Langham Hotel

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Langham Hotel

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The Langham Hotel is one of the largest and best known traditional style grand hotels in London. It is the district of Marylebone and faces up Portland Place towards Regent's Park. It is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World marketing consortium.

The Langham Hotel was built between 1863 and 1865 at a cost of �300,000. It was then the largest and most modern hotel in the city, featuring a hundred water closets, thirty six bathrooms and the first hydraulic lifts in England. The opening ceremony was performed by the Prince of Wales. After the original company was liquidated during an economic slump, new management acquired the hotel for little more than half what it had cost to build, and it soon became a commercial success. In 1870 a former Confederate officer named James Sanderson was appointed general manager and the hotel developed an extensive American clientele, which included Mark Twain. It was also patronised by the likes of Napoleon III, Oscar Wilde, Antonin Dvorak, Oscar Wilde and Arturo Toscanini. Electric light was installed in the entrance and courtyard at the exceptionally early date of 1879, and Arthur Conan Doyle set Sherlock Holmes stories such as A Scandal in Bohemia and The Sign of Four partly at the Langham. Later celebrity guests included Noel Coward, Wallis Simpson, Don Bradman and Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.

The Langham was hard hit by the Great Depression and the owners attempted to sell the site to the BBC, but Broadcasting House was built on the other side of the road instead. During World War II the hotel was used in part by the Army and then damaged by bombs and forced to close. After the war, it was occupied by the BBC as ancillary accommodation to Broadcasting House, and the corporation purchased it outright in 1965. The ballroom became the BBC record library and programs such as The Goon Show were recorded there. In 1980 the BBC unsuccessfully applied for planning permission to demolish the building and replace it with an office development designed by Norman Foster. In 1986 it was sold to Ladbroke Group for �26 million, which purchased the non-US Hilton business in 1987 and eventually reopened the hotel as the Langham Hilton in 1991 after a �100 million refurbishment. New owners extended the hotel and carried out other refurbishments between 1998 and 2000. It has nearly five hundred rooms and suites.

See also

Hotels in London

External link

Official site

London hotels



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Image:Wikipedia-small.png Wikipedia article about Langham Hotel (search). This article uses material from that article.

Langham Hotel

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