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“Functioning Four Star”

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The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles
Ranked #1 of 31 Hotels in Pasadena
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 November 2013

Built originally in 1907, there is quite a history behind this grand old lady perched in the tony suburbs of Pasadena. Surrounded by houses costing multiple of millions of dollars, it is situated perfectly to host upscale events for the rich and famous. The hotel is the frequent location for business meetings, private parties and weddings. There were two weddings the Saturday night we were there. Perhaps that accounts for some of the unease I felt about ranking this a five star experience. It had all the ingredients, including the pedigree and the service, but something was missing.

We had booked our room through TripAdvisor's sister company, Tingo, and were delighted to have a significant reduction in price during the two months or so we waited to attend a UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl. And it wasn't as though they treated us shabbily at check-in. But there was that forced smile when she said, "We have assigned you to an 'executive' room in our Lanai Building" that made me uncomfortable. The smile that says, "Because you got a big discount on the room rate, you are going to be in the worst room we have."

And it wasn't a bad room. At least I don't think so because of course I didn't see all the other rooms. But I could see that the Lanai Building was the only one across the bridge and on your way to Grandmother's house! The Lanai Building is a three story structure with standard rooms facing the street on one side and rooms with a balcony overlooking the pool on the other side. Our room was facing the street...no balcony.

And It is not as if we were on the 2nd floor next to an elevator shaft, an ice machine and an air conditioning unit. Our view was across Wentworth Street looking at million dollar houses. Outside leaves fell in the autumn breeze, people sauntered by with their dogs and the occasional homeowner zipped by in their Lamborgini or Aston Martin. But we were about as far away from the lobby as you could get and, while not knowing how many rooms were vacant, I suspect we were not given a room with a balcony because our rate didn't justify it.

So here is where I get the real rub. And most of you will never experience this. It turns out on this particular Friday when we check in at about 1:30 pm, there are roofers on the building tearing off the old roof. I get it, I understand it, maintenance has to be done and it isn't always convenient. But don't you think the young lady with the overly polite smile at the registration desk knew about this seminal event taking place? Would it not have been appropriate to warn us, "There are roofers on your building but they will be done by 4:00 pm or so. Our apologies in advance for this inconvenience."

Needless to say having been placed on the third floor of a three story building, it was obvious there was something going on above when we walked in the room. The valet who brought our luggage acknowledged the noise only when we asked him what was going on. Of course he had no knowledge of how long it would be going on, if it would start again the next morning and if so what time. He did offer that if we had a problem with it be sure to check with the front desk and perhaps they could move us. Yeah, right. This should have never happened in the first place.

But in truth, this was not a deal breaker. The construction crew knocked off just about the time we had to leave for the football game. Although they did some work the next morning, it was brief and did not entail nailing or anything like that. They just put up some safety barriers from what I could see. So while the initial thumping around was annoying, it was short lived.

In general I have to applaud the Langham for undertaking the renovation of this beautiful old hotel. My understanding is it went through management by Sheraton in the '80's, Ritz Carlton in the 90's and was taken over by Langham to be their show piece in the Los Angeles area. The grounds are immaculate. The interiors are well polished and clean. The staff generally very professional although somewhat aloof.

Our room was very large. The bed was comfortable with high quality linens. The bathroom was not particularly big. It had a bathtub/shower combo lined with marble. We did hear our neighbor the next morning on a phone call but otherwise the rooms were quiet.

We didn't use most of the facilities. No tennis, gym or restaurants. We did have our second night's meal using the bar menu in The Tap Room while watching football. Prices were high, ($15.00 mixed drinks, $9.00 beer) and the small plates were expensive for small quantities of food ($15.00 for three Kobe sliders) but the ambiance was wonderful. There is music after 9:00 pm and there is adjoining balcony seating overlooking the extensive grounds.

We met some interesting guests while we were staying at the hotel. A back up singer for a major American rock star and an owner of a recently crowned Breeder's Cup winner. If I think about it the problem is me. As the old saying goes, if you have to ask the cost, you don't belong. But I still had a great time while it lasted.

Room Tip: Avoid the street side of the Lanai Building.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank KenVicLee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 November 2013

Can't really fault the property or the location, both of which are very pleasant.

However, we seemed to continually come across examples of lack of customer relations skills that you would not expect in such an establishment, for example :

- Reception check-in went fine, we were given our room keys. But then no direction was provided as to how to find our ways to the room (for some obscure reason, there are no signs for the elevator in the reception area, or indeed anywhere to be found until you've already walked half way towards the elevators).

