Housed in a 1925 building that was once the National Bank of Miami, The Langford Hotel is a downtown gem with plenty of references to the 1920s scene. The period piece touches complement newly opened rooms, however, that meet expectations from the late 2010s.
There traditionally hasn’t been a lot to choose from in downtown Miami, with most development being out at the beaches or in the Brickell financial district a bit to the south. The downtown area has a lot going for it though, with easy public transportation connections (I got to the airport in 20 minutes via the metro) and a growing pedestrian-friendly nightlife and restaurant scene. New upscale condo buildings are rising up to meet demand for city center housing.
The first impression here at this 126-room hotel is a grand one, with the arches and stone of the 1920s bank building housing the valet parking stand, doors to reception, and a separate door leading to the restaurant area for breakfast. In the reception area there are a lot of elements that have been left in place but polished up to show off the heritage. There’s the original mailbox, with a chute going up the height of the building. The elevators have gear-like dials above the doors and the Beaux-arts design is intact. The control panel inside is what you would have seen when this was a prominent bank and elevators were a new novelty.
This attention to detail continues in the rooms. Instead of placing your suitcase on a routine folding stand, you can place it on top of a period suitcase that’s closer to a steamer trunk. Well-designed furniture with clean lines gives a nod to the past, as does the wallpaper accent wall behind the bed. Retro phones and light switches enhance the feeling of being in a historic building and the oak hardwood floors are high quality.
The gleaming bathrooms feature pedestal white sinks standing out against shiny black tile with white grout. The enclosure around the spacious rain shower area is all glass, with the tile showing through.
These are design elements separating The Langford from a routine chain hotel, but then they step up above those chains when it comes to the amenities. Quality Damana bath products and a make-up mirror complement robes, slippers, a fridge or minibar, and a safe big enough for a laptop. The complimentary WiFi works well and the 43-inch TV has a wide selection of channels. Very comfortable beds are fitted with fine cotton linens and several pillow type choices.
Room types range from a standard-sized Deluxe Queen up to a Penthouse Suite with 1,300 square feet on two levels. There are three more categories in between.
Public spaces are limited in the hotel itself. The rooftop lounge has a great view at night, but was undergoing “a re-concept phase” during my visit and was closed. The restaurant area on the ground floor is only open for breakfast. There’s plenty to choose from within a few blocks, however, from ethnic diners to elegant restaurants to a Whole Foods.
There’s no real lobby on the ground floor, but if you take the elevator one floor up there’s a lounge area. This has sofas, chairs and a selection of books for relaxing or working outside your room. Unfortunately, nobody told me it was there when I checked in, so I only learned it existed as I was checking out.
This started out as an independent hotel, but that didn’t last long. Soon after we posted our review the website stopped working. After a while it emerged why: this is now part of a UK chain and is called Eurostars Langford. The best news that came out of this transition is the Bloom Sky Bar is open again. Check the new website here.
Rates generally run $169 to $400, but there’s a gotcha “hotel fee” tacked on after that, so really the rates are $24 double more than what you first see online, plus taxes (but including breakfast). Check prices for the Langford Miami online at Hotels.com and TripAdvisor.
Editor Tim Leffel was hosted one night at The Langford in downtown Miami for review purposes. All opinions are his own.