A butler at Langham Chicago
Photo: Courtesy of Nina Kokotas Hahn

Old-world charm: Seven butlers are at your service

When Langham Chicago (330 N. Wabash Ave., 312-923-9988; from $395) opened in July, we lamented its lagging Travelle Restaurant and Chuan Spa, which were not ready for the hotel’s soft opening. Both have since opened: Travelle just over two weeks ago and, last Monday, the sprawling Chuan Spa.

But what really has us singing Langham’s praises is the new Club Lounge, which opened last Wednesday. Essentially a private common area for guests who book a suite-level room, Langham’s lounge stands apart from similar offerings at other hotels on at least two fronts: butler service and outstanding views up and down the Chicago River. (Right now, Langham is offering a $65 per person introductory rate for the Club Lounge for regular room guests; the price will go up to $75 in January and to $100 on April 1.)

Butler service? A team of seven butlers, actually, all trained at North America’s only accredited butler academy (run by Charles MacPherson, author of The Butler Speaks). “We call our guests before they arrive to introduce ourselves and anticipate their needs,” says Carlos Carrera, director of butler services. When guests arrive, they check in privately at the Club Lounge. Says Carrera, “We can pack and unpack their bags, press up to three garments, draw a bath from a bath menu—really, we are ready to help with any request.”

Located on Langham’s 13th floor (technically 12C), the giant L-shaped space hugs the south side of the building with floor-to-ceiling windows and, capitalizing on Langham’s location, feels as though it is hovering over the Chicago River. Inside, the modern and spacious lounge includes a bright buffet area and dining space, a lounge area that surrounds a travertine-enclosed fireplace, and a cozy library space with Eames loungers. Guests may nibble on free food all day, including breakfast, light snacks, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails and charcuterie.

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