Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz
Eight-year-olds William Yudis of Maui, and Jackson Herren of Pasadena, whose family was on a staycation, play in The Langham Huntington, Pasadena pool. The hotel was named the number one hotel in Los Angeles by U.S. News & World Report.
By Kevin Smith, Staff Writer
Like a stately castle, the Langham Huntington, Pasadena rises skyward.
Surrounded by immaculately groomed lawns and with a view of the San Gabriel Mountains, the hotel beckons visitors to come inside and experience a stay none will soon forget.
That’s the kind of experience the Langham hopes to create. The strategy must be working because it recently topped U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best hotels in Los Angeles.
“It’s very exciting,” said Rebecca Huetter, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing. “We are constantly striving for perfection, and sometimes it takes feedback like this to let us know we’re on the right path.”
The Langham was ranked No.1 among 58 Los Angeles-area luxury hotels, edging out such icons as the Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows (second place) and Hotel Bel-Air (sixth place).
“There are three main things we look at,” said Miriam Weiner, U.S. News & World Report’s online travel editor. “We narrowed it down to four- and five-star hotels and we also looked at what travel experts are saying across the board — like Cond Nast, concierge.com and AAA.”
The ratings also factored in guest reviews from such online sources as as Yelp.com.
“We wanted to see what guests are saying and how they have been scoring the hotels,” Weiner said. “We feel the user experience is really important.”
With 380 elegant guest rooms, suites and cottages, the Langham wears its style well. Visitors are treated to rooms with ornate drapes, flat-screen TVs, Italian marble bathrooms and Chuan Spa bath amenities.
The hotel’s 11,000-square-foot Huntington Spa features a fitness center and 13 treatment rooms, including a couple’s room. Guests can also treat themselves to a massage, facial, body treatment, manicure, pedicure or haircut.
With more than 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for meetings and events, the Langham also boasts The Royce, which is considered one of the best restaurants in the Los Angeles area.
It’s here that Chef David Fau builds a variety of dishes that are described as “New American Cuisine.”
Fau visits the local farmers markets several times a week, buying the fresh produce and ingredients he uses to build his culinary creations.
“I love showcasing the beauty and complex flavors of local produce and pure ingredients, and invite guests to experience the gastronomic wonders of true cooking,” Fau says.
Dishes include such offerings as Foi Grass Huckleberry, Chanterelle Amaebi and Morel Guinea Egg.
“David Feau is probably one of the most talented chefs out there,” Weiner said.
Weiner said the hotel’s strongest suit is its staff.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” she said. “Everyone is so committed to this hotel. It’s really like a family here and many people have worked here a long time — some more than 20 years.”
To top the magazine’s list, a hotel must offer guests something special, according to Weiner.
“They have to offer something unique, that really stands out,” she said. “It’s a place where preferred customers feel like they have a home away from home.”