The Langham hotel in Boston knows that the only thing more nerve-wracking than heading off to college is being the parent of a kid heading off to college. That’s why the property—fresh from a two-year, $200 million renovation—just launched the College Concierge Curriculum, a series of services aimed at making it hassle free to move into higher education.
With 35 colleges and universities and more than 150,000 students in the greater Boston region, the city can be overwhelming for families with a prospective or soon-to-be freshman in the mix. “Heading to college is one of the most stressful transitions you can make, so we wanted to find a way to help with organization and support,” says David Canes, the Langham’s chief concierge.
The hotel is offering two new packages—one aimed at those looking at schools and the other for when it’s time to move in. The College Prep Package includes accommodations in a family guest room for up to three guests; the use of a car and driver for up to five hours of college and university tours; and a special welcome package that includes baked goods customized with school logos as well as hats, mugs and other collegiate swag to bring the school spirit back home. The hotel also provides information on campus visits and can schedule information sessions and tours. A special rate for these packages includes 20% off the Langham’s best available pricing.
“Especially if you’ve never been to Boston, it can be confusing to make your way around to different universities and colleges, so it’s good to have a plan,” says Canes, who has lived in Boston nearly 30 years. He provides highlighted maps, detailed information about campus tours, and status reports on campus closings and security and logistics notices due to COVID-19.
The college move-in package is all about “getting families settled in town and helping students feel comfortable in those early days,” Canes says. He provides a checklist for students who need to know basics, everything from where to open a bank account and where to find a hospital to how to get a new cellphone plan. “Many of our guests come from South America or Europe and don’t know the city, so it’s nice to have a base of support,” Canes says. “We will help if you need an embassy or a decorator or a local mover—or if you just need to know where Bed, Bath & Beyond is.”
Those services can continue even after college begins. “If a college student is new in a city and celebrating his or her birthday, it’s nice for families to be able to call and say, ‘Can you host a birthday celebration for my college kid and a few friends?’ Also, if someone just needs a break away from the dorm, we can book them an overnight stay, which can do wonders for a stressed-out student.”
If you haven’t seen The Langham in a few years, you will be pleasantly surprised. The extensive renovation completely transformed all 312 American classic-style guest rooms, public and event spaces, and will introduce a new club lounge, The Fed cocktail bar and elegant Grana restaurant. The 1922 building that formerly housed the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston unveiled its changes in June by the design firm Richmond International, which also oversaw upgrades of the Langham Chicago and London properties. The splurge reservation is the Chairman’s Suite, a luxury penthouse with its own baby grand piano, pantry and kitchen, and a dining room that seats eight people. Newly commissioned art pieces around the hotel, mostly by Boston-area artists, bring the Langham’s overall collection to 268 original works.
“The building is part of the rich history of Boston, but these changes put a modern spin on tradition,” Canes says. “We think it’s a perfect place to use as a home away from home as you’re getting familiar with the city.”