Europe's first 'Grand Hotel'

The Langham was completed in 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 and the new hotel was Europe's first 'Grand Hotel'.

In the 1870's the hotel developed an extensive American clientele, which included Mark Twain. It was also frequented by a wide range of Nineteenth Century iconic figures such as Napoleon III, Oscar Wilde, Antonín Dvorák, 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 partly at the Langham. Twentieth Century celebrity guests included Noel Coward, and Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor.

The Langham was hard hit by the Great Depression and the owners attempted to sell the site to the BBC who chose instead to build Broadcasting House on the other side of the road, where it remains to the present day. During World War II, the hotel was used in part by the Army and then damaged by air-raids. There are photographs in the present day hotel of the great hole created in the fabric of the building. It was forced to close. After the war, it was occupied by the BBC and purchased outright in 1965. The Goon Show was recorded there.

£200 million refurbishment

In 1986 the hotel was sold to the Ladbroke Group which re-opened it as the Langham Hilton in 1991 after a £100 million refurbishment. Further investment in the fabric of the hotel was completed over the following decade.

The hotel is now part of Langham Hotels International and is the flagship hotel of the group. You will be staying in a 5 star iconic hotel that has benefitted hugely from the final £80m round of refurbishment just completed in April 2009.