A famed Pasadena landmark for 100 years, The Huntington Hotel has provided memories for millions of guests in a tradition of luxury and elegance. It has also served as an exclusive getaway for business executives, politicians and celebrities and has been an exquisite backdrop for television and movie productions for decades.
The hotel originally opened in February 1907 as the Hotel Wentworth, partially completed with a temporary roof above the fourth floor. Heavy rains fell during the hotel’s first season, driving guests to alternate resort areas. Rebuilding San Francisco after its devastating earthquake and fires drained construction workers from Southern California, delaying the property’s completion. Financial problems and a disappointing first season forced the Hotel Wentworth to close its doors indefinitely.
Railroad tycoon and art collector Henry Huntington purchased the Hotel Wentworth in 1911, renaming it the Huntington Hotel. Huntington hired prominent Los Angeles architect Myron Hunt to redesign the main building and grounds. It reopened in 1914, transformed into a beautiful winter resort. The 1920s were a prosperous time for the hotel, as Midwestern and Eastern entrepreneurs discovered California’s warm winter climate. Celebrated writers, entertainers, educators, religious and political leaders, royalty and sports personalities joined businessmen in their discovery of the enchanting resort.
The hotel’s reputation for fine service began with long-time general manager and later hotel owner Stephen W. Royce. His success was due to his personal acquaintance with each winter guest and special attention to their needs. Formal dinners were held each evening with dancing in the elegant Georgian Ballroom. By 1926, the hotel’s success prompted Royce to open the property year-round. At this time, California’s first Olympic-sized swimming pool was added as a special attraction for summer guests.
The “golden years” ended with the stock market crash and the Great Depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s. However, by the end of the 1930s, the hotel was back on solid ground. When World War II began, the hotel was rented to the Army for $3,000 a month. Following the war, the Hotel’s fortune turned upwards once again.
In 1954, Stephen Royce sold the hotel to the Sheraton Corporation, remaining as General Manager until his retirement in 1969. The hotel continued operating until 1985 when it was forced to close because of its inability to meet earthquake structural standards.
After a two and a half year major renovation, the hotel reopened in March 1991 as The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel. The Ritz-Carlton Company managed the property until January 2008, when Langham Hospitality Group purchased the property and it became The Langham Huntington, Pasadena. Since acquiring the property, Langham has invested millions into renovations and improvements including The Royce, The Tap Room, The Huntington Spa and the cottages. The Hotel is also globally certified for its commitment and dedication to sustainability.
In 2014, The Langham Huntington, Pasadena celebrates 100 years of enchanting hospitality as The Huntington Hotel.