When it comes to the hotel vs. apartment debate when traveling, I’m always torn. In Paris, for example, I think you should almost always rent an apartment, but I’ll get to that later this week. For our stay in London last week, we went with a hotel and I am so glad we did!
The Langham truly was my home away from home while I was in London. The doormen knew us by name, the hostess at breakfast knew our room number without having to ask, and each and every employee of the hotel was beyond friendly!
As soon as we got off our redeye flight last Saturday morning and made our way from London’s Heathrow Airport to our hotel, it was love at first sight. The Langham London is 150 years old and was actually Europe’s first “Grand Hotel.” While the exterior was regal and had lots of charm, the interior was so luxe and fabulous that you’d never know how old the property is!
Since we arrived so early (because of our redeye), we enjoyed breakfast at Roux at the Landau in our hotel while we waited for our room to become available. Thank goodness for early check-in! Our hotel package actually included breakfast each morning, which was fabulous. The pancakes were my favorite!
Leisurely reading the newspaper over coffee, orange juice, and toast with butter and jam is probably my favorite thing to do ever, and we got to do it every morning at the hotel!
I’m a sucker for a good bed. I mean, who isn’t? While I can suck it up and sleep on a couch if I have to, it’s really hard for me to get good sleep when I’m away from home. A hotel with a great bed is actually hard to come by, in my opinion. Even at a luxury hotel! However, I slept like a baby at the Langham… The pillows, duvet, and the mattress were definitely up to par! The bathtub definitely did not go un-noticed either… So dreamy! I can’t wait to one day have a huge tub in my home, just like my mom did when I was growing up. Must-have!
This seems kind of silly, but I jotted it down to make note of for when I would be writing this post. It was so convenient how the room had 2 USB plugs, a US power outlet, and a European outlet in addition to all of the UK plugs. We only had one Universal Power Adapter to share between the two of us and all 50 of our devices, so that was kind of a life-saver!
I could not stop fawning over the light pink decor at the Langham! These light pink, crocodile-embossed chairs? In love!
Oh, and the abundance of fresh flowers all over the hotel was absolutely fab, too!
The location on the Langham was awesome — Steps from all of the shopping on Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Bond Street. And really close to all of good eats in the Soho neighborhood! It felt very central for the activities we had planned all over the city.
And now for a long-winded story — My last night in London was one of those horrible, no-good, very-bad days. There were a few blips in the trip while we were in London, and with nothing on the agenda for our last evening, I decided I was going to try to squeeze in a workout. Before I left, Hallie had told me to check out Psycle in London if I had time for a workout, as it was basically a carbon copy of SoulCycle. On our first day out exploring, I realized that Psycle was directly across the street from our hotel. Meant to be! Naturally, I didn’t bother packing my workout clothes because I never end up working out every time I waste the space bringing them. But here I was, and I was going to try to workout on vacation. I went to the studio around 6:10pm and I was going to try to get on the waitlist for the last class of the day, the 7:30pm class. If they thought I had a good chance of getting in, I was going to wander down the street to pick up some cheap workout clothes for the class. I get to the studio and the 6:30 instructor was behind the front desk. We get to chatting — she’s American, has been in London for 7 years, and loves the same SoulCycle instructors that I love in NYC — what are the odds?! She convinces me to get on the waitlist for her class at 6:30. However, I don’t have time to run and get workout clothes down the street, so, much to my bank account’s dismay, I make the in-the-moment decision to splurge on all of the lululemon workout gear in the lobby. Tank top, sports bra, leggings, and socks. I buy my class and my water bottle, too. (This is shaping up to be a $275 workout for those of you keeping track at home.) The front desk staff tells me to wait in the lobby and to make sure they can see me for the waitlist. Done and done — I’m lurking about six feet from the counter to allow all of the other attendees to sign in. At 6:30, one of the front desk girls gives a final call for the 6:30 class. (For those of you SoulCycle riders, you know that they do the final call to sign-in, and then they do the waitlist and give away any unclaimed bikes.) Trying to not be a pushy American, I’m still patiently waiting but getting really nervous. At 6:33, I walk the 5 steps to the counter and ask her about the waitlist for the 6:30 class. At that point, they tell me that I have missed the class. WAIT, WHAT? What do you mean I’ve missed the class? I’ve been standing here the whole effing time making eye contact with you!! Everyone working the desk clearly knew what class I wanted to take and I had purchased all of the necessary sh*t to go along with it. Apparently her “final call” was suppose to be my cue to go? They all knew it was my first time, you think they would have said something about the way that their waitlist works, right? Wrong. They tell me I can get on the waitlist for the 7:00pm with a different instructor. I proceeded to go into a bathroom stall in the women’s locker room and have a not-so-mini meltdown. There were lots of tears in attendance at that pity party. Here I am, trying to alleviate some stress and I end up spending close to $300 for a 45 minute workout and a monster headache. I get myself together and take the 7:00pm class. It was just a disaster — I didn’t like the instructor, didn’t like the class, my bike was set up wrong. I wanted to walk out, but made myself finish the class. Once the class was over, I grabbed my stuff from the locker room and got the EFF out of there as fast as I could. While I can see how they try to mimic SoulCyle in every way, shape, and form, it was nothing like SoulCycle. I was crossing the street back to the hotel and ended up going through the spa entrance because it was closer than the main entrance to the hotel. Now in even more of a need for mental clarity, I asked the woman working the desk if they had any appointments for any services left that night and they unfortunately did not. “However, the sauna and steam room downstairs is open to hotel guests until 10pm!” OMG YASSSS. I spent the next hour sweating out all of the bad energy that day had to offer and it was absolutely amazing! Life-changing at the time, for sure. That moment was the cherry on top that made me so, so glad that we decided to stay in a hotel in London. The Langham was truly perfect and I will definitely be staying there again on my next trip to London!
Oh, and one more thing. As I was unpacking when I got back to NYC last night, I realized that I didn’t have my Joie leopard print sneakers. I was about to hop online and immediately buy another pair because they are my favorite (and they are currently on sale because they are from last year!), but I figured I should reach out to the Langham just to be safe. I realized that the last place I had them was at the spa after that awful Psycle experience and that I probably left them there because I wore a robe and slippers up to my room when I was done. I tried to call the Langham (after Googling and figuring out that you have to hold the zero to get the + to dial internationally on iPhones), but apparently I don’t have the ability to make international calls with my phone plan. WTF, AT&T. Anyway, I emailed the generic email address on the Langham London website. Sure enough, the Langham emailed me back within two hours and told me that they had them and would ship them to me free of charge. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Their customer service is unbeatable, honestly!
Full Disclosure: Our hotel stay was not sponsored, but The Langham London did offer us a media rate (a discounted nightly rate for our room) during our stay.
PS: There’s so much more travel content to come from London and Paris!! I think I’m actually going to be posting twice per day this week in order to fit it all in! I’ll be posting at 7am EST and 1pm EST.. so be sure to check for the double posts. 🙂