The Langham: I kind of expected better

Recently I spent a very pleasant waspy afternoon nomming out on high tea and author talk with my Mum and Nan. It is our annual three generational date during the Readers and Writer Festival. The food was petit, florid and aesthetically pleasing, the rather weak cafetiere hot brown offered the required awakening for my poor tired mind. I genuinely enjoyed the panel of older feisty author chat fun times.

The Langham, as anyone in Auckland knows, is a rather swanky hotel, all bedecked out in gilt plating, dark wood stain and sparkling chandeliers. When looking for very nice bathrooms it would be on my to view short list. Sadly, it was not all that the valet men in top hats would have you believe.

 

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When it comes to the public bathrooms, honestly they could have done better. The main hall and foyer made me feel as though I was inside the body cavity of a huge luxe beast, all mirrored and chintzed. The bathrooms however felt like something they never should, an appendix; almost completely pointless unless you’re a rabbit. They are like a god-created after thought.

 

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Yes they were clean and new, I can’t fault them on the basics. The tile work was nice and all but it wasn’t anything impressive, I didn’t feel WOWED by their loos and that is what I want, to walk in and think “yes god damn this is a classy establishment” followed by “oh shit, I will no doubt soon be ousted for being common and garish.” When a place lets down the side on the small matters it feels shallow, a skin deep effort. It made me think of a swanky restaurant whose kitchen doors hide all manner of horrors,  roaches in the kitchen and a crazed chef who is sweating profusely into the cassolet, no one in the velveted dinning room is aware that the secret to the seasoning is 100 degrees and cigarette run off.

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So what did I think of them? The basics; there were about 5 and they were stalls, decent number but I feel that somewhere so big and impressive could do more private bathrooms. The hand soaps were nice and there was a space with a wee table to re-do ones lippy. The lights around the mirrors seemed to be the only harkening to the supposed glamour of the establishment.

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Cleanliness – 10/10

Interior – 8/10

Exterior – 9/10

Safety – 9/10

Snugglitude – 4/10

Safety wise it is a very posh place so you’d think safety wouldn’t be an issue but some how I get the feeling that not infrequently do those very bathrooms gets used for a wee exchange of money for narcotics, and cracked out rich ladies are rather unpredictable.

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You just never know do you….

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