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Update 4 February 2021: The Langley will become a category 7 property from 3 March 2021 (details)
Earlier this year, with very little fanfare, a new Marriott property opened outside London. The property is called The Langley (a Luxury Collection property) and it sits within a 130-acre park in the British countryside a little over 7 miles from Heathrow airport.
Joanna and I spent 2 nights at the property and, having reflected on our stay, I feel confident in stating that this property offers one of the very best redemption options in the whole Marriott Bonvoy hotel chart – it’s fantastic.
- The Cost
- First Impressions & Arrival
- The Brew House Deluxe Room
- Other Amenities
- In Summary
- Bottom Line
The Langley is now a Marriott Bonvoy Category 7 property which means that an award night costs 50,000 points during quiet periods, 60,000 points during standard periods, and 70,000 points during busier periods.
This means that, as things stand, only the free night certificate that comes with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express Card will pay for your room rate and then only in off-peak season.
On the whole, cash rates vary between £340/night and £400/night (approximately $440 – $515 including taxes) depending on occupancy levels/expectations.
I used 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for our 2-night stay (the property was a category 5 property at the time of this stay).
First Impressions & Arrival
With the Langley sitting inside Langley Park, the approach to the property is via a beautiful tree-lined avenue that leads to the main gates.
The driveway leads to the main building which dates back to the mid-1750s and was once the hunting lodge for the Duke of Marlborough.
The property is home to just 41 guestrooms which are spread between the main building and “The Brew House” which sits diagonally across from the main building.
As you’d expect, reception is in the main building accessed via a set of stairs at the front or via a small elevator built next to the stairs.
The reception area sets the tone for the rest of the property with its incredibly ornate ceiling light, columns, and beautiful flower centerpieces.
The guestrooms in this building are housed on the upper level and can be accessed via an elevator or a semi-spiral central staircase which opens up on to landing built around a central atrium.
As soon as we arrived our bags were taken from us by a bellman (who delivered them to our room) and we were checked-in in a matter of minutes.
The Langely doesn’t honor Marriott’s Suite Night Awards but my Bonvoy Titanium status saw us upgraded from the ‘Classic’ room I had booked with Bonvoy Points to a ‘Brew House Deluxe’ room.
That’s just a one-room upgrade but considering how few rooms the property has it wasn’t a surprise.
After we were checked in we were shown around the communal rooms/areas in the main house and given an idea of what meals were offered and where before we headed over to our room in the Brew House building.
The Brew House Deluxe Room
The Brew House offers rooms across two floors built around a small central courtyard. As you enter through the front door you’re greeted by a staircase leading up to the upper level (I didn’t see an elevator here) and a door leading to the courtyard.
We were allocated a room on the lower floor located at the front of the Brew House building.
In this Brew House Deluxe room (they’re not all identical) the room door opens up straight into the main sleeping area where a king-size bed and a leather sofa dominate the floorplan.
There’s a large flatscreen TV on the wall facing the bed, a work desk and chair in one corner and a closet with an in-built drinks unit in a second corner.
The closet is on the small size…
…especially when you take into account the items you’ll find already in it when you open it up.
The minibar is nicely hidden away…
…and comes complete with the usual nonsensical prices that all hotels seem to charge.
The desk is a good size…
…and is well served by 4 power outlets and 4 USB ports (all power outlets are UK 3-pin outlets so most non-British guests will need adapters).
A bowl of fruit, two maccarons and a nicely worded welcome note were waiting for us on the desk when we arrived…
…and they sat alongside the tea/coffee making facilities…
…and the hotel tablet from which guests can view/order whatever services they need.
Both sides of the bed offer controls for all the room’s lights and, impressively, both sides of the bed were equipped with two power outlets and two USB ports – guests aren’t short of charging points for their devices in these rooms.
The property also provided two complimentary bottles of mineral water (one on each side of the bed) and these were replenished daily.
Lastly, as far as the room features go, is the bathroom which offers a nice balance between the more old fashioned (in keeping with the heritage of the property) and the more modern (in keeping with what a lot of guests demand).
The bathtub was deep but filled quickly, the water pressure in the shower was more than adequate (which isn’t always the case in period buildings), and the heated floor was a nice little touch of luxury that I wasn’t expecting.
The Langley offers Hermēs branded toiletries but there’s a strong chance these will soon disappear now that Marriott has committed to removing all mini toiletry items from most of its properties by the end of 2020.
Overall Joanna and I loved the two nights we spent in the Brew House Deluxe room.
The bed was very comfortable, the pillows were a good balance between luxurious and firm, the blackout curtains did a great job of allowing us to sleep late in the mornings, there was absolutely no noise at all and we had a nice view of the main building.
All of the Langley’s dining options are in the main building.
