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The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles
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Reviewed 4 July 2014

I am very familiar with this hotel, having grown up in the Pasadena area, having visited many times for dinner and various functions, and having stayed here on four different occasions. Overall, it is a very good hotel, but it is really starting to show its age (see photos for examples of this), which detracts from the overall ambiance and charm of the place, which used to be far more lovely and dramatic. It could definitely use a thorough renovation sometime soon but, having said that, it is still comfortable and in reasonably good shape.

On our most recent stay in early June 2014, our party stayed in two deluxe connecting rooms, #104 and #106 on the ground floor for three days. #104 is a double room and #106 is a king room. The rooms were just OK, for a number of reasons. The rooms are showing excessive wear and tear (see photos) but are still generally functional. As discussed below in the "room tips" section, room #104 is not good for light sleepers as there is a noisy service entrance adjacent to it with noisy metal stairs and a door that tends to be slammed shut frequently at all hours of the day and night. We noticed this almost immediately upon check-in and promptly asked the front desk to notify employees using the door and stairs to be mindful of the proximity to guest rooms, but this was to no avail, as the noise continued for three days straight and woke my husband up several times.

It was quite warm on the days we stayed (over 90 degrees) and we needed to use the air conditioning constantly, yet it failed to perform adequately and we were too warm much of the time, especially at night, which adversely affected our sleep quality. We notified engineering the second day and someone checked the A/C units but, unfortunately, their performance did not improve.

We also had to call about an extremely loud party going on for hours at the restaurant near our rooms, with people shouting, loud talking and music blaring, thereby keeping us awake on Saturday night when we had to get up early to attend a function on Sunday morning. It was so loud that we would have thought security would have intervened long before anyone called to complain but, alas, this was not the case and it took two calls to security to resolve the problem.

So overall, I would not recommend these particular rooms for these reasons. We did like the patios though, as they have very pretty views of the grounds as well as very nice patio furniture. There are more patio rooms available in this section of the hotel, but be aware that they are not very private, as there are no dividers or plants between adjacent patios (see photos). The views are also lovely as seen from inside the rooms (see photos). There are some rooms with more private patios overlooking the pool area, but we have stayed there before and it was a bit too loud for our taste what with all the kids and people in the pool, especially on weekends.

A really great and helpful feature of the hotel for us was the fact that they allow dogs. Since we were in town to attend a dog show with our dog, this was perfect! Everyone was very friendly and welcoming to our dog, and there were lovely pet amenities in the room including bowls for food and water, a small dog bed and some treats which our dog really appreciated!

In terms of service, most employees were excellent and very helpful during our stay, but there were also several instances of lack of attention to detail. For example, we had good experiences with room service, with one exception where the lady taking orders was easily confused and sent the wrong order, but the Sunday brunch in the main restaurant was really disappointing. Service was far too slow, and the buffet offerings were surprisingly minimal (certainly not what you usually expect for this caliber of restaurant). After passing on the buffet, I decided to order a simple dish, only to have that take 15 minutes to arrive, leaving me to eat when my husband was already finished.

Also, upon check-in, we had some frustrating experiences with the valet. My husband and I clearly communicated some simple instructions to the valet, yet none of them were noted and only some of our luggage made it to the room. When I went to the valet station to find the rest of the luggage, I found that they had completely unpacked one of our two cars after specifically being told not to do so, and they had not unpacked many of the items we asked them to bring to the room. My husband and I then had to repack most items in one car and then unload the proper items from the other car. On the upside, all of our other interactions with valet parking and the bell staff were positive throughout the remainder of our stay.

One of the greatest features of the hotel is its location in a unique, very peaceful and very walkable neighborhood filled with elegant, upscale homes of all styles on beautiful tree-lined streets. If it had been cooler, we would have really enjoyed walking our dog throughout the local area. Indeed, I could have spent hours just walking around looking at the lovely homes! The hotel is also close to downtown Pasadena with all its attractions and shopping, and is not far from South Pasadena, the Huntington Library and Caltech. Its also reasonably close to downtown LA via Arroyo Parkway and the old 110 Freeway. This is a great location for weddings or family gatherings, as well as business meetings. The grounds are very nice and include a koi pond, a great pool area, several large lawn areas for weddings or other events (we actually witnessed three weddings from our patio on the South lawn, so that was an unexpected and very fun perk...like attending the wedding as a guest while relaxing on our patio!) and a quaint and charming central courtyard behind the foyer of the main building filled with ponds, bridges and beautiful landscaping. At the time of our stay, several pairs of Mallard ducks had taken up residence in the courtyard and were rearing their young chicks (as they do each year according to the staff), which were very cute to watch and very entertaining for those guests with children.

