The Langham, Chicago
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Winner: Business Meets Pleasure
- Impressive art collection with pieces by Jaume Plensa and Anish Kapoor
- Riverside Elle on the River with Med-style tacos and boozy punch bowls opened for summer 2014
- The Langham’s signature house car, a pink London taxi
- Ranking #1 hotel in Chicago by TripAdvisor
What To Know
- Glass bathroom walls can be turned opaque at the touch of a button
- Breakfast at the hotel’s Travelle restaurant is worth the splurge
- Make reservations ahead of time for weekend tea service or Travelle tasting menus
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
The Langham Chicago is a study in contrasts. Its landmark Mies van der Rohe exterior cuts an imposing figure of black aluminum and grey glass, but the light-filled lobby invites the outside in with floor-to-ceiling picture windows framing the Chicago River’s other architectural icons. Gleaming glass orbs float overhead like bubbles in a glass of champagne, and the walls are lined with impressive pieces of art by the likes of Edward Maplethorpe and Anish Kapoor (whose iconic Cloud Gate gleams just a few minutes away in Millennium Park).
Bed and Bath
There’s a spa-like vibe to the airy rooms with Egyptian cotton sheets, rainshowers, La Bottega Dell Albergo toiletries and deep soak tubs with glass walls that peek onto the bedrooms and, in many, the impressive city or river views beyond. Textural details, from leather headboards to plush carpets and regal purple throws, add to the pampering while midcentury-inspired touches—a tulip table here, a Mies-style chair there—lend a sense of place.
Broadway set and restaurant designer David Rockwell created a dramatic setting for Michelin-starred chef Tim Graham’s haute Med fare at Travelle (note the performative open kitchen). Inspired by the 1960s corporate culture of IBM (the building’s original occupants), the swinging bar lacks an actual bar. Instead, a rolling drink cart roves between the designer-clad post-work crowd. The scene is more laidback downstairs at the al fresco Elle on the River, which has Med-tacos and alcoholic punch bowls on the menu. Things get even more mellow at Chuan Spa with its hushed pool and Chinese medicine-inspired treatments.
In the Area
Ask the concierge to make you reservations at one of the city’s iconic restaurants—Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, and Carrie Nahabedian’s Naha are all nearby. Don’t miss the laughs at the world famous Second City, where such luminaries as Dan Aykroyd, Steve Carell and Tina Fey have performed. The downtown Art Institute houses famous works including American Gothic by Grant Wood and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. Sure, Bloomingdale’s, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom, La Perla, Michael Kors, etc., are all in the vicinity, but for unique items check out local favorite boutiques Sarca and Sofia Vintage.
How to Get There
Of course, the property is gorgeous, thanks to a famous architect (Mies Van der Rohe), a nice and contemporary decoration.
The all staff is attentive to your well-being and I have to say that it is very unusual to find such a level of quality in other places in the US.
There is a French guy, Axel, working at the front desk, he is just fantastic. He welcomes you with efficiency and elegance. He is very helpful if you need to find a good restaurant (French are so good to give you some food advice) and he’s simply a great professional.
People working at the spa are very kind as well.
Spa and pool are perfect.
Rooms are marvelous and well appointed.
We can regret the bad soundproofing, I had to use earplugs to have a good night because of the outside traffic.
The worst part of my stay was the buffet breakfast during the weekend. Very limited choice, almost no pastries and not good.
Hash brown potatoes waiting to be taken had no taste and were not warm enough.
Very pricy buffet for a poor experience.
Despite the buffet breakfast experience, this Langham is a must in Chicago.
This is a top of the list for Chicago hotels. It was a bit confusing as the front desk is on a floor above, however it was a wonderful hotel, comfortable bed, amazing tub that could see into the bedroom, and an absolutely fabulous and convenient location. I would stay here again with our next trip to Chicago
My wife and I stayed four nights. We lived everything about this hotel: the room/amenities, location and, most especially, the staff who were consistently friendly and helpful. We agree with all the superlatives others have written. I would like to single out one of the concierge staff, John Dillon. My wife became ill on our first full day while I was at a meeting. John personally came to our room and could not be more kind, concerned and helpful, talking with the hotel doctor (also wonderful) and arranging for my wife to be seen at a nearby urgent care office. It was way beyond what would be expected even from a 5 star hotel. My wife ended up spending the night at Northwestern Medical Center with pneumonia but this would have been so much more difficult without Mr. Dillon’s patient, outstanding kindnesses. Kudos to the Langham for maintaining such a wonderful hotel and staff and a special heartfelt thanks to Mr. Dillon. We hope to return to Chicago soon and will not consider staying anywhere else.