There’s a small restaurant (Cedar) that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner…
…and, as you can see from the images above, it probably wouldn’t be able to house all of the property’s guests if all the rooms were full (I counted nine 2-seater tables and two 4-seater tables at breakfast with a 6-seater table added at dinner).
Fortunately, the property offers a couple of other options too.
The restaurant’s glass doors open up on to a large outdoor terrace where meals are served when the weather allows…
…and the ‘Drawing Room’ (which is next door to Cedar) is also an option for breakfast and lunch.
The hotel bar (the Churchill Bar) is small and intimate but, as we found out, it’s also a very nice place to spend some time.
The Churchill Bar opens out on to a slightly smaller terrace than the one that the main restaurant opens on to (the terraces are connected)…
..and this is another area where guests can enjoy lunch and dinner when the weather allows.
As a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite member, Luxury Collection properties (such as the Langley) give me the option of choosing breakfast (for 2) as my ‘welcome gift’ (which I always do) but the nature of the breakfast on offer varies from property to property.
At the Langley, the continental buffet is what is included as the complimentary elite breakfast (alongside all the tea and coffee and coffee you can drink) but everything else on the menu is extra.
Breakfast is the least impressive thing about The Langley and at £28 (~$36) for the continental buffet and £36 (~$46) for a ‘full English’ breakfast, it’s also incredibly expensive.
I haven’t got any images of the continental breakfast to share as it seemed a little impolite to start taking pictures while other guests were enjoying breakfast, but here are a few notes that I made at the time:
- Not a large variety of options
- Most cold breakfast options (cold cuts, cheeses, etc…) are served on small plates which aren’t replenished in a timely manner
- The juice bottles remained empty for far too long
- There was no toaster
Had I been paying £28 (~$36) for the continental breakfast I would have felt annoyed and a little ripped off.
We had dinner twice during our stay. On the first evening, Joanna and I didn’t feel like having a big (or formal) meal so we enjoyed some time in the Churchill Bar and ordered from the less formal of the two menus that the Langley offers.
The service in the Churchill bar was nothing short of excellent. The attitude of the staff was perfect with a great balance between friendliness and politeness, and it was interesting and pleasing to note that their drinks recommendations tended to be among the cheaper choices on the menu (I hate it when hotel/restaurant staff only push the over-priced options).
Most of the food in the bar was very good but a special mention has to go out to the ‘triple cooked chips’ (fries) that were simply fantastic – I haven’t had a better ‘chunky chip’ anywhere in the world. They were addictive!
On the second night of our stay we dined at Cedar. I had made a reservation a couple of weeks before we were due to arrive as I knew that the restaurant was small and I didn’t want to have any issues with getting a table at a time that suited us but, as things turned out, I need not have worried as the hotel was far from full.
Cedar offers a tasting menu and a regular à la carte dinner menu 7 days a week (click here for the lastest .pdf menus) and we went down the à la carte route which was delicious.
We both ordered scallops for our appetizers (they were cooked to perfection) and our main courses of halibut and short-ribs were both big hits. It was impossible to fault the food.
If I was to be super-critical I’d say that the service was on the slow side but Joanna and I were perfectly happy enjoying our evening so the slightly longer than normal wait times between courses weren’t really an issue.
The four other notable amenities that the Langley offers guests are acres and acres of parkland/woodland in which to roam…
…an outdoor pool…
….a full-service Spa (which Joanna tells me is very good – more details here)…
…and one of the best equipped hotel gyms I’ve seen in a while.
It’s hard to imagine anyone needing anything more!
- The breakfast options are very expensive for what they are
- The complimentary breakfast for elites is mediocre
- The service in the main restaurant can be a little slow
- The restaurant is on the small side
- The fact that the hotel doesn’t honor suite night awards is disappointing
- The property and surrounding areas are beautiful
- The Brew House Deluxe room was a great place to spend our stay
- Most members of staff we interacted with were amazingly helpful and friendly
- Dinner in the main restaurant (Cedar) was very good
- The selection of drinks on offer in the Churchill Bar was impressive
- This is a very easy property at which to relax, de-stress and forget about the rest of the world.
- The ‘triple cooked chips’ were among my food highlights of the year
Despite a few flaws the Langley has shot to the top of my list of Marriotts that I can’t wait to re-visit. The location and buildings are beautiful, the staff members are charming and there’s a beautifully relaxed atmosphere to the property.
It should be noted that this is far from a cheap place to visit (even if you’re paying with points) as the cost of food, drinks, and spa services are on the high side…but that’s not unique to the Langley. Most high-end properties can be a drain on your wallet if you’re not careful.
At 50,000 – 70,000 points for an award booking (as of 2021) the Langley may no longer rank as one of the best redemptions you’ll find in the Marriott Bonvoy reward chart (as it did when it cost just 35,000 points per night) but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that it’s still a very nice property to visit.