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“Good, but looking forward to renovation” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Langham, Sydney

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The Langham, Sydney
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   89 - 113 Kent Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia (Formerly The Observatory Hotel )   |  
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Ranked #10 of 182 hotels in Sydney
Hong Kong
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Good, but looking forward to renovation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

My wife and I thought we'd try this place as an alternative to the Quay Grand Suites (QGS), our usual Sydney haunt. Our sleep is always most important when we travel. We were looking for a comfortable king bed with down pillows (QGS has tiny pillows with some sort of cheap stuffing inside - I sometimes have trouble getting comfortable since I have a problematic neck). Pillows here were indeed large and down feathered and the bed was firm but reasonably comfortable. Actually, I'm sure it was much more comfortable when they first bought it but now there are definite "body" indentations through many years of people sleeping in them. This could be seen even when the bed is made up. While relatively comfortable, the bed was not as "plush" as I would have hoped, probably due to the age.
I actually quite like the slightly "aged" look of the hotel's furnishings - it looks more old world charm - but there is nothing charming about a very used mattress. I hear they will be renovating next year (2013) after being bought by Langham.
Positive attributes:
- Bedrooms are large
- Service is fast, efficient and friendly
- In-room dining meals were good
- rooms relatively quiet despite non-glazed windows (street noises not enough to wake light sleepers like us)
- surprisingly good value - we only paid $40 a night more than 3-4 star hotels in 2nd tier city Newcastle. Also cheaper than QGS.
- large double sink bathroom with large bathtub
- no problems getting taxis
Issues:
- mattresses very old
- bathroom products not 5 star quality - there is no shower gel, it's an old fashioned soap.
- location very convenient to The Rocks, but not to much else. George St Mall and QVB can be walked in 20-25min.
- breakfast buffet quite average in terms of quality and variety (al a carte also available)
- air-con controls allows u to increase or decrease but no temperature gauge.

Overall, likely to stay again - my wife really likes the service and the large rooms. However, once they renovate it will likely be even better. I just hope they don't jack up prices too much to recoup the cost.

Room Tip: Only stayed in a City-view room which was fine and street noise was low. Harbour view actually looks...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonia L, General Manager at The Langham, Sydney, responded to this review, December 30, 2012
Dear DirkHartog,

Thank you for reviewing your experience at The Langham, Sydney.

I was pleased to hear that your stay with us was mostly very positive and that you will return to us on your next visit to Sydney.

I was dissappointed to read the issues that you had at the hotel and I would like to personally follow up on these. May I ask you to email me at sonia.lefevre@langhamhotels.com so that I can check which room you stayed in and follow up accordingly.

We pride ourselves on luxury at its best here at The Langham, Sydney and I would like to ensure that your next stay with us meets expectations, both yours and ours.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Best regards,

Sonia Lefevre
General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (185)
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

I am an avid spa visitor and looked forward eagerly to the body treatment I booked at the Langham spa. After a year of frequent hospitalisation and ravaging chemotherapy, my visit to the Langham spa was to be my reward. What a disappointment. The spa is tiny with very average decor. It was a sparkling Sydney day, so I arrived two hours earlier than my appointment time, to enjoy the pool, steam room etc. So disappointing that the pool was indoors with such a heavy cloud of chlorine I could not stay inside. There were also several children noisly running around (pool is part of the hotel). Now I found myself having to wait 2 hours in the foyer of the spa until my appointment time ( my request for an earlier slot could not be granted). There is no outside area to the spa. The body scrub and massage were very average. The cost - far in excess of the treatment. I really expected something very special. I will not be returning or recommending this spa.

Stayed December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonia L, General Manager at The Langham, Sydney, responded to this review, December 30, 2012
Dear Moira,

Thank you for taking the time to review about your experience at The Day Spa.

It is suprising to read of your experience at our Spa. The Day Spa is widely known in Sydney for its elegant surrounds and wonderful treatments offered.

I would like to personally follow up with you about your experience and invite you to email me at sonia.lefevre@langhamhotels.com or call on (02) 8248 5201.

Best regards,
Sonia Lefevre
General Manager
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Canberra, Australia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

We booked through a mystery selection on Wot-if website and scored the Langham in Kent St Sydney. The hotel was excellent. Typical 5 star facility with very pleasant staff to greet us and valet parking and all the regular services you would expect. We were going to the ballet at the Opera house the night we booked and it was a very pleasant walk through the Rocks and around Circular Quay. The hotel room was very spacious and the bathroom excellent with all the facilities you could think of. Being a slight novice to 5 star hotels we found this experience very special and well worth staying again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012 via mobile

The staff were very friendly and welcoming
The rooms are spacious
The bathrooms are gorgeous
The housekeeping staff are very polite and perfect everything from making your bed twice daily, tidying the bathroom, stocking guest amenities to placing your slippers by your bedside and providing complementary bottled water for the evening!!!
The pool is stunning and the balcony view is breath taking.
One complaint is the Resturant downstairs, if your starving then I suggest you go else wear as the portions are small, there isn't a big menu selection and it is pricey.. My partner ordered room service straight after the meal.
Overall we have enjoyed our stay and would definately return. Most enjoyable and relaxing stay.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonia L, General Manager at The Langham, Sydney, responded to this review, December 30, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review of The Langham, Sydney.

We pride ourselves at Langham Hotels on building great memories for our guests and it certainly sounds like you have a wonderful memory of your time with us.

I will be sure to pass your feedback regarding your meal at the hotel to our kitchen team.

We look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit to Sydney!

