The Langham, Boston reopened its doors late last month after a two-year, multi-million dollar renovation transforming the downtown Boston property with fully renovated guest rooms and suites, a grand new ballroom, and an exciting new destination bar and Italian restaurant concept.
With Dyer Brown as architect and designer of the exterior hotel improvements and architect of record for the new interiors, and Richmond International overseeing the interior design and curating of the hotel's art collection – all of which will reflect the building's background as the former Federal Reserve Bank of Boston – The Langham, Boston is set to re-open as one of America's most iconic hotels. “In my opinion - the nicest luxury hotel on the North American continent,” Stefan Leser, chief executive officer, Langham Hospitality Group, tells TTN in an interview.
“When you go to uber luxury, customers almost always go through their trusted contacts, which might be a travel expert or their favourite hotelier”
– Stefan Leser
Guests of the hotel can also partake in a daily complimentary Heritage Tour of the hotel, including an overview of the impressive new art collection and the building’s heritage as the former Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 1922. This fall, The Langham, Boston will introduce The Langham Club, a signature of The Langham Hotels & Resorts brand, featuring a private space in which guests who have purchased Club access can meet, eat and socialize; and a brand new pool, hot tub and fitness centre.
THE TRAVEL TRADE
Langham Hospitality Group is a global company with more than 30 properties over four continents. With 13 of the hotels based in China, the business was exposed to Covid-19 early on. Being based in Hong Kong, Leser has first-hand experience on how China and Hong Kong dealt with the pandemic.
“I think that the pandemic has proven that while it was a difficult period for the travel agents, there was an important role to play if you are specialised, and if you have a close relationship with your customer base,”
Leser held senior roles for more than a decade at Kuoni Travel Holding, the leading Swiss travel services provider. As a member of Kuoni’s executive board and executive vice president of the outbound and specialists division, Leser directed the company’s travel businesses, covering the Nordics, United Kingdom, Benelux, India, China, Hong Kong, and Switzerland.
“I know that the last 10 years were about disintermediation and going direct but now, in any crisis, it shows that agents do a lot of work. In the recent times, unfortunately, they had a lot of work dismantling itineraries, especially in the beginning of the pandemic and changing and altering travel plans for their clientele.
“It’s about having a trusting relationship rather than a one to many situation like in an OTA/meta search engine, where it is only about the pricing.
“Especially when you go to uber luxury, customers almost always go through their trusted contacts, which might be a travel expert if it is a new, unexplored destination or it might be their favourite hotelier, in the case of returning guests.
“The Middle East has a very demanding clientele, and rightly so, as they are prepared to pay the money, so they expect to get the appropriate service,” Leser tells TTN.
Before Langham, Leser was at Jumeirah International where he was the group chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors. He was responsible for several significant milestone projects, such as the inauguration of The Terrace at Burj Al Arab and the completion and launch of Jumeirah Al Naseem.
KEY LANGHAM PROPERTIES
While we wait to see a Langham in the Middle East, The Langham, London has been a popular choice for many Middle Eastern travellers over the years but the recently opened The Langham, Boston as well as the up and coming Jakarta property will also be firm favourites for the region, he predicts.
The Langham, Jakarta –the group’s first property in Southeast Asia, is set to open in September this year. It is located within the prestigious complex of District 8 at SCBD (Sudirman Central Business District) with direct access to the capital’s financial district, finest shopping malls, entertainment and recreation facilities.
The group’s European expansion includes The Langham Nymphenburg Residence, Munich, which opened in September 2020 – a 9,000 square feet private residence with unique handcrafted artworks from the world-renowned Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg in every room. “Located within the stately 490-acre imperial estate of Nymphenburg Palace, though 15 minutes from the city centre, the property is surrounded by these lush green parks that we think will be a great benefit in times to come. The villa is not humongous but beautifully crafted, right next door to the Royal Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory, where guests can see the artworks that adorn the residence being prepared. It’s a one-key offering, and we can accommodate only one family at any given time.”
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.