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“Hasn't lost anything in the transition” 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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Announcement
$30m Transformation
Ranked #11 of 182 hotels in Sydney
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Hasn't lost anything in the transition”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

A lovely hotel. Great service and beautifully appointed rooms. We were upgraded to a harbour view room which was very nice - interesting to watch the cruise ships dock into Walsh bay. The breakfast was very good as was the service here as well. Recommended for special occasions. Very close to the Rocks and quiet at night.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1,023 people have reviewed this hotel

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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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Santa Monica, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

While Langham is a reputable/higher-end hotel chain, I was concerned over the direction of the property once Orient Express sold the property. Orient Express owns and operates iconic properties throughout the world, with my favorites being the Copacabana Palace in Rio and the Hanging Gardens in Bali. I just imagined what happened to Lilianfels in the Blue Mountains and thought: "déjà vu - all over again."

Rest assured ... all is the same and from my perspective - "still coming up roses", if not better (I use the word pink in the title since Langham seems to like pink - pink receipts, pink pens, pink ties, etc). Langham appears willing to invest in the property and a well-needed renovation will start in the next several months (check before booking). Apart from the GM, I see the same staff around the hotel - which I consider first-rate. These people I have known over several years and all spoke highly of the new GM (she is from the Langham in Hong Kong) and the Langham Group in general. I spoke briefly to the the GM (Sonia Lefevre) after breakfast last week and concur with the staff's assessment of her - she appears to be an excellent GM and only the third GM in the hotel's history (and I have known the other two).

Bottom line: If you liked the hotel as the Observatory, you will like it more now. And if you didn't like it as the Observatory, you probably will still not like it now. All bets are off, however, once the renovation begins.

Now for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly:

The Good: The hotel offers exceptional (I used the term "exemplary" in today's letter to the GM) personalized service in a boutique hotel setting. The restaurant Galileo (Langham - please do not change the name) remains excellent and the afternoon tea service perfect - even by the standards of the Lanesborough/Dorchester/Ritz in London. The atmosphere of the bar/restaurant is of a quiet traditional English Club on Pall Mall, sans the stuffiness. I have had breakfast/lunch/tea occasionally dressed in shorts. The concierge services are also excellent, with the same chef concierge since the hotel's opening. The downstairs spa is relaxing and I have used the lounge chairs around the pool for a siesta more than once when my flight arrives early morning from America. The standard rooms are larger than the Four Seasons and the bathrooms similarly spacious. I think I am only one of two people to have ever used the hotel's one bicycle - so contact the hotel in advance if you want to use it since the tires often need inflating. If you like tennis, the hotel has a court located across the street.

The Bad (only a relative bad, though): The hotel/rooms do not have a view of the Opera House or the Sydney Harbor Bridge, though neither do most rooms at the Four Seasons or the Shangri La. It will take 10-15 minutes to walk to the ferries at Circular Quay and 5-10 minutes to walk to the train. As a fan of Four Seasons properties in general, it pains me to admit that the Sydney Four Seasons generally lacks the personalized service of the Langham and feels more like a Hilton or a Hyatt (but with better room amenities), yet the FS's main selling point is that the it is located immediately adjacent to Circular Quay. If you don't want to eat at the Langham, there is nothing of any quality within a short walk of the hotel.

The Ugly: I use this term also in a relative sense - the immediate neighborhood to the left when exiting the hotel is sup-optimal. It appears low-end residential but I never felt any safety concerns with my late night walks. That said ... all property in central Sydney is worth a fortune. I have stayed at the FS a number of times and the Langham's service and boutique-nature trumps the FS's location and possible views.

Final thought: If you are looking for an absolute luxury stay in the perfect location, recently renovated and don't care anything about money, stay at the Park Hyatt. For my money after 25 visits to Oz, the Langham offers the best combination of luxury/value trade-off, with an emphasis on personalized service. While the name has changed to "The Langham Sydney", it will always be known to me as the "Observatory."

Room Tip: Get a room with water view, though this may cost extra.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

I enjoy the Langham in Kowloon. Sydney is every bit as enjoyable. The staff are genuinely welcoming and the rooms are not as impersonal as some larger hotel chains. The location is a little distant from the business district but not inconvenient.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Langham Hotels

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Canberra, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

Loved our two night stay here, faultless service and luxuriously lush accommodation. If two things were different I would have rated it 5 stars...

