Normally we dish about modern divas and starlets and The Langham in the heart of London’s West End certainly attracts its share of those. Sharon Stone and Madonna are just two who have enjoyed the Langham’s Infinity Suite, a posh two-bedroom with soaring ceilings, four-poster beds, a dedicated butler and a decadent “Infinity” tub that, to the normal eye, looks more like a swimming pool.

But the Langham’s dazzling list of stars goes much further back. Not only was it christened in 1865 by none other than the Prince of Wales, but it’s where Mark Twain, Napoleon III, miserly multi-millionairess Hetty Green and Wallis Simpson, the American heiress who nearly took down the British Crown, liked to stay. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle set two of his books (A Scandal in Bohemia and The Sign of Four) at the Langham and its ballroom was once the BBC record library.

But even more important, this five-star hotel is where afternoon tea, that oh-so-British tradition, was born. Still held today in the iconic Palm Court, the Langham’s afternoon tea remains quite the fete with complimentary champagne, cakes inspired by famous jewels (Delices de Cartier, anyone?), hibiscus and rose tea and a resident pianist tickling the ivories while guests nibble away on scones and clotted cream.

The Langham recently underwent a $125 million renovation and is about to open Europe’s first Chuan Spa, based on the Wu Xing elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Click here to find out more about this hotel with the enviable location on Regent Street, directly across from the BBC.

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