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“Convenient location, lovely hotel” 5 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 #9 of 182 hotels in Sydney
Melbourne
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Convenient location, lovely hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

Located in a great spot, near to all tourist and sightseeing spots but without being bang in the middle of it all. It is on a quiet street on the Darling Harbour side of the Rocks and the Bridge.

The hotel room decor is very much colonial style with nice timber furniture and framed historical (reproduction) engravings.

The beds were comfortable and the air conditioning functioned as desired...most important on hot summer days.

The swimming pool is quaint. Being in the basement/lower level, it does not have windows and is dimly lit for effect; the roof of the pool area is lit like the night sky and the main pool is somewhat dark. There is a spa as well as separate steam rooms and saunas for each gender.

Overall, a very nice hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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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, January 17, 2013
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for reviewing your recent stay at The Langham, Sydney. We are delighted to read your comments.

We are very fortunate to have a wonderful team here at The Langham, Sydney that are dedicated to making our guests experiences truly memorable. Our spa and pool are particularly popular with our guests, and we are glad to hear you enjoyed the facilities also.

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

Wishing you a delightful day,

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
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

Beautiful interior, a humble opulent trail from the hotel front all the way though the foyer and the halls right to the room. The service is top! What lovely staff, we were made to feel very welcomed and comfortable. Great value for us! Didn't get to try the restaurants etc so can't say anything about that we were too busy. Must add though the mattresses on the beds could totally be better! Also I found for the first time in my life an allergy to something, I got a rash all over my body at first I thought it was the robe so I stopped wearing it, then I thought it was the bed so went searching for bed bugs apart from a few hairs left on the mattress cover under the sheets NO bed bugs! (thank God I'd hate to complain when the people are so lovely), after these deductions finally the morning we left I showered this time using the soap only on my feet. What do you know my feet got so itchy in the car! :L so I found it was just the soap, pity the bathroom didn't have body wash it might've saved me some scratching. Lovely stay otherwise, much better than many places we've stayed!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sonia L, General Manager at The Langham, Sydney, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking time to review your stay at The Langham, Sydney.

It is always a delight to hear that you enjoyed your experience at our hotel. Thank you for acknowledging the staff at the hotel. They are a dedicated team committed to ensuring our guests leave with great memories. It sounds like we have achieved this from your recent stay with us.

In relation to the bathroom amenities, I do apologise for the inconvenience. We are currently waiting for the delivery of our shower gel. In the meantime, we do have an alternative bath wash available upon request.

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

Sonia Lefevre
General Manager
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Melbourne
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We were lucky enough to obtain a last minute price on a Junior Suite and were pleasantly surprised. All staff were excellent and more than willing to help with anything needed, as well as very personable. The Junior Suite is comfortable with a DVD and a large bathroom. Breakfast (included in our package) was one of the nicer breakfasts we have had this week - with a fair range to choose from. The pool is worth a visit - but was pretty crowded when we were there (it was an unusually hot day!). The only two drawbacks were that the wireless internet was hard to connect into (but got there in the end) and air-conditioning wasn't very effective.

Room Tip: Check for deals for the suites - the standard rooms won't be nearly as comfortable.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
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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, January 13, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking time to review your experience at The Langham, Sydney.

It is wonderful to read that your expectations were exceeded and you have a great memory of your time with us.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the future. Our Tiffin afternoon tea is another delightful indulgence that can't be missed.

Best regards
Sonia Lefevre
General Manager
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Bondi, Australia
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013