Kind regards,
Sonia Lefevre
General Manager
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Brisbane, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012 via mobile

My boyfriend and I stayed for a night as a pre-Christmas treat and mainly to have some spa treatments. We both had a 1 1/2 hr massage and I had a facial. My therapist was very ordinary and did not give an effective treatment for either which was very disappointing given the cost. I left written feedback on check out and asked to be contacted but never heard from the hotel. There are many good 5* spas in Sydney so I am happy to take my business elsewhere but was surprised they didn't want constructive feedback from a guest.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gisborne, New Zealand
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

We have loved staying at the Langham in Auckland and Melbourne. Their staff actually seem happy to be there and want to help make your stay enjoyable. Walking in is like entering a calm haven. Happy to say its the same at the Langham in Sydney. The hotel is in a great location, only 5 min walk to the Rocks. The hotel is due for a refit ( mid or late 2013 apparently) and some of the decor is a bit dated. However it still retains a sense of style and charm. We look forward to visiting again after the refit. Oh... And when the concierge says he doesn't recommend the airport shuttle, listen to him!! Wise chap....

Room Tip: Ask for one looking out over the harbour
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonia L, General Manager at The Langham, Sydney, responded to this review, December 30, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback from your recent stay at The Langham, Sydney.

We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your experience with us as much as your past experiences in Auckland and Melbourne.

Like our sister hotels, we have a wonderful team of staff at The Langham, Sydney. They are dedicated to making our guests experiences truly memorable.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Best regards,
Craig
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
353 helpful votes 353 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

Ok -- I stay in a lot of hotels and that makes me really objective about the properties I stay in. I have seen all there is to see in terms of fancy marble counters with gilded edge-work. I've tasted the best food and felt the softest linens.. You could say I'm a bit travel hardened - some would say jaded.. but nothing has ever happened to me such as that, which happened on my arrival here.

We flew privately from Singapore to Sydney by way of Ayer's Rock.. (Ayers is lovely for a 3 hour daytrip btw) we landed late and headed to the Langham (formerly the Observatory). On check-in there was a very gracious Indian night manager named Bhavin who helped us to our room.

We checked into the Presidential Suite (in additional 2 bedroom configuration) of this lovely older low rise property with comforting finishings which reminded us of the Peninsula in Beverly Hills. No sooner had the bags hit the ground in the adjoining children's room than a large cockroach was spotted on the floor. Bhavin dutifully exterminated the insect and after a chuckle we moved on. Cockroaches are a part of life in the tropics and you can't get too hung up on them.

Well in the next 10 minutes 2 more roaches appeared.. then 3 more.. then 2 more. Soon the children are screaming and think they're living a movie scene from "Men in Black" as roaches are scurrying from all corners. Without embelishment, I have never to this day seen anything like it anywhere.

We're exhausted because its late.. the kids soon pass out on the couch.. The children's mother and I retire to the cross-living master room, and the bed is "wet". Not humid, not damp, but borderline "wet".. we try to tuft the comforter, we try to shake the feeling but neither of us can sleep.. Then we start having trouble breathing.. wheezing and plugged noses. An hour into our stay (at 3am) we've gotten up, booked a room (any room available during christmas without a reservation) at another property, and we're packing to leave. We spent 1.5 hours in the suite.

The hotel staff were most gracious and understanding about the circumstances.. they helped us remove our bags and we tipped them well for their trouble. They told us that they too saw the offending insects, (which continued to spill from the wall till we left). The moisture was pronounced and the whole experience left us feeling poltergeist/twilight-zone like. There is no way to describe it - but suffice it to say that the Presidential Suite of this hotel was extremely "wet" and roach-infested during our December 2012 arrival.

I booked this hotel based entirely on the 600 trip advisor ratings we read and have honestly - truly now - "NEVER" experienced anything like this in a hotel stay.

The service during our short time was perfect and flawless and we thank the building managers and staff for permitting us to leave the property without charge, and acknowledging the gravity/severity of what is surely a one-off oddball experience in an otherwise lovely property. Can't fault the people. The property here was possessed.

Room Tip: I had a bad one-off experience on the 3rd floor presidential suite, which was very "wet"...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonia L, General Manager at The Langham, Sydney, responded to this review, December 30, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for reviewing your experience at The Langham, Sydney.

Further to the follow up correspondence we have had in the past few days, we were very suprised to hear of your experience in The Observatory Suite. This is the first time that we have heard this experience from a guest of the hotel.

Yes, cockroaches are a part of life in the tropics and particularly during the hot and humid summer weather, the flying coachroaches are plentiful in Sydney. Our only thoughts is that these most unwelcome of guests came in through some of the terraces on the 3rd floor or balconies. This is a possible explanation as we do maintain a strict pest control schedule here at the hotel and the highest standards of cleanliness.

I do hope that despite this, you may come and experience The Langham, Sydney in the future. The experience that you had with our staff in the short time is a reflection of the wonderful service that we offer here at The Langham, Sydney.

Best regards,
Sonia Lefevre
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Langham, Sydney

Address: 89 - 113 Kent Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia (Formerly The Observatory Hotel )
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Sydney
#4 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
#7 Family Hotel in Sydney
#7 Business Hotel in Sydney
#10 Luxury Hotel in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Langham, Sydney 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of Sydney, experience Australia’s most awarded Hotel, where boutique luxury is assured and personalised service unsurpassed. The Observatory Hotel is the ideal base from which to work and explore Sydney Australia's most vibrant city. Superbly located near Sydney's historic Rocks and central business district, nestled near the vibrant harbour and the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, this is an enviable location close to the bustling heart of the city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Observatory Hotel Sydney

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