Room Tip: Patio rooms can be found on the ground floor on the South side of the hotel as well as on several floors around the pool area. These provide a pleasant patio or balcony and a nice view (especially from the rooms on the South side of the hotel; please see photos of the view and patios that I posted along with this review). However, the noise sensitive should avoid room #104 which has a service entrance with a noisy metal staircase and a particularly noisy door that slams frequently even during the wee hours of the night. We complained about the noise on the first night and asked that employees be quieter when using the door since it is so close to several guest rooms, to no avail. For those with larger groups there are also cottages, some of which come with kitchens. Beware though, as we stayed in a duplex cottage once and the patios were not very private (they were either shared with or plainly visible from the adjacent unit). You would expect a private patio at these large cottages, especially considering the substantial cost. I complained to the manager at the time (this was in 2012) because it was so strange to have non-private patios with such a premium room.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
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Thank cmkr1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2014

Our daughter got married in Pasadena last weekend. She chose the Langham for her Bridal Suite and family activities. We could not have been more comfortable and cared for in a lovely setting. The Langham has a lot going on all the time but they are so well-staffed that we did not feel neglected. The poolside and Terrace cafe were great places to gather with family before and after events. I use a mobility scooter and the staff was very accommodating in regard to my special needs. The Langham was also convenient to downtown LA by freeway, where some of our events were held. As a luxury hotel, I highly recommend the Langham.

Room Tip: Request a 1st or 2nd floor room if you have mobility issues. This is a large hotel! If your budget allows, get a terrace or balcony as the grounds are lovely.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Meg S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2014

The original Huntington Hotel was built in the early 1900s but, when it didn't meet the current earthquake standards in 1985, it was torn down. The hotel re-opened as a Ritz-Carlton with the main building rebuilt very much like the original. In 2008, it became part of the Langham Hotel chain out of Hong Kong.

The Langham retains the old style of a grand, luxury hotel with massive, beautifully-decorated reception rooms and ballrooms and gracious hotel rooms with marble baths, two line telephones and free Internet access. It's the 23 acres on which the hotel is set which are so captivating. The pool is set in a beautiful site just across the "picture bridge" from the Japanese gardens and between the main hotel building and the private cottages (which are for rent).

Located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Langham Huntington enjoys gorgeous vistas in just about every direction. From the Terrace Bar, one looks out over the grounds of the hotel, and in the distance sees the lights of Pasadena, nestled in the valley. Enchanting!

This is a truly special place that's a dying breed in today's hotel world.

Now for the few nitpicky comments: 1. Although the Langham is in a very residential area that necessitates a car, they charge $25 a day for parking and you must use the valet service. Very inconvenient and, coupled with the almost $400 a night charge for a basic room, excessive.
2. This is such a popular wedding site that you can't go anywhere on the weekends without bumping into wedding parties. If you love brides and wedding dresses, that's great, but if you're less than thrilled with late-night wedding-goers who've had way too much to drink and are stumbling down the hallway outside your room as they sing disco hits from the 80s, it's less than thrilling. 3. The Chuan toiletries in the sumptuous baths are second-rate, which kept me from booking an appointment at the hotel's Chuan Spa. Maybe I'm too picky; you may love Chuan's products.

That's it for the nitpicking. We would go back to the Langham Huntington in a heartbeat but my preference would be non-wedding nights....maybe Monday through Thursday.

Room Tip: For $135, your dog can enjoy the Langham experience with his/her own porcelain food bowl, pink pillow, a gold mat and a doggie newsletter that gives you and your pet all the dog activities at the hotel and in the area. There is even a dog service menu that is only slightly less than what human food costs.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank LilyK88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2014 via mobile

Several of us stayed here for a JPL conference.

The hotel is fantastic as expected , the rooms were great, the towels amazing, the pool very clean and user friendly.

Unfortunately the breakfast was too expensive for daily use so we went elsewhere for our meals.

Great hotel for a luxury stay and great and helpful staff.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
Thank Nacho R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2014

I was just here the last weekend of June 2014 for a family reunion and to remember our late mother. We came here because this special place was one of my mother's top favorites (when it was the Ritz-Carlton). Of course, it brought back many fond memories. I've stayed here more than 10 times under Langham management. Overall, our weekend was wonderful. The very young nephews and nieces had a great time having lunch and afternoon tea by the pool. The wait staff was unfrazzled by the large party of 22. The nice balance of sun and shade at The Terrace offered perfect soothing ambience for long conversations. The Club Lounge was worth every dollar of extra room rate -- staff was courteous and friendly, food was good. The gardens were serene and beautiful as always. I stayed here for the first time more than 20 years ago. Under the Langham management, there has been enhancements in several areas. The Spa was and is great (however, the explanation given to me for not having wifi in the gym/spa baffled me -- bring it back -- leave t to the guests to decide how they want to enjoy the moment, please). The hardware in this historic hotel needs to be upgraded (phone system, elevators), however, its current state has not so far compromised the quality of my stay, but one can see it may soon. I have highly recommended this hotel/resort to friends and have not heard any complaints. This is as a special a place for romantic couples as it is for happy families.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank MILKONY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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