Sleeping Around NYC: The Langham, New York
By Shari Hartford
I have lived in New York City my entire adult life. In fact, I was born in the city. And, I expect, I will be carried horizontally out of the city at some point many years from now. I remember the Deuce when it wasn’t a television series, the automat, the brown bread and cream cheese sandwiches at Chock Full of Nuts and, pertinent here, when hotels were either for those special few or SROs for the downtrodden. Okay, there were a few mainstream chain contenders but nowadays you would be hard pressed to walk down most any street and not encounter some hotel or another.
It was my extreme good fortune to encounter The Langham. Located on Fifth Avenue, a stone’s throw from the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Madison Square Garden and other tourist and business destinations, The Langham is all about serenity, class and service. Approach the front entrance and at least two smartly dressed employees will greet you and escort you through the elegant white lobby to the reception desk. A little chilly? There’s a table with complementary hot chocolate, marshmallows and hot cider to warm you right up. After I checked in for my night-in-paradise, I was whisked away to 1602 – a deluxe room at The Langham, but the size of a junior suite at just about any other hotel. In fact, all accommodations at The Langham are far bigger than other comparable hotels. The high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows (they open!), generous closet and storage spaces and enormous bathrooms (much more about that later) add to the spacious feel.
In addition to a fully equipped fitness center, the hotel boasts a luxurious spa called Chuan Body + Soul. The spa’s tranquility and therapies inspired by traditional Chinese medicine make it a go-to stop to calm your inner self.
The hotel’s restaurant, Al Fiori, is a sophisticated dining room featuring Italian and French options. The windows look out onto the New York City streets and the Al Fiori Bar offers small bites, weekend brunch and innovative cocktails. Since I was happily settled in, I opted for selections from the private dining menu – in other words, room service. In addition to yummy standards, there were several Asian-influenced options on the menu that I found appealing. My starter of cauliflower tempura was culinary heaven; not greasy, not heavy, just right. Next I had the lo mein, with plenty of Chinese vegetables and my choice of grilled shrimp. This was not your neighborhood Chinese restaurant fare.
Now that I was sated and comfy I retreated to the larger-than-most-apartments bathroom for a soak in the deepest bathtub I’ve ever seen. The marble bathroom has a double sink, vanity stool, stall shower and, once again, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Fifth Avenue. I had a soak, watched television (oh, yes, the bathroom has a television) and ate the yummy cookies the housekeeper delivered with her turn-down service. I could certainly get used to this!
After I had soaked enough to turn me into a pruned noodle I made my way to the bed, first opening the window and settled into one of the best night’s sleep I had had in quite a while.
The next day as I once again found myself in the frenzy of holiday season Fifth Avenue I turned and looked back at The Langham…but I kept walking. I had successfully fought the pull to retreat back to my tub.
For more information, visit The Langham, New York .
Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.