91106 Travel Guide
On a visit to the Langham Pasadena a few months ago, one of the better perks of our guest room was the Chuan Spa toiletries found in the bathroom. Now, guests at the Langham can spend a whole day inside the hotel's new, real-life Chuan Spa.
Chuan Spa, the Langham brand's signature spa experience, creates its offerings using Traditional Chinese Medicine which balances the five Wu Xing elements--fire, water, earth, metal and wood. Such treatments include the Chuan Balancing massage and the Chuan Harmony massage, both of which incorporate acupressure, and the Chuan Stone Therapy, which aims to balance your yin and yang through both hot and cold stones. Regular massages start at $160 for an hour, while the special Chuan massages start at $205 for an hour.
But this being Los Angeles, many folks care not just about their bodies, but probably more of them care about their faces. (Hand raised here.) Which is why this Chuan Spa has cutting-edge skin care technology like HydraFacial MD® and Mistral LHE, essentially a laser machine that provides an advanced combo of light and heat. It works as an anti-aging therapy but also works to clear acne and remove hair.
Other facial treatments include specially designed ones by Kerstin Florian and PRIORI (Caviar Facial anyone?) In short, in the spa brochure, there's one page for massages and three pages for facials.
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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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.
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]
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.
It's not quite clear how to take Michelle Higgins' recent New York Times review of the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena. Though she does make one point clear, the Ritz is actively making attempts to keep up with the hip boutique hotel scene. Along with its classy rep and digs, this Ritz locale which dates back to 1907 has added little trendy updates but still falls short in places, namely: service.
An internet station in the business center will soon come with a charge since it's been poorly manned and thus caused some serious lines. And that's just the beginning of the service problems during Higgins' short stay.
When we got the munchies around midnight, however, our chicken quesadilla never arrived. When we called room service, about 45 minutes later, to check on it, an employee apologized and said they had sent it to the wrong room. By that time we were too tired to eat and so declined the offer of a new order.
Yet Higgins' finishes her review by stating that "the high-quality Ritz service is still largely intact." The question is then, where? There certainly aren't any examples of this tip-top service in the review.
For a room starting at $399 and a name like Ritz, we'd expect more in the service department. Let's hope they don't think this is the new cool boutique attitude they're looking to adopt along with their more modern style.
We never would have thought that Hallmark Channel, the creator of all things warm and fuzzy and starring Kellie Martin, would be responsible for breathing new life into Penguin Gate.
The first Penguin Gate happened back in 2005 when P.Diddy and the folks at Hotel Victor in South Beach decided having a couple of scared-looking penguins stand in the middle of a hotel party would be cool, much to the dismay of PETA.
This time, Hallmark Channel brought some penguins from either Sea World or the San Diego Zoo to hang around their pool party at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, as part of the Television Critics Association Press Tour.
A TV critic for the SF Chronicle had this to say about the penguins:
What I did find out was that THE PENGUINS HAD A ROOM ACROSS THE HALL FROM ME. Damn dirty penguins. I knew it...They were the stars of the party. They came down a blue carpet. Yes, they really did. I was late, so I don't know if Morgan Freeman actually introduced them as planned.
Later I met the penguins. There were only two of them. They were cute, and small - surprisingly small, as if you could club the life out of them with a Wiffle bat. Not that I would even think of such a thing, but they were definitely small. Like actors. They certainly looked bigger up on the screen when I slept through "March of the Penguins." But my point is this - I tracked them down and I asked the keeper a question: "Did these penguins have a room at the hotel?" She looked stunned. "Uh, yes." I stared back. "What number?" She looked blank. "First floor, 100s maybe?" I asked. Then she lit up. "Yes, room 110." Ha! J'accuse!
We knew Ritz Carlton had a pet-friendly policy but apparently this now includes penguins. Putting penguins up at the Ritz might cause PETA to look the other way on this one but the only thing the Hallmark Channel forgot was to pay Tara Reid a couple grand to show up and throw up.