Langham

"A spacious courtyard decorated with palms, cupressus, and picturesque, feathery green plants, as though a bit of Kew Gardens had strayed into town to enliven the metropolitan bricks and mortar." Writer Howard Paul recording his impressions of the Palm Court in 1890. Put simply, The Langham is the oldest five star hotel in London. That tells its own story. Inaugurated in 1865, the hotel quickly became a mecca for the movers and shakers of Victorian London. The Langham was also an innovative tour de force and was equipped with electricity as early as 1879. Today the hotel is the jewel in the crown of the six-property, four continent Langham Group.
How the Stage was Set HISTORY IN BRIEF 1865: The Langham opened as one of Europe’s very first grand hotels. 1991: Purchased by The Ladbroke Group four years earlier, The Langham reopened after a major refurbishment to once again accommodate a glittering guest list. HISTORY IN DETAIL 1863-65: The hotel was constructed at a cost of £300,000. It was then the largest and most modern hotel in the city, featuring a hundred water closets, thirty six bathrooms and the first hydraulic lifts in England. The opening ceremony was performed by the Prince of Wales. The hotel was seven stories high and included public spaces lavishly decorated with marble, silks, 15,000 yards of Persian tapestries and hand-printed wallpaper. Skilled Italian craftsmen had been brought to London to design and cast the plaster relief ceilings and lay the intricate mosaic flooring, decorated in white gold and scarlet. The builders claimed the Langham Hotel was the largest building in London . Edward Walford writing in 'Old and New London', later described the hotel as, "not a monster but a leviathan of its kind." Rising 156 feet, the hotel had ten floors in all, three underground including the cellars, and upwards of 600 rooms, if both the public and staff rooms were included in the count. Technically the building was a tour de force with its own steam pumped artesian well, hot and cold running water and WC's in the bedrooms, air conditioning, and the first hydraulically powered lifts in the world. After the original company was liquidated during an economic slump, new management acquired the hotel for little more than half what it had cost to build, and it soon became a commercial success. 1870: A former Union officer named James Sanderson was appointed general manager and the hotel developed an extensive American clientele, which included Mark Twain. It was also patronised by the likes of Napoleon III, Oscar Wilde, Antonín Dvo?ák, and Arturo Toscanini. 1879: "Tourist Agencies", noted Charles Dickens that year, "have of late years assumed a rather important place in the economy of London . The system was originally started by Messrs Thomas Cook and son." The Langham's Railway ticket and Shipping office was naturally one of the first in London to be manned by representatives of Messrs Thomas Cook and Son. 1879 was also the year when electric light was installed in the entrance and courtyard. 1887: During 'the season' claimed the Langham guide for 1887 "one thousand pounds of meat are cut up daily, while eight hundred pairs of boots are cleaned every morning by an army of forty shoeblacks". 1890s: The Langham installed a telephone and the number London 3571. Later an exchange with seven lines was installed and the number changed to Mayfair 5080. Eventually the fame of the hotel ensured that the Telephone Exchange for the whole district was named 'Langham' and the hotel given the number 20809 with twenty lines. 1919: The Langham was the scene of a party given to celebrate the first non stop light across the Atlantic by John Alcock and Athur Brown. 1929: The Langham was hard hit by the Great Depression and the owners attempted to sell the site to the BBC, but Broadcasting House was built on the other side of the road instead. 1939-45: During World War II the hotel was used in part by the Army and then damaged by bombs and forced to close. 1965: The BBC, which had used The Langham as ancillary accommodation since the end of World War II, purchased the building outright. The ballroom became the BBC record library and programs such as The Goon Show were recorded there. 1980: The BBC unsuccessfully applied for planning permission to demolish the building and replace it with an office development designed by Norman Foster. 1986: The building was sold to Ladbroke Group for £26 million. 1987: The Ladbroke Group purchased the non-US Hilton business. 1991: The Ladbroke Group reopened the hotel as the Langham Hilton after a £100 million refurbishment. It was once again the host of royalty, including HRH Diana, Prince of Wales, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and the Duchess of Kent. 1998-2000: New owners extended the hotel and carried out other refurbishments. 2007: The hotel is now part of Langham Hotels International (based in Hong Kong), and has become the flagship hotel of the group. The group also operates hotels under the Langham name in Auckland, Boston (formerly the Le Meridien), Hong Kong and Melbourne. It is a member of a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.

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The Langham has been a magnet for the rich and famous since Victorian times. Celebrity guests of the past include:
From the World of Politics Napoleon III Charles de Gaulle Wallis Simpson Haile Selassie HRH Charles, The Prince of Wales HRH Diana, The Princess of Wales HRH The Duke of Edinburgh HRH The Duchess of Kent From the World of Culture Oscar Wilde Antonín Dvo?ák Arturo Toscanini Noel Coward Ouida Mark Twain George Orwell From the World of Sport Sir Donald Bradman (cricket) From the World of Entertainment Rod Steiger Elton John David Hasselhoff Phil Collins Richard Gere

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Did you know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle set Sherlock Holmes stories such as A Scandal in Bohemia and The Sign of Four partly at the Langham? ------
Emperor Louis Napoleon III spent much of his last enforced exile from France at the Langham. ------ One of the hotel's most famous guests was the romantic novelist Maria Louisa Ramee (penname Ouida) At the age of 28 in 1867 she took rooms at the Langham and would visit the hotel for long periods up until 1887. Ouida lived an exotic life over the many years at the Langham receiving her visitors while lying in bed and writing manuscripts by the light of scores of candles. Under Two Flags, Idalia, Tricotrin and Puck all originated from the Langham. ------ In Victorian times, to stay at the Langham was a mark of having arrived in the social world. In the case of two turf swindlers, Carr and Benson, in the late 1800's, a witness for the defense claimed in court "I knew he was a perfect gentleman - why he had rooms at the Langham!" ------ The Langham welcomed Mrs. Wallis Simpson during her courtship to by the Duke of Windsor. Her visits to the Langham and the ensuing 'romance of the century' required the discretion only a hotel of maturity could call upon. After the abdication, London turned its attention to the forthcoming coronation of the Duke of Windsor's brother, Gerorge VI. The Langham planned an entire week of festivities and on the Eve of Coronation, 11 th of May 1937, a seven-course Gala Coronation dinner was priced "unusually steep" at 15 shillings.
411/26 Rooms
26 Suites
Air-conditioning Electronic key system In-room safe Private bar 24-hour room service Coffee and tea making facilities Direct dial telephone system Satellite TV Broadband internet connection Daily international newspaper Television and radio Fax in rooms, on request In-house pay movies Voicemail Working desks All suites feature a separate living area Pressing facilities

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The Infinity Suite is one of the finest two bedroom suites in London

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Palm Court (24 hrs food)

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Chukka Bar (Polo themed bar) ------ Tsars Bar (Russia themed) ------ Memories of the Empire ------ The King's Room ------ The Landau

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Artesian Bar

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This hotel is a showcase for Louis Roederer champagne. Cheers!

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Spa Lounge Area
Chuan Spa ------ Tennis in Regent's Park

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Entrance to the Langham Spa
The hotel boasts a grand ballroom and 11 other function rooms with a total capacity of 355 sqm/3,800 sq ft). Receptions here cater for up to 450 people.
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Our Select Member Hotel

Langham
Country: England
City: London
Opening date: 1865 (10.6.) -12.1940, reopened 4.3.1991

Note from the Host

General Manager Duncan Palmer (MD)
Hotel Manager: Tim Marsden

Coordinates

1C Portland Place Regent Street
W1B 1JA England, London

Tel: +44 20 76361000
Fax: +44 20 73232340 

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