Opened by the Prince of Wales, who would become King Edward VII in 1902, The Langham London was the first purpose-built hotel in Europe.
It set the blueprint for the grand hotels for the travelling elite which would pop up all over Europe in its wake. Today it's the flagship for a Hong Kong-based small chain that includes glam properties in HK, Melbourne – and now Sydney.
Having taken over the high end Observatory Hotel space last year, the property operated for a short time under the Langham banner before closing for a $30 million remodel.
Now coming to the end of its soft opening period, the 98-room Langham Sydney is certainly a game changer in its market.
Like the modern day Langham London, the 2007-2008 renovation which re-established the hotel at the top of the British capital's hospitality scene, proprietors hope the Langham Sydney's fresh new demeanour will place it at the very top of the harbour city tree.
The extraordinary makeover is breathtaking in detail Custom fittings extend throughout creating a look that is cleverly directional yet classic. The Observatory's notable collection of Australian art has been extended under the loving watch of Sotheby's. And the underground pool has been turned into a romantic grotto.
The most radical reimagining of the Kent Street property in The Rocks has been in the reconfiguration of the building to take in its harbour views, dormant during its previous incarnation. But its trump card may well be Palm Court. Serving an exquisite English high tea and with a cocktail bar manned by proper talented mixologists poached from London's finest hotels, expect Sydney's social set to descend.
From $635 a night. See langhamhotels.com.