Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Langham Place

29 Jun 2006 by Tom Otley

WHAT'S IT LIKE? An extremely impressive first example of the new Langham Place brand – refreshing, modern, technologically advanced, appealing to a younger crowd than the Langham brand, yet offering five-star luxury. Since Business Traveller attended the official opening of the hotel, the remaining floors have opened and, lastly, the Chuan Spa and the residence suites. It also now has the advantage of a connected mall which has many more outlets open. You enter from the ground floor (or, if driving, from level B2 in an underground car park, which is easily large enough for several coaches), and rise to level 4, the lobby level. From here two banks of lifts take you up to the 40-odd accommodation floors. Some lifts have vertiginous views from their windows of the surrounding Mongkok area and the shopping mall, as well as the 59-storey office tower next door.   

WHERE IS IT? In Mongkok, until this point more known for its vibrant market shopping scene during the day, and its infamous nightlife once darkness falls. The hotel is only 15 minutes from Central on the MTR, and convenient for the airport, being a short taxi ride from the Kowloon Airport Express station (flight crew currently take many rooms; their presence may explain the vibrancy of the bar most nights).  The hotel is attached at level 4 by a walkway to the vast 15-storey Langham Place shopping mall, open until late seven nights a week, which offers everything from Adidas to video games.   

ROOM FACILITIES The 42-storey hotel has 665 rooms and suites, all with floor to ceiling windows, marble bathrooms with rain shower and power shower, separate baths, large plasma screen TVs, DVD player, and, rather strangely, a goldfish bowl with real fish, most of which died during our stay. The top six floors are club  floors and have personalised check-in and out, all day club lounge access, breakfast, canapés and cocktails, internet den, and use of the boardroom. There is complimentary pressing of three items, but not a laundry allowance as there is at the Langham property. As with many hotel brands, much is made of the Blissful Bed which was very comfortable, and there’s a pillow menu with a choice of feather, foam, cosy (extra ong, with 25 per cent duck feathers), Liao Mai Chinese pillow filled with buckwheat and a children’s pillow.   

RESTAURANTS AND BARS There is a large choice here, with an additional sushi restaurant planned for next year. The Place (250 seats) is the main restaurant, one up from the lobby on level 5 with both indoor and outdoor dining and an open kitchen serving Mediterranean cuisine. There is also Ming Court (330 seats, though only for Sunday lunch – normally it is a smaller and more intimate space) for dim sum and southern Chinese cuisine, and Portal, a work and play bar area where you can have snacks while surfing the web (free).   

LEISURE FACILITIES The Chuan Spa with its 10 treatment rooms and more than 60 treatments is on the 41st and 42nd floors of the hotel and, along with its 20-metre rooftop pool and huge gym, is one of the best leisure facilities of any five-star hotel in Hong Kong (full review in the October issue of Business Traveller). It builds upon the foundation of Chinese medicine with an emphasis on ying and yang.   

VERDICT Stunning. A bold move into an area with few hotels, it succeeds on every front and offers real value for money.   

PRICE Internet rates for an executive room in early July start at HKD1,243 (£87).   

CONTACT Langham Place Hotel, 555 Shanghai Street, Mongkok, tel +852 3552 3388, langhamhotels.com.   

Tom Otley      

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