When it comes to lodging in the Big Apple, I always look for an oasis that offers respite from the inevitable frenzy of a day of work or play in that splendid city. Langham Place is that oasis and so much more. Though its Fifth Avenue location is close to Times Square and other lively midtown attractions, a step into the Langham Place lobby is an immediate invitation to slow down and take a deep breath. The décor is chic, warmly minimal and steeped in muted tones, and there is a lovely fragrance that permeates the air (on my checklist of hotel musts). Perhaps most striking in the lobby are the two magnificent murals by living art legend Alex Katz hanging on the wall behind the reception desk. Although these two pieces were temporarily installed for the prestigious annual Armory Art Show, for which Langham Place is the official 2015 hotel sponsor, a full collection by Katz will be hanging in corridors, guest rooms and a newly renovated event space
A few steps off the lobby is the Measure lounge. My arrival coincided with happy hour, and a well-heeled crowd created a pleasant buzz in the stylish space. In addition to the great cocktail menu and complimentary spicy cheese gougères at the bar, Measure offers breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and live music every evening. The calming and inviting ambience extends to the spacious and contemporary guest rooms and suites, which are impressively decorated with rich walnut woods and the same elegant, neutral palette found in the hotel’s public spaces. Rooms feature Duxiana beds with Pratesi linens, marble baths, Nespresso coffee machines and plenty of closet space. The room service menu sounded enticing, but since I had a business dinner lined up, I opted for a meal at Ai Fiori, the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, which marries French technique with Italian passions.
I certainly won’t let the five-star luxury of Langham Place dissuade me from bringing the kids next time. There is a “Cultured Kids” program that offers addons like specially arranged gallery tours, expedited passes to the nearby Empire State Building, a behind-the-scenes tour of Ai Fiori and a prix-fixe brunch alongside “Tunes with Tina,” a sing-along cabaret for kids on Sundays at Measure.
In the tradition of Langham hotels worldwide, the service is exceptional and the amenities are on par with the finest New York City hotels. There is a house Maserati to transport guests, a Julien Farel salon, and a sprawling spa that features a heated vitality pool, Turkish-style hammam and chill room. Attentiveness can be found at every turn, even at the snack station set up in the lobby where I grabbed a homemade granola bar and a handful of gummy bears as I reluctantly ended my brief but memorable stay at Langham Place.