By Ali Webb
Originally built in 1907 in the Spanish Mission Revival style, the Huntington Langham Hotel and Spa in Pasadena, California, has hosted over 100 years of memory making for guests who come to celebrate important events, big and small. Today, its tradition of luxury and elegance continues to charm visitors who enjoy its ornate architecture, lavish ballrooms, and attractions like The Picture Bridge, a wooden structure spanning a ravine on the property and decorated with a series of California landscapes.
After checking in, be sure to spend a few minutes in the inner courtyard, with its small Japanese garden. During a recent visit, a mother duck and her seven ducklings were delighting the tiniest hotel guests by paddling around the small set of connected pools. In the marvelous California sunshine, the courtyard was an oasis of calm.
The well-appointed guest room had a balcony overlooking the sweeping Horseshoe Gardens and what was originally the front of the hotel. If you choose a club room, the Langham Club offers five different “culinary treatments” as part of the room rate. After check in, tea was the first treatment. Tiny scones with a dollop of Devon cream, along with all of the other delectables, can certainly suffice until dinner.
Evenings in the Tap Room
Evening at the Huntington Langham Hotel finds guests in the Tap Room, enjoying the mild weather with doors open to the gardens. Small plates were served with a nice selection of California wines. The live music enticed several patrons to dance, but the overstuffed chairs with comfortable cushions also offered the perfect place to relax.
Breakfast or lunch at the Huntington Langham Hotel’s Terrace restaurant can be either inside or al fresco. Overlooking the pool, the Terrace is also a favorite of locals, and dining outside in California should be on the must-do list for any visitor. Enjoy a blackberry mojito, the perfect mix of sweet and tangy. The fish tacos and the burger with a brioche bun and aged cheddar were winners.
The Olympic-size pool was the first one built in California and is still a wonderful place to swim and sun. A few hours poolside can change your world view, but a visit to the Chuan Spa may change you even more.
In Chinese, Chuan means flowing water, and this element is a key part of the spa’s philosophy towards wellness. Ushered into the changing facilities through the Moon Gate was the start of a journey to regain balance and harmony. Treatments are built on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. The hot and cold stone massage delivered on its promise to be both an invigorating and healing experience. The Dream Room is aptly named for a quick snooze between treatments or a sip of the spa’s Five Elements teas.
A City of Exquisite Attractions
The world-famous Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens — one of California’s top cultural attractions — is almost opposite the hotel’s grounds. The same wealthy family that originally owned the hotel had owned the mansion and estate and created the Huntington Library in 1919. In addition to 120 acres of gardens, the Huntington features both a rare book and manuscript collection and an art collection. Wandering through three acres of rose gardens, it is hard to choose a favorite from the 4,000 bushes. Each of the 1,200 cultivars has a distinctive scent and lovely color.
If you are looking for something a little more lively, you need only travel to Old Town Pasadena, one of the hippest spots for upscale dining and shopping in the Los Angeles area. Several square blocks are filled with 100 different restaurants and 200 stores.
Pasadena is known worldwide for the annual Tournament of Roses parade, where floats decorated only in flowers travel through the streets on New Year’s Day. Collegiate football fans know the Rose Bowl as a premier football game held that same day. No matter when you visit, however, Pasadena has local beauty, a great year-round climate, and activities galore.
For further details, visit the Huntington Langham Hotel and Spa’s website at http://www.langhamhotels.com/en/the-langham/pasadena/
Contributor Ali Webb took her first airplane trip when she was six weeks old and has been traveling ever since. Born and raised in California, she now lives in the middle of the US and is frequently published as The Indulgent Traveler. Check out her travels at her website, www.indulgenttraveler.com.