“Location, location, location” is the most important thing to remember when choosing a London hotel for business, as otherwise you may waste a great deal of time getting around town.
And you can’t get much more central than the 380-room The Langham, the first-ever grand hotel in London that was opened in 1865 by the then-Prince of Wales who became King Edward VII – I’m a history man and a sucker for a building with the odd royal connection.
More importantly though, it’s a couple of blocks back from Oxford Circus and Regent Street, and opposite the headquarters of the BBC.
For the executive traveller you are but a short taxi or underground ride away from The City and other commercial districts. I stayed in The Langham’s newly refurbished club rooms that also now benefit from the largest club lounge in London.
At 34 square metres these Dh3,150-a-night rooms are quite compact, but still squeeze in a king-size bed with luxury bed linen and marble bathroom with a shower. There’s a daily fruit basket, lots of complimentary water and chocolates.
For working, the desk is quite large but the chair is more suited to a dressing table. A wall-strip by the desk has US, UK and European plug sockets, and there’s an internet cable in the drawer. Wi-Fi is very fast. Room service noticed that I liked milk with my coffee and so supplied extra without being asked.
The club lounge upstairs has an alternative workspace in its business centre with two Microsoft computers, apart from being a pleasant place to enjoy complimentary drinks, canapés and breakfast.
I loved the main Roux at the Landau restaurant by the Michelin-starred chef Albert Roux – it’s better than Dubai’s La Petite Maison and for 20 per cent of the cost. It’s very grand and spacious, ideal for confidential chats over lunch or dinner, with a fine three-course meal and beverages for two at a fixed price of just Dh450. Alternatively the glamorous Palm Court is a great venue for afternoon tea.
To unwind I also indulged in a signature treatment in the palatial Chuan Spa that features a 16-metre swimming pool in what was once a bank vault. The adjacent gym has all the right machines and there is a large sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi.
q&a hearty welcome assured
Bob van den Oord, managing director of The Langham, London, tells Peter Cooper more about the hotel’s new club lounge:
What exactly is on offer?
We are offering guests a home away from home, with complimentary food and beverage offerings from all of The Langham, London outlets with personalised service. Amenities include the pressing of three items of clothing each, early check-in and late checkout, shower facilities and complimentary use of The Loft meeting space.
How does it compare with rival club lounges in London?
The lounge is currently London’s largest at 450 square metres. Located directly below The Sterling Suite (the largest suite in London), it’s located in our Langham House building so guests can consider an exclusive hire of the entire building. For VIP and Mice clients looking for convenience and both bedroom and venue space, this aspect will be appealing. We are also the only club in London that offers Chez Roux cuisine throughout the day and items of afternoon tea from Cherish Finden, currently featuring as a judge on BBC2 Crème de la Crème.
You did already have a smaller club lounge. Why did you upgrade?
Our previous lounge was popular, but we wanted to update the offering to provide a more bespoke level of service. We also wanted to open this concept up to be more inclusive as a hotel – for example, guests who book an entry level room can gain access by paying a supplement.
* The writer was a guest of the hotel.
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