We arrived at 1245 for high tea. as expected, our room was not ready and this was not an issue as check-in is from 3pm. Reception advised however that the room would be ready by the time we finished our tea.
High tea itself was lovely. The staff were fantastic and looked after us really well. They even brought out an additional birthday treat for my husband. We finished high tea at 2.15pm and the waiter advised us that the room would be 20mins.
20 mins later - reception then said 15 mins. When I said that we'd already been told 20 mins, the female receptionist replied in a surly fashion that rooms weren't guaranteed to be available until 3pm. That itself is not a problem, however don't tell a guest a time and then not deliver. Basic customer service principles include under promise and over deliver, something I would expect an establishment of this quality to practice as a matter of course. At 3pm, I went back to reception and spoke to a third member of staff who advised that the room was waiting for inspection and would be another 5-10 minutes. When I explained (very politely) that I was very disappointed with the service I was receiving, I was told that "the front desk were a slave to housekeeping" and that I was on an urgent list. I advised the gentleman that everyone that had arrived after us had already been allocated their rooms and this combined with the timing issues was disappointing.
The room was ready at just after five past three. The receptionist escorted us to the room and apologised for the issues, advising that he had notified the Duty Manager who would be in touch.
The room was beautiful with a nice touch of some welcome cakes wishing my husband a happy birthday. Our room also had a balcony which was an added bonus. The amenities in the room were ok, nothing special, but slightly strangely there was talcum powder but no shower gel or body lotion. I called reception and politely mentioned that we had soap but no shower gel and had no body lotion. That matter was dealt with quickly and efficiently however we were brought lots of shampoo, conditioner, some body lotion and three more bars of soap!!! The only people I know who use soap nowadays are in the 70+ age bracket.
After a trip to the pool and some rest, we went down to the bar for a drink before we went out for dinner. The service was quick and friendly. Before we headed out for dinner I mentioned to reception that we had been advised that the Duty Manager would be in touch. They apologised that they hadn't been and asked me to take a seat, advising that the Duty Manager would be with me within 10-15 mins! Not what I would expect in a five star hotel. I told them I'd be in the bar but no-one came and we never heard mention of it the rest if our stay.
Our room itself was comfy and we slept really well. The next morning we decided not to worry with breakfast and just enjoyed the room. Checkout was quick. I was asked whether I enjoyed my stay. When I said it was decidedly average compared to my previous stay and lacked attention to detail with poor service, the receptionist said "I'm sorry" and that was that.
Overall our stay was ok but I expect a lot better for a hotel of this quality. Over promising and under delivering seemed to be the essence of the service we received and attention to detail is sadly lacking. A real shame as the Langham could and should be the best 5 star hotel in Sydney but it has a long way to go.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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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, January 16, 2013
Dear Natnats,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at The Langham, Sydney. It was dissappointing to read that your stay fell short. As a company, we pride ourselves on extending the best service and hospitality to our guests and I would personally like to follow up with you on your experience with us.

Can I trouble you to email me at sonia.lefevre@langhamhotels.com or contact the hotel on (02) 9256 2222 so that we can discuss this further.

What was pleasing to read was that you enjoyed our Tiffin afternoon tea and the little special touches for your husband's birthday. I hope he had an enjoyable birthday with us.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
Sonia Lefevre
General Manager
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Melbourne
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Went by reviews and booked in to the Langham recently. The room was spaciously appointed and the bathroom luxurious; loved the shower. Housekeeping excellent.

However, for a 5 star hotel, the room came with a tiny old TV and rickety kettle. Complementary coffee was limited to decaf, tea range was just okay. After checking out we get an additional bill for $12.71 towards 'minibar discrepancies' even though we didn't touch anything from that ridiculously priced collection. This bill for which my credit card has been automatically charged does not name the item we're supposed to have 'discrepantly' consumed. I'm guessing it's for the tiny tetra pack of milk which I'd assumed went with the free coffee/tea paraphernalia. This item, as far as I can remember was not on the minibar price list.

The mattress was by no means of a 5 star standard and had me tossing and turning trying to get comfortable.

The airconditioning was not consistently cool; felt as if it ran on fan for long periods of time in between short bursts of cooling. Again, didn't help sleep at all.

We'd booked a city view room but was given a grand 'upgrade' to a water view on the second floor from where you had to peer over broken buildings and backyards to view the water. I don't believe that was meant to upgrade our experience and felt more like a downgrade.

What had us completely gobsmacked was that during check in the entire booking amount for the complete length of stay was charged from the credit card. In addition to this the credit card was also charged with a deposit in advance. So the entire stay was paid for before we'd even set foot in the room. Made us look like we were likely to run without paying or steal the tiny TV, perhaps? We only found this out when we were out shopping and used the atm. On inquiry the reception staff told me this treatment was reserved for 'certain bookings'.It would've been less of a shock if this piece of information was available at these 'certain' booking sites. We've been in other 5 star hotels in the US, Dubai, and Singapore and this is the first time ever that we've encountered such a policy.