- We thought we would stop off at the terrace outside the bar for a drink before dinner. We were there quite early, about 16:30/17:00 I would think..... 70% of the seating in the terrace area was marked off as "reserved" and when we asked the staff, we were merely told "oh, you can go sit inside", no "sorry" or other form of apology in sight. We returned from dinner in downtown Pasadena about an hour and a half later..... the reserved seats in the terrace area were still unoccupied. We checked with the bar staff to see if they had perhaps forgotten to remove the reserved signs. No... same dismissive "you can go sit inside" reply. We went inside, had a couple of drinks and did some reading for about another hour and a half ...... on our way out of the bar heading back to our rooms, we went to check on the terrace area..... lo and behold all the "reserved" tables were still unoccupied. When we challenged the bar staff about this, all we were told is "oh, they are turning up right now" ... yeah, right..... spin me another story why don't you !

You have lovely seating outside, but then you "reserve" it all for some ghost guests.... in the mean time, the hotel is loosing out on potential revenue in the four or five hours you block off that area.... we could have easily decided not to go have a drink at all. And indeed, as a result of the poor service, you probably put people like us giving custom to the bar area for the remainder of their stay.

Its a hotel with paying guests, not a fancy nightclub with bouncers and special "VIP" tables. In a bar area in a hotel, seating should be first come, first serve.... the fact that you apparently consider some guests to be more important than others is just disgusting.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank John1450
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013

This stately hotel is tucked in a secluded area of maicured estates that look more like Greenwhich than LA. Staff exceptionally courteous and helpful. Very restful. Great winelist. Don't miss a chance to stay here if you can . You will feel like you're staying in your own private estate. Very good sports facilities and classes if you can find the time!

Room Tip: Can't imagine there's a bad one!
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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Thank sfmaria101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2013

I stayed at the Langham Pasadena club lounge two years ago for about 14 days and had a bad experience. Not what I was expecting for the $400 to $500 per night. To makes things right, the Hotel Manager gave me a two day coplimentary voucher/letter (breakfast included) . She told me verbally that I can obviously stay at any Langham property worldwide. I called back the Pasadena property to arrange to apply the voucher/ letter as I have booked at the Auckland, New Zeland propety, in March 2013 for 6 nights, and I was told that she cannot honor it in any other property worldwide. A five star hotel that treats its customer unfairly and misleads with fals propmises. Disapointing. I may very well look into staying else where.
My email: alltech.group@yahoo.com

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Adolfo L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2013

Stayed here for an art workshops and loved every minute. We were given a 1st floor room with patio, which I highly recommend. All staff were friendly and helpful. Had a lovely breakfast on the patio, as a treat (pricey for me). I would stay here again - it was a pleasure.

Room Tip: First floor patio is fabulous!
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank pegomh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2013

My husband and I spent his birthday at the Langham--his first visit, my second. The hotel is absolute bliss! Very relaxing, beautiful grounds, attentive staff. Enjoy the bike rentals to see the magnificent mansions surrounding the hotel. Look for the small garden with lime and lemon trees growing. The whimsical bridge makes the hotel so unique. The meals are delicious. We enjoyed eating breakfast outside every morning and a hummingbird joined us visiting the flowers around the dining area!

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Debora T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2013

Stayed one night on a business trip. What a gem of a hotel. Nestled in a classic Pasadena neighborhood, with beautiful classic craftsmen bungalows, the hotel and grounds are special. They have three restaurants, however, their fancy restaurant (with a name I cannot recall) was closed. The other restaurant was fine.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank berkeleyart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles

Address: 1401 South Oak Knoll Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106-4508
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Pasadena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Pasadena
#1 Business Hotel in Pasadena
Price Range: £194 - £389 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles 5*
Number of rooms: 377
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Capturing the grace and elegance of a bygone era, The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles is located at the base of the picturesque San Gabriel Mountains, just nine miles north of downtown Los Angeles in beautiful Pasadena. Located on 23 acres with grand historic ballrooms and gardens, the landmark hotel features delectable dining, the award-winning Chuan Spa and a number of recreational choices such as tennis programming, fitness classes, swimming and nearby golf. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles Hotel Pasadena
Langham Huntington Hotel
The Langham Huntington Hotel

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