Our Stay at The Historic 5-Star Langham Hotel, London
The first hotel stay, on our Delta Vacations trip to London, was the historic Langham Hotel.
If you’ve been around The Roaming Boomers® much, you’ll know that we have great fondness for historic hotels. The Langham London, opened in 1865, is steeped in history. Just take a peek at some of these facts:
- The 1865 opening of The Langham, London was presided by none other than the then heir to the throne, The Prince of Wales (later to become Edward the VII). The occasion immediately sealed The Langham’s reputation as Europe’s first ‘Grand Hotel’.
- Technically the building was a tour de force, with the first hydraulically powered lifts in the world, air conditioning, its own steam-pumped artesian well, hot and cold running water and WCs in every bedroom. All this was previously unheard of in hotels.
- The Prince of Wales continued to patronize The Langham, and it was de rigeur for visiting royalty and leaders to take up residence there. Even former heads of state were granted a gracious welcome, and Emperor Louis Napoleon I II spent much of his last enforced exile from France at The Langham.
- Poets, writers and playwrights were among the major celebrities of the past and Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Somerset Maugham, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Browning and George Orwell were all inspired guests at the “Poet’s Corner” at The Langham, London.
- “I am easily satisfied with the very best” – Sir Winston Churchill: During WWII Sir Winston Churchill was often in attendance at The Langham when broadcasting messages to the nation via the BBC.
- The Langham was reopened on 4 March 1991 after a £100 million restoration that took over four years. Everywhere in the stunningly restored building were examples of skilled craftsmanship of which bona fide Victorian artisans would only be proud. The elegance of old – a world of marble, gilt, silk and mahogany – was once again a reality as gracious hospitality and history met in this corner of London’s West End.
- In 1991, HRH Diana, Princess of Wales became a regular visitor to the hotel, once more making The Langham a destination of choice for fashionable London.
- The hotel is now one of the Leading Hotels of the World and the flagship property for Langham Hotels International’s expanding portfolio, which already spans four continents.
Things we remember most from our stay at The Langham, London:
- Even though we were staying in a hotel that was nearly 150 years old, the recent £100 million renovation made it feel very modern with all the conveniences that a luxury baby boomer traveler would expect.
- Perhaps it was something special for us, but Carol was gaga about the exceptionally beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered to our room each day.
- Although I’ve never used one, we had a bidet. That’s cool. Right?
- The bed was awesome!
- The Langham Club Floor was particularly wonderful. The appetizers were large enough that one could have three square meals a day in the club room. As we look back, another grand benefit of the Club Floor is that it puts you in proximity with other world travelers. We made new friends while noshing on appetizers and enjoying a nice glass of wine.
- Our schedule didn’t allow, but the Langham London is well known for their afternoon tea. As we mention in our video, they’ve won the equivalent of the Oscars for their high tea.
- I suppose this might not be a biggie for some, but All Souls Church is directly across the street. This church possesses a lot of history, and until his recent death, was the pulpit for world-renowned theologian John Stott. We went to church there on Sunday. We greatly enjoyed the service and it gave us a very unusual way to rub shoulders with the locals.
- Did I say the bed was awesome!
- The waitstaff was superb. We especially enjoyed the bellmen at the front door with their top hats.
- The Artesian Bar, named after the artesian spring under the hotel, was a hot-spot each evening. They’ve also recently won “the World’s Best Cocktail Menu” for 2011.
We greatly enjoyed our stay in the 5-Star, historic Langham Hotel, London. If you find yourself planning a trip to London, we can highly recommend a stay.