Pasadena Travel Guide
Over on Jaunted, you can get our inside looks at some of the world’s best airline lounges, so we thought we’d do something similar here and start talking about some of the hotel lounges we’ve frequented for our series on Hotel Club Lounges. Today, we're having a look inside the Club Lounge at The Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Calif.
The Langham Pasadena, a grand hotel with an old world luxury style (personally, one of our favorite kinds of hotels), features quite a bit of modern creature comforts in the guest rooms--from plush bedding to flat-screen TVs, Chuan Spa toiletries, 24-hour room service, comfortable work spaces and best of all, free WiFi. Which is why booking a club room at an extra $150 or so a night isn't exactly a necessity. But it doesn't disappoint either.
Located on the 8th floor, the club is open from 6:30am to 9pm during the week and until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. There are five different food and beverage services throughout the day from continental breakfast to light snack to "cordials" in the evening.
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You have to feel good for Herbert, who, after failing to find the love of her life as a participant on the 15th season of "The Bachelor", was able to narrow down a large field of men to one in the 7th season of "The Bachelorette". Television host Chris Harrison officiated the recent ceremony in front of a congregation of family and friends, but mostly video cameras and former participants of the show.
From Wetpaint Entertainment:
“Their proposal was one of the most tender and romantic in television history, so it’s only fitting that the Dec. 1 nuptials of Bachelorette Season 7 stars Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena was equally personal, intimate and, above all, filled with love.”
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The brand Quality Inn doesn't conjure up much excitement when talking design and style, but that might begin to change. The brand doesn't require corporate-wide duplication of a mundane design footprint, and according to our source,"Some flexibility for the owner-franchisee to select décor is allowed." So we were thrilled to find a Quality Inn owner in Pasadena, California who hired season five HGTV Design Star, Julie Khuu to re-imagine their hotel.
Using vibrant colors and strong pattern-on-pattern play, in some ways this mid-scale category accommodation now looks like a luxury hotel that should command more than its average $84 a night rate (which includes breakfast). But there's one little problem:
The design didn't carry all the way to the bedrooms. So, what did Khuu do?
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Now that Top Chef champ Michael Voltaggio has left and the renovations are done, the Langham Huntington, Pasadena will reopen the Dining Room October 22, rechristened as The Royce.
But the restaurant's name isn't the only change diners will see. David Féau, who was executive chef of L.A.'s Cafe Pinot, will be manning the stoves here. And while Féau isn't a tatted-up reality TV star, he does have the cooking cred: He trained under noted chef Guy Savoy and was executive chef of Le Miravile, a Michelin Star-rated restaurant in Paris.
When it comes to game-day food rituals, baseball fans chow down on hot dogs and football fanatics choose brats. But The Bar at the Langham Huntington, Pasadena offers soccer fans some more upscale eats in honor of the World Cup.
To celebrate the games, The Bar created a new menu of innovative street food from chef Erik Schuster that draws inspiration from the various World Cup countries. So you can belly up to the bar to watch the soccer matches and get team-themed grub. Score.
Attention Hotel Chefs: there is a new distinguished food award going around that you must take notice of.
Comedian Aziz Ansari and his prestigious Food Club have awarded its second plaque of 2010 to Michael Voltaggio, the Top Chef finalist, for his "remarkable meal" at The Dining Room at the Langham Pasadena. A bit more on the Food Club:
Food Club is one of the most prestigious and respected dining associations in the world. Founded in late 2009 by Captains Aziz Ansari, Eric Wareheim, and Jason Woliner, the club has dined at some of the finest establishments in Los Angeles and the world and presented their esteemed Food Club plaques to several world class chefs, most recently Chef David Myers of Sona.
When we wrote about The Dining Room restaurant at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena in September, we thought because Top Chef contestant Michael Voltaggio had been announced as the chef de cuisine that there was no way he could be the winner of the cooking competition, since most winners take the prize money to open a restaurant themselves.
Well, we're eating our words right now for breakfast. With some tabasco sauce and tempura hash browns. But we then wondered, how much longer will he be at the hotel?
A rep for the Langham told us that Chef Voltaggio is still going to be cooking at the hotel Tuesday-Saturday nights. There are no further changes expected at The Dining Room until sometime in the second quarter of the year when they begin a renovation.
