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Almost two years after Sydney's iconic Observatory Hotel changed owners to become The Langham Sydney, the property will close its door to undergo a massive renovation to make the space a lot more, well, Langham.
The first day of renovations is scheduled for July 24. Over the next four months, all 96 guest rooms, the lobby, dining areas and the residential-style ballroom will see a bit more than a few new coats of paint. Spending around $30 million AUD, the hotel will install a new design element, to bring it more in-line with their other properties around the globe.
Each of the rooms will trade their stuffy, dated interior for a more modern, white-washed decor with herringbone hardwood-floors, modern furnishings and gold and teal accents marrying high-end luxe with colonial charm. Being one of the only hotels in Sydney to offer balconies in each room, guests will be able to enjoy the near perfect Sydney weather from the comfort of their own room.
This summer, the hotel's fine-dining establishment, Travelle, will spin-off an outdoor restaurant on the banks of the Chicago River. Elle on the River will claim the open spot from the hotel to the river between State and Wabash and should be the hot-spot for visitors and locals alike all season. Tim Graham, the chef inside, will oversee the menu outside, filling it with Mediterranean-style tacos and refreshing punches for those lingering long lunches. Some dishes to choose from include tacos filled with chickpea to mahi mahi and chicken to braised pork shoulder
And if the temps aren't hot enough, chef has prepared some house-made hot sauces to kick up the spice. An apropos "rookie" sauce is perfect for beginners, where the "blazing" is for the more seasoned.
The announcement was made yesterday that The Langham, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai will open on the crescent of Palm Jumeirah with 323 rooms, all with outdoor terraces and sea-front views. Fifty-three of the rooms, designed by Aedas Limited, will be either one or two-bedroom suites and 22 of those will have their own plunge pools. #todiefor
The restaurants, most of them al fresco, will range from Japanese to Arabic and Italian fusion while the Palm Court lounge will be modeled after the original at The Langham Hotel in London (remember, this was the first hotel lounge to serve traditional afternoon tea in 1865.) The hotel will also feature a Langham Club Lounge with complimentary food and beverage throughout the day, along with a dedicated concierge service. To peep on the Langham Club experience, read our story HERE.
There will even be a separate Travellers Lounge where guests can hang out before their room is ready or after check-out but before their flight. Aside from a library, entertainment options and light dining, this lounge will have showers and change rooms.
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.
We caught up with Alex Kratena, the award-winning bartender at the Artesian bar at The Langham London earlier this week on a visit to the Langham Pasadena where he unveiled some of the specialty cocktails drinks he's created for Langham's U.S. hotels.
But Kratena also showed off another one of his best drinks, The Langham Martini (£16.50), a gin martini made with Tanqueray No. TEN, vermouth and bitters and served in a custom-made, detachable silver vessel, that lets you sip the martini at the perfect, cold, temperature until the last drop. The olives, macerated with Tanqueray No. TEN botanicals are served on the side. Even if you don't like gin, you will like this drink. You will also probably never want anyone other than Kratena to make you a gin martini again.
(Cool fact: Some call the drink The James Bond Martini because you can drink the martini with one hand and whack somebody on the head with the heavy stem in your other hand.)
On a busy night, Kratena and his team can make over 500 cocktails. So we couldn't wait for him to spill his Confessions of a Hotel Bartender including his answer to the all-important question--how do you cure a hangover?
Hotel Cocktails / Langham Hotels / Alex Kratena / Hotel News / Hotel Bartenders / Hotel Drinks / → All Tags
Meet Alex Kratena, the award-winning bartender at the Artesian bar at The Langham London. Some of his accolades include winner of “The World’s Best Cocktail Menu” at Tales of the Cocktail (2011), and “International Bartender of the Year” (2012). Artesian, under Kratena's helm has also won "Best European Bar” at the Cocktails & Spirits Awards in Paris, and has been deemed “The World’s Best Bar" by Drinks International Magazine.
Kratena is also the bartender who made us a gin martini that we actually enjoyed enough to finish to the last drop. No small feat there.
We caught up with Kratena at the Langham Pasadena where he unveiled his latest concoction, The Social Club, a limited edition drink, inspired by the hotel and made with vodka, lilt, vetiver, citrus and rose water, a nod to the city's famous Rose Parade.
It's an absolutely refreshing drink, perfect for a hot day in Pasadena. We were a little skeptical of the rose water (which we've only ever used on our skin) but it's not overpowering at all. It's quite perfect, actually. The chocolate lips on the stem were an added treat too.
Hotel Spas / Chicago Hotels / Hotel Services / Langham Hotels / Four Seasons Hotels / DoubleTree Hotels / → All Tags
At this point, Chicagoans are so over winter (and we still have 40 days to go.) Local spas are rising to the occasion with new treatments that do more than just pamper. If you're not down for swimming laps, check out these three services that combine plush bathrobes and tranquil settings with serums, gels, and rituals meant to clear bad energy. Let the healing begin.
CHUAN SPA AT LANGHAM CHICAGO can give you a fresh start to the year, if you have three hours—and $525—to spare. Available through February 28, The Chinese New Year Rejuvenation Package includes a bamboo-and-seasame body buff, a ginger-wasabi detox body wrap, and a massage that incorporates an orchid-and-pearl cream. Afterwards, try fresh fruits pair fresh fruits paried with soothing teas during the Chuan Signature Elemental Tea Service. Guests leave with a personalized Chinese New Year Fortune.
