The Langham has two claims to fame: It was the first grande dame hotel, in 1865, and it popularized afternoon tea. A lot has changed since then—for a while it was even occupied by the BBC. It was fully rebuilt in the early 1990s, so although you’ll see a scant few Victorian touches, rooms are sized to modern standards while the huge three-building complex (the Regent Tower is the most secluded and has great views down Regent Street) maintains that luxurious grande dame feel. Americans have always felt at home here, partly because it’s not off-puttingly fussy while being comfortable. The Wigmore, its on-site pub, serves meals with piquant flavors, and its cocktail bar, Artesian, puts a playful twist on serious mixology. If you can, spring for a Club Level access, where you can get all three meals and free cocktails. It’s a few short blocks from Oxford Street’s best shopping.