Hotel review: The Langham Chicago (USA)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review.

Today: Review of The Langham, urban sophistication in Chicago (USA).

Embodying the timeless qualities that define the Langham legacy since 1865 – heritage, history and legendary hospitality – The Langham Chicago gracefully blends urban sophistication with refined luxury. Since its grand opening in September 2013, The Langham Chicago has quickly become one of the top hotels in Chicago. In addition, it is my absolute favorite Chicago hotel, and I recommend this hotel over the Four Seasons, Peninsula, Trump or Ritz Carlton hotel.

In this review (more info below my Youtube clip & the slideshow):

  • Pros & things I like
  • Cons & things to know
  • My verdict
  • Tips for future guests & save money
  • Best time to visit
  • How to get there

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • The hotel is conveniently located in downtown Chicago, along the river, just minutes away from the boutique-lined boulevards of Chicago’s retail hub and within walking distance to many of the city’s premier tourist sites.
  • While most visitors will not be impressed by the hotel’s exterior, it is worth mentioning that the hotel occupies the lower 12 floors  in a 20th century modernist architectural treasure, being Mies van der Rohe’s last building (the 52-story landmark IBM building).
  • The hotel has a welcome lobby on the ground floor from where elevators take guests to the gorgeously designed main lobby and check-in area on the second floor.
  • The hotel features 316 luxurious and beautifully decorated guest rooms and suites ranging from the 516 sq ft Grand Room to the sprawling Infinity and Regent Suites each spanning 2,700 sq ft. The well-lit, spotlessly clean and spacious rooms and amenities are 5-star (and some of the most beautiful hotel rooms we have ever stayed in within a USA city). All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows. Beds are very comfy, with plenty of pillow options to choose from. Bathrooms are equally impressive; the shower and tub share the same space with a privacy glass you can turn on and off between the bathroom and bedroom.
  • Turn-down service is offered every evening, with complimentary bottles of water.
  • The hotel offers free, high-speed, wireless Internet in the rooms and it does not slow down at peak times.
  • When you step into the main lobby, you are greeted by The Langham hotel group’s ginger signature scent, a refreshing, serene and subtle essence of ginger flower. The delicate aroma, which is dispersed through the air-conditioning systems, is a very nice and unique touch, and it immediately reminded me of my previous stays at other Langham hotels (such as the Langham London and the Langham New York).
  • The restaurant Travelle, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, has good food and an excellent staff.
  • The service is exceptionally professional. Staff members – from receptionists to concierge, spa attendants and even the housekeepers – will make you feel honored and treasured, and all keep the perfect balance between friendliness and professionalism. It is evident that the hotel is managed very well and that Asian service standards have been implemented at the property.
  • The Chuan spa and wellness facilities are amazing with beautiful, relaxing rooms and gorgeous amenities, accompanied by friendly, professional, skilled technicians taking amazing care of your every whim. After a day of business meetings or sightseeing, you can relax and unwind within a calm oasis. The 67 ft swimming pool is a serene sanctuary of glistening calm, while the state-of-the-art fitness studio and adjoining group class studio allow guests to maintain their fitness regime.
  • It’s a new hotel (opened in 2013) so the decor as well as the fixtures and fittings in the hotel are all shiny and new.
  • The hotel is managed by the Hong Kong based Langham hotel group. While the Langham name is not well-known to Westerners, it is a well-established Asia-Pacific luxury hotel brand with global expansions that now spans 4 continents. I have also reviewed the superb Langham properties in London and New York.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

The hotel is truly perfect and ultra-luxurious, and I totally love it. Nevertheless, I hereby share with you one minor issue that I encountered during our stay and some things that you need to beware of:

  • Upon arrival, the bell staff unloaded my luggage from the cab but then kind of left me. I would have expected an offer to help me with the luggage up to the 2nd floor reception or directly up to our room, as is the case with most ultra-luxury hotels. Unfortunately, the hotel was extremely busy when I arrived, so that may explain this lack in service.
  • The hotel lacks an outdoor space, something which can be found at most of its high-end competitors in the Windy City (e.g. Four Seasons, Trump). Nevertheless, the hotel is located along the Chicago River, so it is just a short stroll to some nice public terraces where you can relax if you are in need of fresh air.
  • Most guest rooms do not have a river view.
  • You may hear some street noise (although not troublesome), especially in the rooms located on the lower floors. 

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 9/10
  • Design: 9/10
  • Rooms: 9/10
  • Food: 8/10
  • Service: 10/10
  • Overall experience: exceptional: 9/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS
  • Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like The Langham Chicago (and receive many free perks).
  • Save money: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $1000 USD hotel credit).
  • Request a room on a higher floor to avoid street noise.
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best times to visit Chicago are April through May or September through October, when the temperatures are warm and hotel rates are reasonable. You’ll also find a lot of festivals taking place in spring and fall. Summer marks Chicago’s peak tourist season, with travelers from around the country hoping to take advantage of the warm weather. If you’re planning to visit the Windy City between June and August, prepare yourself for denser crowds and higher prices on accommodations. Winter is a different story altogether: Chicago experiences bitter temperatures between November and March, but if you can hack it, hotel and airfare deals are easy to find.


HOW TO GET THERE

The Langham Chicago is located a 30 minute drive from O’Hare International Airport and 30 minutes from Midway International Airport. Both airports are served by many national and international airlines (click here for a direct link to the airline websites).


HOTEL MAIN ENTRANCE
HOTEL MAIN ENTRANCE
HOTEL EXTERIOR
HOTEL EXTERIOR
GROUND FLOOR LOBBY
GROUND FLOOR LOBBY
GROUND FLOOR LOBBY
GROUND FLOOR LOBBY
GROUND FLOOR LOBBY
GROUND FLOOR LOBBY
MAIN LOBBY & CHECK-IN AREA
MAIN LOBBY & CHECK-IN AREA
MAIN LOBBY & CHECK-IN AREA
MAIN LOBBY & CHECK-IN AREA
MAIN LOBBY & CHECK-IN AREA
MAIN LOBBY & CHECK-IN AREA
MAIN LOBBY & CHECK-IN AREA
MAIN LOBBY & CHECK-IN AREA
HOTEL CORRIDOR
HOTEL CORRIDOR
BEDROOM ENTRANCE
BEDROOM ENTRANCE
BEDROOM - DRESSING
BEDROOM – DRESSING
BEDROOM
BEDROOM
BEDROOM
BEDROOM
BEDROOM
BEDROOM
BATHROOM WITH PRIVACY SCREEN
BATHROOM WITH PRIVACY SCREEN
BATHROOM
BATHROOM
SWIMMING POOL & HOT TUB
SWIMMING POOL & HOT TUB
SWIMMING POOL
SWIMMING POOL
SWIMMING POOL
SWIMMING POOL
GYM
GYM
TRAVELLE RESTAURANT
TRAVELLE RESTAURANT
TRAVELLE RESTAURANT
TRAVELLE RESTAURANT
TRAVELLE RESTAURANT - STARTER
TRAVELLE RESTAURANT – STARTER
TRAVELLE RESTAURANT - ENTREE
TRAVELLE RESTAURANT – ENTREE

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