On Location: The Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue

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LanghamThe Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue delivers an unparalleled midtown location, exquisite guest rooms and amenities, and 5-star service, all wrapped up in a big, satin bow (in signature Langham pink, of course).

In my opening welcome to attendees at Prevue’s Survival Strategies Summit, held here in January, I summed up my experience in one sentence: “I have never held a meeting at a hotel where I’ve been asked so many times if there was anything I needed.”

The Langham brand of service takes this one step further, surprising and delighting you with touches you didn’t even know you needed. Place a soap bar on the ledge in the shower, only to return to find it sitting in a pretty, little white plate. Leave a tip for the person who cares for your room only to find a handwritten, heartfelt thank-you note. Leave the room for the evening only to return to your own set of toasty, warm slippers.

The hotel rolled out the red carpet for our group throughout our meeting, but especially at the opening reception, with a private wine tasting and creative hors d’oeuvres from its new menu, including grilled octopus bites and ahi in crouton tacos. Of course, the group favorite was the cannoli station, with cannolis filled on demand lest they grow soggy. A creative lunch included power bowls with a choice of grains—brown rice, farro or cous cous—topped with shredded chicken, salmon or tofu and a medley of fresh veggies.

The room design at The Langham, New York was all you would expect from a 5-star Manhattan property, and more. The overall feel was one of uncomplicated luxury: platform beds with fine linens, giant windows that opened a couple of inches at the bottom to let in the fresh air, a TV built into the bathroom mirror, and a richly appointed walk-in closet area with a distinctly residential feel. Amenities included sumptuous oversized bath sheets, Diptyque toiletries and thoughtful minibar accessories such as charging cords, in the event you forget yours.

The focal point of the hotel’s lobby is a single, elegant white drop that falls from the second floor of the cathedral ceiling, set in the center of a stylishly curved staircase. Most of all, The Langham is known for its multi-million dollar private art collection by prominent New York artist, Alex Katz. The dozens of contemporary portraits, some originals and some prints, which hang throughout the public spaces and meeting rooms, depict the kinds of personalities he envisioned as hotel guests. In addition, there’s Ai Fiori, a popular French and Italian Mediterranean restaurant; the full-service Chuan spa; and a sleek exercise room.

The 234-room hotel features 7,700 sq. ft. of versatile meeting space. Our group of 50 was able to transition between two rooms, set in multiple configurations, with a comfy “living room” at the center, over the course of our two-day meeting.


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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.