Firstly the pool and spa were far too cold for my tastes. Actually 'freezing' would be a better way of describing the temperature of the pool and surrounding area, and the spa tepid at best. A pity as one thing I was really looking forward to was a nice hot spa after a long day of sightseeing and shopping, which I was able to get in the magnificently deep hot bath in my room. Secondly, our package included a 'Full Australian breakfast' which includes a full buffet breakfast (hot and cold foods) PLUS something from their 'menu' breakfast. I only found out about the 'menu' breakfast the following morning after I inquired at the front desk what my breakfast inclusions were (strong craving for pancakes), and was understandably disappointed that I wasn't given the option of a 'menu' breakfast. As the dining staff have a printout of the 'type' of breakfasts your booking includes, and as there were only two menus available for patrons, and as I was the only one to have something from the 'menu' breakfast, I can't help but wonder why the Langham are discouraging guests from ordering from the menu?

Room Tip: Don't worry if you can't book a king bed but still want to be close to your partner, the twi...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gosford, Australia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

I love this hotel. The rooms, the food, the service are all first class. The location near the rocks is great for exploring the older areas of the cbd. The staff are so accommodating-this is how all hotel staff should be. Congratulations. I'll be back.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013 via mobile

My wife and i spent a Friday night here staying in a junior city view suite. We arrived around 8.30 in the morning, & as expected room want available. Not a problem as the wife had to go off to a morning conference and I was happy to explore the city. They were most welcoming, took care if the luggage and took my mobile no. To let me know when the room was available. Staff were brilliant actually. Wynyard train station is a short 5 min walk and is part of the loop around Sydney cbd. Or just walk, we did. Wandered down to circular quay in just 10 min's. Room was ready around 1 pm - ph call was made. Room was spacious, very clean and comfortable. Bathroom is huge with bath and walk in shower. Bed - magic!! My wife and I chose to stay here as we had previously spent 3 nights in this hotel when it was the Observatory Hotel, albeit some 10 odd years ago! We loved it then and we still love it now. Highly recommend a visit. Perfect location. (Great breakfast in Gallileo Restaurant too - see other review)

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 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
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Gold Coast Queensland
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Booked through WOTIF and hit the mystery deal at an incredible price. Classic styled soft pink decor throughout the hotel, with the biggest display of fresh, most gorgeous smelling roses I have ever seen entering the hotels foyer. Friendly staff everywhere, without the 5star attitude. Well done. We were then upgraded to the junior suite, which was enormous, with all the creature comforts you would expect from a 5star, views across the harbour and so so private. The bed was superberbly comfortable. Again, a huge marble bathroom to match, a fantastic rain shower, great pressure, and beautiful large bath towels, with really chic toiletries. You need nothing when you arrive here. The nespresso machine again was large and much appreciated. The hotel was quality throughout, but with an old worldly charm. This hotel has its own signature, and I would highly recommend. We walked to the city which was about 1.5km. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
Parking is valet, and was expensive at $50 per night. But this is Sydney!
Thank you Langham......you are very special

Room Tip: 3rd floor harbour views are worth the extra.
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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.
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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:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 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):
Experience elegant and luxurious hospitality at The Langham, Sydney. Nestled in its most exclusive harbourside address, The Langham, Sydney boasts the largest guestrooms in Sydney including opening windows and balconies. From its historic Rocks district location, guests can enjoy sweeping western harbourside views, and a tranquil yet convenient proximity to some of the city's most iconic experiences. The Langham, Sydney's new Palm Court plays host to Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood, an exclusive experience at Langham hotels worldwide. For a one-of-a-kind contemporary fine-dining experience, Kent Street Kitchen will showcase innovative cuisine using premium local produce, executed with elegance and technical precision. The Day Spa will continue to offer Sydney's renowned spa experience, delivering a reinvigorated spa environment, that offers a holistic approach designed to restore the mind, body and soul. The all-inclusive Day Spa offers a holistic approach to health, fitness and wellness, with fully-equipped Health Club, Jacuzzi and steam rooms. The Langham Sydney's renowned 20m indoor pool, complete with pale stone columns and a star-dappled sky ceiling will remain, completing this ultimate oasis of serenity. We look forward to welcoming you to Sydney's most exclusive harbourside address upon reopening on December 1, 2014. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Observatory Hotel Sydney

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