower creations, pale soft furnishings, and even little stools for your handbag!
It has been in the news recently as Michel Roux Jr was offering one of the biggest culinary prizes in history, the chance to run the Palm Court as a pop up restaurant for a six month period as featured in the Channel 4 and Netflix programme, Britain’s Next Great Chef. The lucky winner was chef Dom Taylor who transformed the Palm Court into “The Good Front Room”, a Caribbean restaurant inspired by his Aunt Myrtle’s house.
For a more casual dining there is The Wigmore. Based on a British tavern and serving hearty pub fayre with all the British classics on the menu and open for breakfast and throughout the day.
There is even a cooking school called “Sauce” in the hotel.
The Chaun Spa occupies the former bank vault in the basement and offers treatments based on the five element of, wood, fire, earth, metal and water. It also benefits from a 24-hour fitness centre, steam rooms and saunas and a 52-foot pool.
Albeit the hotel is spread across several buildings and lots of stairs and floors that don’t line up, the hotel has thought about accessibility with lifts for wheelchairs, widened entrance and four fully accessible guest rooms to accommodate wheelchair users and also visibly impaired.
The staff are professional, helpful, and always smiling which is part of the charm of this centrally located 5 star hotel.