Like many of you, I’ve been dreaming of travel. Before COVID, life was so busy that I planned the occasional trip but didn’t read many travel blogs. But nowadays, it’s been so nice to read travel blogs and even lifestyle blogs based in other countries. Maybe it’s difficult to imagine when we’ll get to travel to our favourite international destinations again, but in the meantime, our imaginations can still run wild.
In the middle of my travel blog reading, I saw an announcement for The Langham’s new A Glimpse of London staycation package (from $1,148/night) and jumped on it. There have been quite a few Instagram-worthy staycation packages over the past year where a hotel will fill your room with things like balloons and flowers for anniversaries, girls’ nights and so on. Those haven’t tempted me, but the chance to play pretend and “travel” to London? I was definitely up for a little whimsy!
Before we kick off the review, why London? While The Langham is a Hong Kong company, the history of The Langham in London dates back to 1865. Apparently it was then one of the largest buildings in London when it opened, and today it remains a hotspot for travellers. So the hotel knows London (guests, demands, atmosphere) well.
We’re blessed to live in a city with many great hotels. I’ve been able to try a few staycation packages ranging from $1–4K/night, and I think there are excellent ones to be had at all price ranges. Given the overall quality of this staycation package, I think the price of $1,148 for a one-night stay in a Deluxe Room, which includes breakfast for two and a 30-minute self-service photo session in the British-themed rooms, is a crazy-good deal.
The check-in process
Seriously, how cute is this check-in desk? Upon arriving at the main check-in desk, I was escorted to the London check-in desk, where they gave me my boarding pass (as well as the items I actually needed such as keys for my room and the themed rooms). For those craving a trip, it was so fun and satisfying to go through this process again.
In 2014, The Langham, Hong Kong completed a US$30 million renovation programme and upgraded a number of areas including many of the rooms. This included the Deluxe Room in which we stayed. It was stylish and very comfortable, luxe in all the right ways and had a very cute faux fireplace. I slept like a baby, journalled on the chaise longue with the sun streaming through the windows and took multiple baths. My only complaints were the pillow menu (the Langham Rose aromatherapy option I ordered didn’t smell like anything at all) and the lack of movies on demand (this has been the case for quite a few hotels lately – maybe people don’t order movies at hotels anymore?).
The themed rooms
Two hotel rooms have been transformed into photo-taking “escape” rooms where you can pretend you’re gallery hopping, standing beside a British phone booth, reading on a park bench and more. Guests get 30-minute sessions (and the rooms are cleaned between guests’ sessions), which I think is plenty of time; I didn’t spend more than 10 minutes in them. The layout makes it easy to snap good photos, but allow your imagination to run wild! Let these photos be a small taster of the spots available for snapping (there are quite a few others).
This staycation package comes with access to the breakfast buffet for two at The Food Gallery on the main floor. It’s not super extensive, but it’s impressive enough, with all the standard must-haves: good coffee, live egg, pancake and noodle stations, fresh juices, a large pastry section and more.
For those who want to eat all their meals at The Langham, you can add on an $800 dining credit for essentially $500 (the room rate becomes $1,648 instead of $1,148).
Adding on afternoon tea and British classics like fish and chips or shepherd’s pie definitely adds to the escapist feel. During my stay, I tried the Club Lounge version of afternoon tea (go for the Palm Court version if you want to splurge). Excellent scones!
I also had a very decadent in-room dining experience. For three weeks in January, I was avoiding meat and Netflix. So enjoying foie gras with figs ($248), fish and chips ($228) and mini apple pie ($88) while watching a comedy on my iPad was a treat.
The food was all decent, with the prices slightly inflated, as would be expected from in-room dining. But I must call out The Langham’s pastry team. Oh my goodness – I had some of the most wonderful sweet bites ever during my stay. The highlight was my basket of Earl Grey mousse cakes. Never before have I had such light, airy and sumptuous bites. I’m not really a sweets person, but I ate two in succession. The scones for afternoon tea, as mentioned above, were excellent – firm yet tender and chewy. The apple-pie crust was perfectly crisp and crunchy. And the breakfast pastries, while sadly not warm, were also great. Hopefully I’ll be back before too long and indulge in the full afternoon tea set at Palm Court.
The other stuff
The service was warm and attentive all round.
The Langham has been offering fun and whimsical staycation deals all year long. If this one excites you, make a booking before 31 March 2021!
This write-up is based on a complimentary media staycation provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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