Last year, the Langham Auckland celebrated its 10th birthday. This month we chatted with the hotel known for its sophisticated five-star luxury to reflect over its 10 year history and see what’s in store ahead.
As well as turning 10, the Langham Auckland had an exceptional 2015, receiving an impressive lineup of awards and completing significant refurbishment throughout the hotel. The $2.4 million refurbishment of Crystal Room and the Gallery Rooms was completed, and the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, Eight, also recently turned five. 2015 saw the hotel take away awards including Luxury Classic Hotel of the Year, Environmental Initiative Award, Traveler’s Choice Award, Certificate of Excellence – Palm Court, Qualmark Enviro Gold Rating, and Earthcheck Gold Certified 2015. Furnished with handcrafted wood furniture, there are a total of 411 guest rooms, 17 spacious suites, and 27 Langham Club rooms at the hotel’s Symonds Street location.
Langham Auckland’s marketing communications manager Veronica Johnston said the hotel’s investment plans ahead include continuing to refurbish and renovate. “The hotel’s management has made substantial investments over the past few years in the creation of contemporary banquet facilities with the Great Room and the recently completed Crystal Ballroom and Gallery Rooms.
“Our Food and Beverage offerings have seen the recent creation of a new Palm Court Lobby lounge bar and we are currently working on refurbishing ‘Eight’ restaurant. Our upgraded leisure facilities also boast the exclusive haven of Chuan Spa. We are now in active discussions regarding the renovation of our Classic Rooms,” Johnston said. The Langham Auckland’s history dates back to 1851, when Charles Partington built a brick windmill on the hotel’s current site.In 1877, Partington passed away and his son Joseph took over. In 1941 Joseph passed away and in 1950 the mill was demolished. The hotel was known as Sheraton Auckland Hotel & Towers for many years after opening in February 1983. In 1998, Great Eagle Holdings Limited purchased the hotel building.
The Langham, Auckland was re-branded ‘Langham’ in January 2005 and the hotel underwent a $12 million transformation early in 2006 to create a look of sophisticated elegance consistent with other Langham hotels around the world. The hotel took its design cues from flagship sister property, The Langham London, after recognising a fall in favour for minimalist décor among international travelers. The new look is elegant and opulent, and offers comfort, luxury and sophistication.
In February 2009 the exclusive Chuan Spa and Health Club was opened. In 2010 the refurbishment and the extension of ballroom facilities were completed and The Great Room opened as one of the largest and pillarless hotel ballrooms in New Zealand. In 2014, new lobby lounge bar and restaurant Palm Court opened and stylish a la carte breakfast, all day and evening dining was introduced.
Diners can select a cut of the finest meat available and have it cooked to their taste, there is fresh sushi and sashimi made-to-order on offer and an array of sweets, desserts and pastries. Since turning five, diners at Eight have been offered a unique interactive experience, and a variety of cuisine at the restaurant’s eight kitchens.
The Langham Auckland works on a corporate social responsibility and takes pride in being a good corporate citizen both socially and environmentally in its local community, the wider Auckland city and New Zealand as a whole. The Langham Auckland has also adopted a cradle to cradle approach with all procurements, which involves looking at where all items, local or overseas, are sourced, what they are sourced from, how they are manufactured, by whom and under what conditions. Where possible all products used by The Langham need to be either recyclable or degradable.
‘Guests of the Earth’ is a Langham Hospitality Group programme that encourages guests to join their green journey in building a more sustainable hotel. There is a linen and towel reuse card in all rooms. As part of the Langham’s commitment to this project and to sustainability in New Zealand, the hotel has a native weta habitat in the lobby courtyard. This environment is designed to showcase one of New Zealand’s iconic and indigenous insect species, the weta, for guests’ viewing pleasure. The hotel runs its own ‘Green Team’ which is made up of hotel colleagues who volunteer their time to promoting and working on CESR initiatives.
Key initiatives being managed by The Langham Auckland include general sustainability training for all staff through the Staff Induction Programme, locally sourced products from within the community as well as nationwide, staff awareness through training, notice boards and participation in events, reducing the consumption of water, energy and waste going to landfill, waste separation and recycling including food waste and general recycling, energy saving light bulbs in all rooms, room thermostats with motion sensors being trialed, and replacement of Perchloroethylene-based dry cleaning machine. Since 2010 The Langham Auckland has had two chosen charities of choice, which are currently Garden to Table and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) New Zealand.
The hotel works with both organisations closely each year to assist with fundraising, raising the profile of the organisations and promoting their cause to the hotel’s guests. The Langham Auckland is among the first accommodation providers in New Zealand to achieve Qualmark’s Enviro-Gold status. The Langham has demonstrated the highest possible level of commitment to environmental practices to achieve Enviro-Gold status. Every year towards the end of March, The Langham, Auckland joins millions of people across the world to support Earth Hour.
When the Langham Auckland secured the prestigious EarthCheck Gold level of certification through the world’s leading certifier of travel and tourism organizations in January 2012, it was a New Zealand first. To gain EarthCheck Gold certification, The Langham had to report its environmental footprint and adhere to an internationally recognised standard of best practice.
Each year leading up to certification, The Langham Auckland submits 12 months of operational data to EarthCheck to be benchmarked against industry best practice. A number of key indicators are measured including energy and water consumption, total waste production and community commitment.