But for now, Voltaggio is all yours and word is he changes the menu daily. Room rates at the Langham for tomorrow night, when Voltaggio will be cooking, start at $229 for a deluxe king room stay.
We love the newest season of Top Chef for many reasons but namely because it takes place in Vegas and our baby sibling, VegasChatter gets tickled to see Vegas restaurants and chefs featured each week.
But we also love it because several of the chefs are working at hotel restaurants including one talented punk rocker chef, Michael Voltaggio, who is now the chef de cuisine at Dining Room at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Calif. He's also one of the fiercely competitive brothers on the show. Did you see the daggers he gave his older bro after Bryan won the last challenge? Oooweee.
From the hotel's website:
Chef de Cuisine Michael Voltaggio’s celebrated style is described as new American cuisine using classic discipline and modern trends, and he delights in utilizing the bounty of seasonal produce that California offers while showcasing the best quality ingredients from around the globe.
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College football season is in full force already, and any legit NCAA Division I sports fan (or alumnus of either institution) will be pumped for the December 6th crosstown showdown between USC and UCLA.
Even if you're not a big football person, the week leading up to the game is going to be insane for partying (what? We like beer, whatchya gonna do about it?), so hitting up the LA area for a full weekend will likely prove to be a kickass time, providing you don't provoke any bar fights with rival fans.
Hotels.com's Interests Page pointed us to a killer hotel deal at the Sheraton Pasadena. Located super close to the Rose Bowl, the hotel is offering up rooms at $129 per night for December 5th and 6th so you can go cheer on your Bruins or Trojans at the big game.
And you'll have money left over to buy beer. Or to buy some crap to throw into the rival marching band's tubas. Whatever you want, really.
In the new year, the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa will get a new name and new owners. Starting January 8th, the hotel will be referred to as the Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa.
The Pasadena hotel will become part of Langham Hotels International, a luxury hotel group owned by Hong Kong-based Great Eagle Holdings, a Ritz-Carlton spokesman said today.
Staff members of the 392-room hotel were meeting today to discuss the transition, which is expected to have minimal immediate effect on guests, said Vivian Deuschl, vice president of public relations for Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.
Indeed Langham Hotels, while a smaller chain (only 8 properties), has a few luxury properties under its belt, namely the Hong Kong hotel with its sushi turndown.
This hotel used to be owned by the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Assn. but when staffers complained of working them too hard, we guess they dumped the property. Let's hope Langham treats the staffers with more respect.
· Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel to get new name [LA Times]
· Ritz-Carlton Pasadena Accused of Working Staffers Too Hard [HotelChatter]
The Ritz-Carlton Huntington in Pasadena, Calif. is the subject of a lawsuit today after two employees accused the hotel of forcing them to work through their breaks and stiffing them of overtime pay.
"They treat us like slaves," said housekeeper Elvia Alonso, 44, who has worked at the hotel for six years and is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. "They say, 'If you don't like it, you go home.'"
What's also interesting is that the hotel is owned by the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Assn., (LACERA) which manages the $38-billion pension fund of retired police officers, firefighters and other county workers who of course, are union members themselves. This makes for a sticky situation. Even more so when LACERA is looking to sell the place with a gain of more than a $100 million.
A list of some of the alleged bad treatment of staffers:
· A housekeeper repeatedly asked management to fix the broken wheels on her cart but they refused. The cart later toppled on the housekeeper, causing injury to her shoulder which later required surgery.
· The same housekeeper was denied a job in the call center because of her Spanish accent.
· Cooks said managers made derogatory comments about their ethnic backgrounds.
· Workers throughout the hotel were not allowed to take breaks.
A spokesperson for the hotel would not comment on the lawsuit but said they "all of these things seriously."
Listen up Brides-to-Be and Invited Guests: Throughout the summer, we will be featuring all types of hotel wedding stories from packages to honeymoon suites to hotel wedding heaven and hell.
Whether you are getting married, planning your wedding, or just taking advantage of someone's open bar reception, we want to hear your hotel wedding tips/stories/frustrations. Send your hotel wedding stories and questions here.
Caveat nuptialists! Dispatches from the wedding-industrial complex confirm that finding the right wedding planner involves serious vetting and careful consideration. An article in yesterday's Sunday Styles section of The New York Times recounts several very close calls wedding-planning couples had with consultants and hotels.