Luxury Hotels


Shane Pateman, GM of The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, has a strong F&B background. Back in his native Ireland he always wanted to be a chef but as a change from doing an out-of-school-hours paper round he found himself eventually diverted to mainstream hospitality. He and The Langham’s chef, Parisien Denis Depoitre, above, are actually like a two-person comedy act when they are away from serious business. They probably have to be. On any weekend day the 353-room hotel is likely to serve 2,000 meals.

Girlahead ate splendidly. Dinner was in the Royce, named for a former GM who then bought the hotel. This is the epitomal chophouse, with steaks from Australia and Japan as well as the USA. Girlahead’s seared corn-fed ribeye from Aspen Ridge Farm, Greeley CO really did not need the impressive Bon Chef steak knife: but oh it was enhanced by another American offering, Ch Brave 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Veeder, And both the white china and cutlery were Fortessa, from the Virginia company founded in 1993.

Denis Depoitre, who has been in the USA for 30 years, says one big difference is that today people care more about the source of products (Girlahead would like to know who grew the enormous strawberries in the breakfast parfait in The Terrace restaurant, overlooking the pool, see below). There’ll be a second pool next week, a curvilinear affair utilising one of the three tennis courts. Yes, things are a-changing at this historic hotel. Einstein, Nixon and Oppenheimer might have been previous guests but today’s celebs often seek total privacy – there are eight secluded villas perfect for this. Girlahead especially liked the look of what is called the Romantic Cottage, near the Japanese Garden, which has a scarlet – not pink – bridge.

But she was more than happy in room #850, particularly since it was handy for the Club Lounge, which did have flowers. Pink, for Langham. A brand that names its discount-heavy free loyalty programme Brilliant. Brilliant.