Just moments’ walk from Davis Brown estate agents offices in W1 is the beautiful Langham Hotel in Portland Place. This stunning Victorian building is one of London’s famous landmarks, and remains one of the places to stay in the city centre. What many do not know is that The Langham is also home to residents of a rather spooky nature! Halloween is just a few weeks away and so we thought we would investigate the history of The Langham a little more, and share our findings with you.
Designed by John Giles and completed in 1865, The Langham was designed in the style of a Florentine Palace. Giles’ design was picked from a competition and rumour has it that the total cost of the build ended up at £300,000! Opened on the 16th June by the Prince of Wales, at the time The Langham was both the largest and most modern Hotel in London, even featuring the first hydraulic lift in England.
Famous guests such as Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde were regular visitors, and Arthur Conan Doyle even set some of his books such as A Scandal in Bohemia in The Langham. The hotel has even been awarded a blue plaque for its famous customers, in particular the meeting of Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Marshall Stoddart at The Langham in August 1889.
Following heavy damage during World War II and BBC ownership, The Langham underwent a four year restoration starting in 1987 to the cost of £100 million and proudly re-opened in 1991, returned to its former glory.
The Langham remains true to its origins as one of London’s most prestigious hotels, despite rumours of hauntings paranormal activity. During the BBC’s occupation of the hotel, it was suggested that up to five ghosts stalk the halls of the Langham Hotel. Reports feature a European Nobleman who allegedly fell to his death from an upper storey room, walking through walls and doors before a sudden drop in temperature and a gust of cold air. Perhaps the most famous of The Langham’s apparitions is located in the famous Room 333! This hotel room is said to be one of the most haunted in London – legend has it that the room is home to the ghost of a Victorian Doctor who murdered his wife before killing himself during their honeymoon. A BBC reporter claims he woke in the middle of the night to a bright white ball of light at the end of his bed. The light grew into a ghostly image of a man in Victorian nightclothes, with severed legs below the knee. The BBC reporter ran to retrieve a colleague, and when they both returned, the apparition was still there before fading into thin air. However, the third floor is also haunted by a butler who stalks the corridors at night, frightening staff and guests alike. Famously in July 2014, England Cricketers Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes were so terrified during the night whilst staying on the third floor that they demanded to be moved to another room!
Here at Davis Brown we offer short let stays in The Langham, from hotel rooms, to fully furnished apartments. You can even request a room on the third floor…and dare we suggest Room 333 itself?! If you are a bit of a ghost seeker, then let us set you up at The Langham over Halloween. Alternatively, if you are simply looking for a little luxury in the city centre then please do not hesitate to ask and we can send you our full list of properties within The Langham Hotel.
If you are looking for short let properties in Marylebone, Fitzrovia, Covent Garden and W1, contact Davis Brown for more information.