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STAYCATION REVIEW The Langham Chicago
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2019-05-08

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The Langham Chicago ( 330 N. Wabash St.; www.langhamhotels.com/en/the-langham/chicago/ ) has earned plaudits from various publications, including five stars from Forbes. However, I checked out this place to see if it's really worth the money.

—Location: The Langham Chicago—part of a luxury global chain that includes an expansive branch in Pasadena, California—is in the AMA Plaza ( formerly known as the IBM Building ). Of course, this means that The Langham is close to Michigan Avenue, the Loop and River North—prime tourist spots.

Of course, this also means that it's across the street from Trump Tower, which might bring its share of controversy. However, Director of Public Relations Deepika Sarma told Windy City Times she hadn't encountered any blowback—and that may be, in part, because most views are away from that edifice and concentrate on the Chicago River and the Loop

—Feel/atmosphere: It's interesting: Even though The Langham is in the heart of Chicago, you don't really feel the city after walking in the hotel. It's as if you literally leave your troubles behind.

Most guests check in at the spacious second-floor lobby ( with an adjacent room for afternoon tea ), but a few get to check in at The Langham Club. This is a private haven that's located on the top floor of the hotel—a 4,000-square-foot lounge that features breakfast buffets, evening cocktails, panoramic views of Chicago and even a writer's corner ( complete with antique typewriter ). And the staffers are among the friendliest I've ever encountered at a hotel ( and efficient, as an erroneous valet-parking charge was immediately corrected ).

The one-bedroom river-view suite in which I stayed was simply amazing. It was spacious and technology-forward, with single buttons operating various lights ( including the reading one over the large bed ) and the drapes. It also sported a huge shower space, tub, and toilet with accompanying bidet. ( By the way, The Langham Chicago has 268 guestrooms, and the average suite size is more than 1,200 square feet. ) The staff will try its best to accommodate almost any request, exemplified when someone cleared out a shelf in my refrigerator when I brought leftovers back from second-story restaurant/bar Travelle. ) Oh: Did I mention that The Langham is also pet-friendly?

—Amenities: The Langham Chicago has, as one might expect, some impressive amenities. For example, wellness offerings include the fitness center, which is among the largest I've seen in a hotel ( with weight and cardio machines galore ). There are also a large ( lifeguard-less ) pool—and the Chuan Spa, in which I could spend an entire day. Named after the Chinese word for flowing water, Chuan urges guests to embark on a journey ( bathing ritual ) that includes everything from a salt-stone sauna to an aromatherapy shower.

As for the previously mentioned Travelle, I have written about this dining spot—and nothing about this place disappoints ( except that it was criminally empty the night I went—although the bar area was bustling ). The Moscow Mule was one of the best I've ever had, and dishes such as the lemongrass chicken and apple crostada tantalize the senses.

And if all THAT isn't enough, The Langham has a cinema room in which you and a few friends can reserve a recliner-filled room that has its own list of movies ( rated "G" to "R" )—or you can bring your own, provided it's within the rating system just mentioned.

Lastly, for those with children, there's a kids room with everything from stuffed animals to board games to Playstation games. ( Note: This hotel might need an adult version of this space. )

—Bottom line: If I had Oprah money, I'd be a Langham Club member right away. This hotel embodies the very definition of "indulgence." Experience it.

Note: This hotel visit was based on an arranged invitation.


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