Thanksgiving Hotels / Hotel for the Holidays 2013 / Langham Hotels / Waldorf-Astoria Hotels / Kempinski Hotels / → All Tags
It’s that time of year when family and friends gather together to gobble down a turkey dinner, yet there you are—far away from the happy gathering. But if you find yourself in Hong Kong, London or Rome these hotels will help make you forget that you’re abroad with their traditional Thanksgiving dinners, minus Aunt Minnie of course.
The Langham Hong Kong’s Main St. Deli has a traditional Thanksgiving menu with all the trimmings. For HK$318 ($41) per person, the three-course Thanksgiving menu features comfort food that is sure to fill your tummy with yummy goodness including Maine crab cakes; butternut squash bisque; roasted US Tom turkey with apple, sage and cornbread stuffing; sautéed brussel sprouts; buttered baby carrots; honeyed sweet potatoes; whipped potatoes; pan gravy and cranberry sauce. And that’s not all, folks. Completing the meal is a choice of pumpkin cheesecake or maple glazed pecan pie with cinnamon ice cream.
With the Linger Longer For Less offer, rates start at HK$2,210 ($285).
More gobbledy-goodness after the jump!
Fashion Week may be over but that's no excuse for letting your style slip -- especially if you're going to be staying in the swanky, recently re-branded Langham Place Fifth Avenue and hanging out in the gorgeous Ai Fiori restaurant.
For gentlemen, and other suit-wearing, guests of the luxe hotel, a contemporary British designer is going to be on hand for a few days this week and whipping up some fancy threads.
Bespoke Savile Row tailors, Richard James are setting up a short-term residency at the hotel (from October 7 - 11) to offer guests custom shirt and suit appointments in the hotel's Residence Suites. Bespoke manager Steve Powell and one of the company's head cutters will be present to undertake fittings and consultations and advise on bespoke and made-to-measure tailorings.
There's no doubt that Chicago has become quite the hotbed for new hotel action in the past few years. From trendy boutique hotels with a definite artsy edge to names that are synonymous with luxury. Fortunately, we got to lay our very own eyes on a new property that fits into the latter category; the Langham Chicago.
Langham opened in July in a 'soft opening' that elicited lots of "oohs" and "ahhs", including our own when we got a glimpse of what's inside the former IBM building along the Chicago River. To the untrained eye, many people wouldn't take note of the building itself, but design junkies will know the building to be the last of famed architect, Mies van der Rohe. It should also be known that the inside pays as much homage to the designer and his building and we couldn't be more wowed.
Full of little details from hanging Czech glass globes in the lobby, designed by London-based Richmond Group, hand-picked art pieces and the subtle tech-y nod to the building's former glory in Travelle, the upscale restaurant on the lobby level; it would be hard to check-in to this hotel and be underwhelmed. Each of the 316 rooms are so well thought out featuring high-end furniture, plush fabrics and sleek marble, in even the basic of rooms.
Celebrity Scoop / Justin Bieber / Langham Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Room Service / Hotel News / → All Tags
Justin Bieber has been acting like a fool lately--walking around with no shirt on, spitting from balconies, peeing in buckets, dissing Bill Clinton, wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and trying to get into nightclubs, even though he's only 19. We've also been annoyed that he's staying at all the primo hotels on his world tour from Le Meurice in Paris to the Langham in London and to the Peninsula in Chicago.
But yesterday he redeemed himself somewhat. The pop star had checked into the new Langham Place Hotel on Fifth Avenue (formerly the Setai) earlier this week and as usual, hoards of screaming girls immediately camped outside the hotel trying to get a glimpse of the Biebs. So Biebs had some pizzas sent down from the hotel's Measure restaurant to the girls. A hotel source tells us the pizza is what Bieber has been ordering every night and he thought his fans would like it too. So if you were lucky enough to get a piece of pizza, you were basically eating Justin Bieber. OMG. OMG. OMG. (Not)
And if Twitter is to be believed, Bieber not only spent $2,000 on 80 pizzas for his fans but also gave him the WIFi password to the hotel's free WiFi network!
Justin used $2000 on 80 pizzas and gave his wifi password to fans outside his hotel. dont tell me he doesn't care. #mtvhottest Justin Bieber— иσтнιиg ℓιкє υѕ ∞ (@bieberscolour) August 2, 2013
We've been chronicling the story of The Langham Chicago since it was first announced in early 2011. But now that the big opening day is just a little over two weeks away, we thought it best to chat up general manager Bob Schofield about The Best Room to Book.
Fortunately, all 316 rooms at the Langham are good rooms to book. That's because the hotel's Grand rooms start at 516-sq.ft. and feature king or double beds, 55-inch flat-screen TVs (the largest in the city, Schofield said), master lighting controls, both a shower and a tub and a "reveal wall", a glass partition that separates the bathroom from the bedroom but goes opaque at the touch of a button. The rooms also include complimentary amenities such as internet, Nespresso machines, and free overnight pressing for up to three clothing items.
Still, Schofield told us best rooms to book are the Langham Grand River View Rooms, specifically the ones that end in 02 (502, 602, etc.) As you can guess, these rooms have views of the Chicago River but also the lake as well, thanks to their position in the southwest corner of the hotel.