The Inspector reviews The Langley in Iver, Buckinghamshire

An Inspector Calls… The Langley outside Slough has £400 rooms that are top-notch in a characterless sort of way – and fake books in the bar

  • The Langley outside Slough was the 3rd Duke of Marlborough’s hunting lodge 
  • It is now a hotel owned by Yemen-born Khalid Affara and managed by Marriott 
  • The mansion is home to a bar, restaurant and spa with a ‘huge pool’

Economic uncertainty may be in the air, but you would never know it if your barometer was swanky hotels. 

Recent weeks have seen the opening of The Cadogan in London, Monkey Island in Bray, The Pig At Bridge near Canterbury, and now The Langley outside Slough.

Owned by mega-rich, Yemen-born Khalid Affara, The Langley, built in the 18th century, was once the hunting lodge of the 3rd Duke of Marlborough.

The Langley outside Slough was once the hunting lodge of the 3rd Duke of Marlborough. It is now a hotel owned by Yemen-born Khalid Affara and managed by Marriott

But, my goodness, it’s an acquired taste. Global glitz is one way to describe it, and I’m sure there’s a market for those happy to pay more than £400 for a room (plus £28 pp for continental breakfast).

Marriott manages the hotel, but I suspect it was Mr Affara who asked for two men to be on the gate to greet arrivals. 

Another besuited fellow then awaits you at the entrance steps that lead up to the grand hall, with its magnificent pillars and mosaic floor, offset by a bling chandelier and repro portraits of the Duke and his wife.

We all have our bugbears, and one of mine is fake books – like the ones in the Churchill Bar here, where, inevitably, there’s another repro portrait, this time of the great man, above the fireplace.

Our room is on the top floor. It has two pokey windows and no bath, which I think is unacceptable at these prices. 

That’s what I tell the young receptionist, who immediately shows us a similar category room (there are 41) in The Brew House across the drive. It’s got a tub, but looks out at a high brick wall, above which you can just about see sky. So we stick with the no-bath option.

An example of one of the bedrooms at The Langley. The Inspector found his room to be 'top-notch in a characterless sort of way'

An example of one of the bedrooms at The Langley. The Inspector found his room to be ‘top-notch in a characterless sort of way’

Everything in the room is top-notch in a characterless sort of way, with sumptuous duvet, pillows and sheets, though we’re surprised to get only two small bottles of complimentary water.

The restaurant, Cedar, is stark and overlit with dreadful acoustics. Only two other tables are occupied, but it takes an age for any food to arrive. We practically devour a whole loaf waiting for our starters, which turn out to be delicious, followed by excellent lamb chops.

I visit the spa before breakfast. No expense spared here, either, and it’s a beauty, buried deep underground with a Matt Roberts gym, huge pool, hammam et al.

So, good luck to The Langley, where a money-no-object owner is appealing to money-no-object guests. Let’s hope there’s enough of the latter to keep the former happy.

TRAVEL FACTS

The Langley, Uxbridge Road, Iver, Buckinghamshire SL3 6DU

Tel: 0207 236 3636, marriott.co.uk

Doubles from £445 (room only) 

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