This completely soured the Langham experience for us. The trip had been my daughter's New Year gift for me--two days in a "nice hotel for Mum" was what she'd had in mind and saved up for. Instead her card got wiped out to almost $10 and we wouldn't have known about that had we not stopped at an atm. This policy that appears to be aimed at a 'select clientele' apparently was the one thing that ruined our stay. Everything else such as the mattress, kettle, and AC that I've mentioned becomes a problem in that they are not commensurate with the prices attached or a 5 star rating.

The hotel's good where decor, dining, service, and housekeeping are concerned. Our room was spacious and we liked that. Service is meticulous and the staff extremely helpful. Some staff at reception somehow appear less than helpful. Smiles alone don't help unless they are backed by forthright policies.

If you're checking into The Langham just make sure what policy they have in store for you. Somehow I don't think this total payment plus deposit in advance policy applies to all clientele but just a 'certain' kind. Also, if you're given a water view room, ensure its on the top floors.

Room Tip: Water view rooms on the lower floors overlook run down buildings and backyards over which you have t...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, January 16, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review of your stay with us at The Langham, Sydney.

I was most dissappointed to read that you felt that you have been treated differently to other guests in our hotel. This is certainly not something that we ever intend to do and for that please accept our apologies.

I would like to personally follow up with you to discuss your experience at our hotel. If I could trouble you to email me at sonia.lefevre@langhamhotels.com or contact the hotel on (02) 9256 2222.

I look forward to speaking with you at your earliest.

Best regards,
Sonia Lefevre
General Manager
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Newton Abbot, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
66 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Stayed here for 3 nights in October 2012 and found the location to be excellent for all central attractions. We were able to walk to the bridge climb entrance within 10 minutes and the Opera House and quayside within 15 minutes. The hotel is situated in the Rock area of Sydney and is therefore well situated for excellent local restaurants and also it has a couple of famous pubs just down the road.
We booked a Deluxe City View room and were assigned a room with a great view over the bay and quayside (Darling Harbour Passenger Terminal for Cruise Liners). The room was large, clean and very comfortable. We enjoyed our three nights here and because of the peaceful and quiet location of the hotel we had a very restful nights sleep on all 3 nights. We eat breakfast in the hotel each day, which were all excellent. As our schedule in Sydney was rather hectic we chose to eat in the bar area of the hotel on two of the nights and we were pleased with our choice. Again the food and service were just great. Well recommended for a city stay.

Room Tip: Go for a room on an upper floor with views over Darling Harbour
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  • Stayed October 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
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, January 14, 2013
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.

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

Kind regards,
Sonia Lefevre
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Old school charm definitely describe this property. Everything is clean and homely, with a dash of elegance. We felt absolutely spoilt from the second we entered.
Hotel staff were wonderful. We stayed in one of their Suites and it was exquisite. Thoroughly enjoyed the extra special attention staff made to the details of the room. Turn down service was a wonderful surprise.

Breakfast was absolutely delicious and staff were exceptional. Couldn't rate them higher.

Unfortunately I couldn't get into the Spa while we were there, which was a huge disappointment. I suggest booking into the spa well in advance.

If you're looking for some quiet space away from the hustle and bustle - go here. If you want to be at the centre of attention where all the action is happening, stay closer to the city.

Loved it.

Room Tip: Harbour view room are worth the extra coinage.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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, January 10, 2013
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at The Langham, Sydney. We were delighted to read your positive comments about your experience with us.

At Langham, we pride ourselves on knowing our guests and building great memories. It is wonderful to hear that you leave with your own special memories.

We hope that you are an 1865 loyalty program member and will benefit from the many great advantages this program offers for your next stay at any Langham hotel worldwide.

Have a delightful day and best regards,

Sonia Lefevre
General Manager
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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:
#2 Spa Hotel in Sydney
#4 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
#7 Family Hotel in Sydney
#7 Business Hotel in Sydney
#9 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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