The Langham, London
The 380-room Victorian-era landmark (unveiled by the Prince of Wales in 1865 and still a royal favorite) has recently been restored to its storied grandeur and brought into the 21st century with flat-screen TVs and wireless Internet in every room. British-style afternoon tea—voted London’s best in one recent poll—is served daily in the posh Palm Court off the lobby (try the tomato-and-cream-cheese sandwiches and the lemon posset cups). But the real culinary treat is the Roux at The Landau restaurant, a collaboration between legendary chefs (and father and son) Albert and Michel Roux Jr., for roasted wild sea bass and free-range Gloucester Old Spot pork loin. Langham’s new Asian owners have added subtle Eastern touches, too. At the Chuan Spa, Asian healing arts take center stage; holistic revitalizing treatments are grounded in traditional Chinese medicine. And the Langham’s central location, across from the Art Deco masterpiece BBC Building, makes it perfect for exploring Soho, Mayfair, and the funky Fitzrovia neighborhood.